Author: davidzak1

TSEP releases 2022 Dream Big Tiffin! Report

Priority ratings published for 14 community development projects

Read and download report here: 2022 DBT! Report.

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 21, 2022 – Today, the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership released the 2022 Dream Big Tiffin! Report officially capping off the six-month long community development process. Overseen by the Tiffin Community Development Committee (TCDC), Dream Big Tiffin! is a community-sourced and driven process to help guide and support community development in Tiffin. The report can be read and downloaded at dreambigtiffin.com.

This report is the culmination of an in-depth process to solicit, review, and categorize project proposals and ideas from Tiffin residents and key stakeholders. The second Dream Big Tiffin! initiative opened for project submissions on September 3, and over the next six weeks, seven new project proposals and sixteen new ideas were submitted. Additionally, the projects and ideas from the 2021 cycle carried over resulting in fourteen total project proposals and 44 total ideas for review.

Following the end of the submission period, the public was asked to weigh in on how important they felt each project was for the upcoming year. Using this community feedback, the proposals themselves, and interviews with project sponsors, the TCDC assessed each project to determine its priority ranking for 2022: “Priority” for impactful projects that are ready to go and have significant support; “Recommended” for impactful projects that have outstanding questions, need more support, or aren’t immediately ready to go; and “Reviewed” for projects that qualify for the other two categories at this time.

It’s important to note that receiving a “Priority” ranking does not mean a project will happen or happen in the near term; they are dependent on funding, capacity, and a host of other factors. It does, though, provide additional support to those projects, increasing the likelihood of their realization.

This year, nine projects were ranked as a “Priority,” two as “Recommended,” and three as “Reviewed.” Below is a listing and short description of the “Priority” projects:

  • Bunky Bike Tree: $5,000 sculpture of a tree made from recycled bicycle parts to honor the life and legacy of Mark “Bunky” Roehrig.
  • Court Street Alley Improvement Project: a $407,000 project that seeks to transform Court Street into a destination space like Cherry Alley including lighting, seating, and other amenities.
  • South River Road Trail Improvements: $200,000 for the development and beautification of a recently closed street area as a portion of trail along the Sandusky River, increasing safety.
  • Holiday Lighting: $31,000 to produce and hang 61 branded snowflakes on the South Washington Street light poles to make downtown brighter, prevent vandalism, and increase visibility of community branding.
  • Downtown Parking Lot Improvements Design: $101,342 to repave and restripe the eight downtown public-use parking lots and the installation of additional high-quality lighting, landscaping, signage, and other amenities. 
  • Community Gardens: $2,732.86 to build and support a model garden in the heart of Tiffin to serve community members who struggle financially to obtain a balanced, healthy diet, and who may lack the knowledge needed to grow their own food.
  • Cycling Without Age: a $70,000 program to provide free bicycle rides for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
  • Tiffin Community Kitchen: $2.7 million community kitchen space where people can connect around local food, service, cooking, eating, and growing.
  • Transformational Life Center: $100,000 to develop a comprehensive center that will provide housing, clothing, food, and services for those in need.

Jodie Reinbolt, Executive Director of the Tiffin Community Foundation, was pleased with the announcement. “This report is further evidence that the community is working together and thinking strategically about how to improve and accelerate projects that improve the quality of life for our community. Two projects were completed last year, and we are excited to support more projects moving forward.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “The Dream Big Tiffin! process is unique in Northwest Ohio. It is a long-term strategy designed to help create a culture of community development and fuel more projects getting the funding they need and moving forward. Although it’s not a silver bullet, it is one more tool we’re using to move our community forward.”

About Dream Big Tiffin!

Starting in 2020, Dream Big Tiffin! is the process used by the Tiffin Community Develop Committee in partnership with TSEP to generate community development project proposals and ideas. Dream Big Tiffin! was created to ensure that residents and stakeholders had a clear and straight-forward avenue to make their needs, wants, and opinions known in the development process.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin University to Dedicate New Center for Science and Technology

Press Release from Tiffin University (Jan. 20, 2022)

TIFFIN UNIVERSITY, Tiffin, OH — The Dragon Community is pleased to announce the new Center for Science and Technology’s upcoming dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. The event is set to take place February 3, 2022 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at 201 Miami St., in the Center’s Mercy Health-Tiffin Hospital Atrium. The community is encouraged to attend and to stay after the ceremony’s conclusion for light refreshments and the chance to socialize with other TU stakeholders including trustees, faculty, staff and students alike. 

“We are very excited for students and community members to utilize our newest building,” said TU’s President, Dr. Lilian Schumacher. “The space’s versatility is one of its greatest strengths. State-of-the-art classrooms and labs provide every tool necessary for the highest quality of academic instruction and research. Moreover, this will all be achieved in a setting designed with comfort in mind, as the Center is also home to several lounges and places to mingle.”

“The Center for Science and Technology will have a significant impact on our University, the students we serve and the surrounding community,” said Mitchell Blonde, Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Public Affairs. “We hope to see increased enrollment with new and expanded academic programming, and this new facility will aid our dedicated faculty and staff in doing what they do best – teaching, mentoring and advising in ways that are truly life-changing. We’re so grateful to all of our alumni and friends who have invested into our capital projects – their philanthropic support is making a real impact.”

For additional information about the dedication and to RSVP, please contact Audrey Heslet, Assistant Director of Advancement Services at hesletad@tiffin.edu or call 419.448.3282.

To learn more about the Center for Science & Technology or any degree concentration housed within, please reach out to Dr. Joyce Hall-Yates, Vice Provost and Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at hallyatesjc@tiffin.edu

About TIFFIN UNIVERSITY

Founded in 1888, Tiffin University is a premier university located in north-central Ohio. The 145-acre campus in Tiffin, Ohio, is a blend of traditional historic and modern buildings, creating a vibrant and warm home for a culturally diverse educational community. Students of Tiffin University are challenged to enhance their global competencies for success in a diverse world. The University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees all of which are designed to assist students in achieving their full potential after graduation. TU offers classes at several locations in Ohio, online and in the country of Romanian. Some of TU’s top programs, many of which are nationally recognized, include Accounting, Criminal Justice, Management, Exercise Science, Homeland Security and Forensic Psychology, to name a few. Throughout its history, TU has maintained its dedication to providing a professionally focused, learning-centered education to prepare students for successful careers and for productive and satisfying lives of excellence, leadership, and service. Tiffin University’s faculty offers a unique combination of practical application with scholarly knowledge. The TU approach to learning and skill set development insists on connecting students to the workplace as soon, and as often, as possible during their college experience through internships. tiffin.edu

Kuebler Shoes under new ownership

Ohio’s oldest retail store successfully uses Entrepreneurial Clearinghouse

Joe Obringer passing the brannock shoe-size fitter onto new owner Kymberlee Wood

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 5, 2021 – Today, Joe Obringer and Klinton and Kymberlee Wood announced that Kuebler Shoes, established in 1832 in Tiffin and Ohio’s oldest continuously operating retail store, is under new ownership and will continue serving the community for years to come.

Kymberlee Wood was excited to make the announcement, saying, “Kuebler Shoes has an amazing history and provides outstanding shoes and service to the community. We are honored to continue that tradition.”

Obringer agreed: “I am so happy to see Klinton and Kymberlee take over as the new owners of Kuebler Shoes and to keep our tradition of quality shoes and service alive. I wanted to retire, but I cared deeply about the business continuing. The Clearinghouse gave me the opportunity to connect with a lot of potential investors and helped make this a reality.”

Today’s announcement is the culmination of a three-month process that began with the promotion of an opportunity known as “Project Starlight” on the Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse (TSEOC) at the beginning of September 2021. In it, details about the business and asking price were made known but the business name was kept anonymous.

In less than two weeks, twenty interested parties were directed to contact the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) to gather basic information, and then TSEP sent that information to Obringer to review. Obringer then reached out to each of the prospects, and four serious ones were identified with a letter of intent signed by September 13. The business owners have been working on finalizing the deal since then.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “We’re happy to welcome Klinton and Kymberlee as the new owners of this great local business, and I encourage everyone to support them. I’m also glad to see the Clearinghouse continuing to see success in helping foster entrepreneurship.”

About Kuebler Shoes

Founded in 1832 in Tiffin, Kuebler Shoes is the oldest continuously operating retail store in Ohio. The store carries 25 different brands of shoes and stocks nearly 6,000 pairs of shoes for men, women, and children in a wide selection of sizes and widths. They also carry a variety of handbags and other accessories, and the stores employees have over 50 years of experience in the custom fitting of footwear. They are located at 440 W. Market St. in Tiffin and online at www.kueblershoes.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Kuebler Shoes under new ownership

Ohio’s oldest retail store successfully uses Entrepreneurial Clearinghouse

Joe Obringer passing the brannock shoe-size fitter onto new owner Kymberlee Wood

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 5, 2022 – Today, Joe Obringer and Klinton and Kymberlee Wood announced that Kuebler Shoes, established in 1832 in Tiffin and Ohio’s oldest continuously operating retail store, is under new ownership and will continue serving the community for years to come.

Kymberlee Wood was excited to make the announcement, saying, “Kuebler Shoes has an amazing history and provides outstanding shoes and service to the community. We are honored to continue that tradition.”

Obringer agreed: “I am so happy to see Klinton and Kymberlee take over as the new owners of Kuebler Shoes and to keep our tradition of quality shoes and service alive. I wanted to retire, but I cared deeply about the business continuing. The Clearinghouse gave me the opportunity to connect with a lot of potential investors and helped make this a reality.”

Today’s announcement is the culmination of a three-month process that began with the promotion of an opportunity known as “Project Starlight” on the Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse (TSEOC) at the beginning of September 2021. In it, details about the business and asking price were made known but the business name was kept anonymous.

In less than two weeks, twenty interested parties were directed to contact the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) to gather basic information, and then TSEP sent that information to Obringer to review. Obringer then reached out to each of the prospects, and four serious ones were identified with a letter of intent signed by September 13. The business owners have been working on finalizing the deal since then.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “We’re happy to welcome Klinton and Kymberlee as the new owners of this great local business, and I encourage everyone to support them. I’m also glad to see the Clearinghouse continuing to see success in helping foster entrepreneurship.”

About Kuebler Shoes

Founded in 1832 in Tiffin, Kuebler Shoes is the oldest continuously operating retail store in Ohio. The store carries 25 different brands of shoes and stocks nearly 6,000 pairs of shoes for men, women, and children in a wide selection of sizes and widths. They also carry a variety of handbags and other accessories, and the stores employees have over 50 years of experience in the custom fitting of footwear. They are located at 440 W. Market St. in Tiffin and online at www.kueblershoes.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Vanguard-Sentinel Receives $675K Innovative Workforce Grant

Press release provided by Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers – December 16, 2021

Fremont, Ohio: Lt. Governor Jon Husted has announced that Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers (VSCTC) is among the 54 Ohio school districts to be awarded grant money through the Innovative Workforce Incentive Program. VSCTC was awarded $675,347 of the total $13.5 million that will be used to establish new programs for high school students to earn industry-recognized credentials and complete pre-apprenticeship opportunities in multiple sectors.


New expanded programming will cover manufacturing and engineering, health care, and construction sectors.


VSCTC has implemented a Bronze through Platinum Program model to ensure area students have a multitude of training options available to them. Traditionally, Junior and Senior students participated in the various programs, however through this model, students can now start as early as freshman exploring various career paths to find their interests and Sophomores can now apply for a full program. The Bronze through Platinum programming gives opportunities for 1 year, 2 year, 3 year, and 4 year training programs in their field of choice. Now students are able to start at a younger age, or if not ready to make that decision can decide later and still have an opportunity to receive quality technical training in a specific skill.


This grant provides an opportunity to expand the bronze programming to Seniors who did not take advantage of a Career Tech program, who may be at risk of graduation, or who cannot attend a full program for one reason or another.


“We are known for offering high quality career tech programs and this new multiple entry point model means that more students can take advantage of what we offer,” explains Superintendent Greg Edinger. “Currently we have close to 1,200 students that are benefitting from our technical training, but this grant means we can reach more students while ensuring that our programs remain strong and effective and meet the standards of excellence people expect from us.”


This grant funding will be utilized for:
• Expanding pre-apprenticeship offerings
• Creating options for students to learn both on and off campus at various locations and with various
alternative learning methods via a blending learning environment
• Providing students the opportunity to meet graduation requirements and at the same time be
career ready with an industry recognized credential.
• Aligning the skills students learn in school with the requirements of the labor market

“VSCTC continues to work with our business advisory members, associate schools, and post-secondary partners to meet the needs of the workforce and student needs to be successful after graduation,” said Mr. Edinger. “We understand that there are a large number of open jobs in our area that are going unfilled and these Senior Only credentialing and Pre-Apprenticeship options will give students the skills and credentials needed to assist employers in filling these positions in our region.”

Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers have been providing quality career technical education since 1968. The district provides students with specific, marketable skills to begin a career, pursue further training or attend college. For more information, visit http://www.vsctc.org.

Dream Big Tiffin! 2022

The second annual Dream Big Tiffin! cycle has now been completed. Dream Big Tiffin is the community development process designed to identify and develop project ideas and proposals (ideas with details about description, budget, funding, impact, etc.) so that more projects get public awareness, support, funding, and completed in the City of Tiffin.

Read full report here. (Published January 21, 2022.)

Read press release. (Published January 21, 2022.)

If there are any questions, please contact Adam Gillmor, Development Coordinator at gillmor@tiffinseneca.org or by phone at 614.725.8086.

Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College Appoints New Director

Press release from Terra State Community College

Fremont, Ohio, November 2, 2021 – Ohio Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) announced today that Miranda Hoffman has joined the Ohio SBDC at Terra State Community College as its director to provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in Erie, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca Counties.

Hoffman comments, “I am excited to join as Director of the Ohio SBDC at Terra State and look forward to further developing their already extensive service offering that promotes business growth, sustainability and enhances the creation of new businesses and jobs. I am fortunate to be joining such a respected and long-standing program that prides itself on top-quality service.”

William Taylor, vice president for academic affairs said, “Hoffman’s wealth of experience and knowledge has already made her a great leader to the Ohio SBDC. We view her appointment as a sign of our commitment to fostering local economic development by being the leading small business resource in our community. Increasing demand from our clients to help them start, grow and sustain their businesses, local business trends and individual business requirements led us to look for a leader who will fit in with our innovation and exceptional service. It is very fortunate that we were able to find someone of Hoffman’s caliber to fulfill this role. I am confident that Hoffman will play a key role in providing and implementing high quality business solutions for our clients.”

Entrepreneurs and community members looking for business assistance can reach out to Hoffman at 419.559.2210 or mhoffma05@terra.edu. The Ohio SBDC at Terra State will continue to offer free monthly Small Business Basics seminars for anyone in the community. The schedule can be found at Terra.edu/SBDC.

(About the SBDC)

The Ohio SBDC at Terra State Community College is part of a statewide program provided through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Development, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Terra State Community College. It is staffed by highly trained, certified business advisors who provide no cost, confidential, and in-depth one-on-one counseling, e-counseling, no- or low-cost training, quality-based assessments, technical assistance, information on federal, state, and local regulations and programs, as well as information on and guidance in loan packaging. SBDCs serve all populations, including: minorities; women; veterans, including reservists, active duty, disabled personnel, and those returning from deployment; people with disabilities; youth and encore entrepreneurs; as well as individuals in low and moderate income urban and rural areas.

Contact

Miranda Hoffman

Telephone no. 419.559.2210

Email mhoffma05@terra.edu

Tiffin’s population ends negative trend, best results in 50 years

The 2020 Census results were released today for cities with more than 5,000 in population. The city of Tiffin’s population has stabilized and effectively stopped the downward trend since 1970, with a net population loss between 2010 and 2020 of only ten people.

Here are the Census numbers for Tiffin for the past 50 years:

  • 1970: 21,596 (+0.5% population gain from previous decade, Census high point)
  • 1980: 19,567 (-9.4% population loss from previous decade)
  • 1990: 18,604 (-4.9%)
  • 2000: 18,135 (-2.5%)
  • 2010: 17,963 (-0.9%)
  • 2010: 17,953 (-0.06%)

When compared with the other 69 county seat cities across Ohio with greater than 5,000 in population (19 of the 88 county seats have less than 5,000), Tiffin is one of the communities showing positive trends and significantly outperforming expectations from the last Census. Some key rankings include the following:

  • Tiffin ranks #32 out of 69 (top half) for population growth, surpassing neighboring county seats Findlay, Fremont, and Bucyrus.
  • Tiffin ranks #19 out of 69 for outperforming the expected results. The 2019 estimates for Tiffin were 17,582, meaning Tiffin achieved a growth rate 2.1% higher than expected.
  • Tiffin outranks every adjacent surrounding county seat for outperforming expectations except Upper Sandusky.

Some reasons for the increase in population include:

  • Tiffin’s consistently strong economic development (in top ten percent of similar communities nationally eight years in a row) and business climate.
  • Tiffin’s increasing quality of life, including its state- and nationally-accredited, award-winning Main Street downtown program.
  • Residential development in multifamily apartments, condominiums, and downtown lofts.
  • A strong culture of collaboration, community, and progress – A Life Connected.
  • Long-term investments in strategic and comprehensive planning. Read more on plans.

Funds Doubled for Small Business Grant Programs

County Set-Asides End July 31, 2021

Press Release from Governor’s Office (July 16, 2021)

(COLUMBUS) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today reminded Ohio business owners that grants are available through the Ohio Department of Development (Development) to help small and medium-sized businesses recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of $310 million is being offered across four grant programs to help new businesses that opened in 2020, food and beverage establishments, entertainment venues, and lodging venues. To ensure the grants are spread throughout the state, each program has a set-aside amount of funding for each of Ohio’s 88 counties. If businesses in a county do not deplete the county’s allocation by July 31, the remaining funds will become available to businesses statewide.

“I strongly encourage Ohio’s small and medium-sized business owners to apply for these grants,” said Governor DeWine. “Funding is set aside for businesses in all of Ohio’s 88 counties and grants range from $10,000 to $30,000 apiece. As we continue our recovery from the pandemic, we want to give our local businesses this money to help them successfully move forward.” 

When Governor DeWine announced the launch of these grant programs in June, the grant fund totaled $155 million with money made available by the Ohio General Assembly through Senate Bill 108 and Senate Bill 109. On July 1, the fund doubled to $310 million when the new fiscal year budget was approved by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by Governor DeWine. 

All four programs are administered by Development. Program guidelines, terms and conditions, and required documentation for all four programs are available at BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov. Applications opened June 29 and will remain open until funds are exhausted.

Ohio Small Business Development Centers and Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers are staffed with advisors who can help businesses with the application process. 

Free Employee Retention Webinar – July 20

The Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College is sponsoring a free webinar on July 20, 2021 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Employee Retention. Denise Dahl from Epiphany Planning & Development will be leading the session.

Register by filling out the Registration Form and emailing it back to kern@terra.edu. If you have any additional questions, please call 419.559.2464.

Summary: “With all the talk of the 2021 employee tsunami more than ever the importance of retaining employees is being discussed. Take some actionable steps and learn strategies, both short and long-term, in engaging and retaining employees in this two-hour offering. The prediction of one in every four employees changing jobs in the next 12 months and the negative impact it can have on you and your company warrants an investment in learning how to save yourself and your company both time and money by keeping those you have and creating loyalty with those you hire.”

The Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC Program is also funded in part by the Ohio Development Services Agency. All services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.