FEDC

Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase success for students, local businesses

SCMS_logoThe first ever Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase was held at Heidelberg University today, giving 750 high-school students from 12 schools a chance to explore different skills valued in the workplace, specifically in manufacturing.

Fourteen local manufacturers led students through six different skill sets. The kids learned about team building, lean practices, employability, supply chain, machine trades and electrical trades/mechanical engineering/automation through interactive booths staffed by local companies.

Spearheading the coordination of the event was Carol Kern of the Seneca Department of Job and Family Services. Kern was pleased with the outcome of the event,”It’s exciting to see the students so engaged,” she said. “Hopefully they enjoyed the activities and learned a lot about career opportunities in Seneca County.”

Chase Eikenbary of Regional Growth Partnership/JobsOhio stressed the importance of introducing students to career skills early. “October is manufacturing month in Ohio, and it means great things for not only the manufacturing companies in the state but for the pipeline of our future workforce; our students,” she said. “Manufacturing careers are in high demand, provide excellent salaries, and allow employees to work in a high tech, growing industry. Students today were shown how they can become successful adults in their own communities with thriving career options.”

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation President Renee Smith agreed. “Manufacturing is a huge economic component of Seneca County, and it is the largest employer. It is essential that we continue to expose students to the career possibilities with our local companies,” she said.

Nearly 100 volunteers, including teachers from participating school districts, guided students through the planned activities. Tiffin City Schools Business Teacher Stacey Geiger said the event was rewarding as an educator. “It is exciting to see students engaged with Seneca County employers and using the knowledge that I incorporate in my classrooms,” she said.

Carl Pastorella, Human Resources Manager at Toledo Molding and Die, Inc. manning a booth centered around employability, was impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and knowledge. “The students we met got very involved in the activities we were presenting,” he said. “Our intent is to make sure they are prepared to get out and interview for jobs in future, and they already seem to be on the right track.”

Seneca County is also fortunate to have great relationships with state officials who are passionate about workforce development and how it pertains to our young people.

State Representative Bill Reineke, a Fostoria native and Tiffin resident, spoke to the students about the importance of manufacturing and their local community:

Ryan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, also addressed the students, introducing them to Ohio Means Jobs and the tools the program provides for job seekers:

Check out some of the pictures from the event:

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Local leaders launch INSIGHT blitz

Outreach campaign aims to connect with 1,000 businesses

INSIGHT logoTIFFIN, OHIO – June 24, 2016 – The INSIGHT Consortium, a group of local and regional nonprofit business service providers, announced today that they are starting an intensive outreach effort to connect Tiffin, Fostoria, and Seneca County businesses with resources to help them grow and expand. The first phase of the effort is scheduled to run through the end of 2017.

Established at the end of 2014, the INSIGHT Consortium is made up of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. (FEDC), the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services, Terra State Community College, Sentinel Career Center, the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce of Visitors Services, Regional Growth Partnership, the Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Seneca Regional Planning Commission. The mission of the group is to work together to reach more businesses with more resources, and they meet monthly.

The program’s name comes from the main types of resources it seeks to provide (Information, New Business, Space, Investment, Government, Hiring, Training), and the group has identified more than 200 free or subsidized financing, grant, tax credit, consulting and other services that are available. What they want to do is make more Seneca County companies aware of those resources and help them take advantage of them.

The 2016-17 outreach blitz will be conducted by a team of more than 25 individuals, including the INSIGHT consortium members, as well as members of the Tiffin Downtown Main Street program, professional outreach firm COACT Associates, as well as a university intern. All information gathered will remain confidential within the respective agencies. Aggregate data and trends will be used for program development, planning, and policy.

Carol Owen Kern, Business Services Liaison with the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services and a founding member of the consortium, is glad to see the group move forward with the blitz: “Seneca County JFS and Ohio Means Jobs have dedicated significant resources to helping companies recruit the workers they need, and this will help us all reach more businesses with our services.”

Beth Hannam, Manager of Business and Industry Training with Terra State Community College, likes the aggressive approach, “All of us on the INSIGHT team are excited about meeting the needs of more and more companies in Seneca County and about connecting businesses with hundreds of resources that are available. It’s truly win-win,” Beth Hannam said.

John Detwiler, President of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, is pleased with the INSIGHT blitz: “Supporting our local businesses is our first priority, and this helps us reach more of them. It complements and supports the work we’ve been doing through the Industrial Management and Safety Councils, our partnership with the Small Business Development Center, our networking and business events, and member discounts.”

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation President Renee Smith expressed similar support: “Business retention and expansion is a key focus of ours, as most of the new jobs and investment comes from existing companies. INSIGHT provides me and Fostoria area companies better access to more resources, which is really beneficial.”

SIEDC President & CEO David Zak also thanked people for their support: “I appreciate the entire INSIGHT consortium for their passion for local businesses and support of this program. I also want to thank the Regional Growth Partnership for providing additional team members through their relationship with COACT, the City of Tiffin for supplying an intern, and AEP supporting us the initiative through Local Economic Assistance Program (LEAP) grant.”

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) 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 at the company’s blog at http://www.senecasuccess.com.

 

South Korean company to create 150 new jobs in Fostoria

NoxThe South Korea-based vinyl tile manufacturer Nox Corporation is locating its first US factory in Fostoria. Nox will be renovating the former Atlas Crankshaft building, and plans to create more than 150 within three years in Seneca County.

The company will invest millions in machinery, equipment and building renovations, including a $2 million, 16,820 square foot addition to the existing building. Nox will initially hire 50 new employees, with plans of hiring an additional 50 workers next year and a total of 150 in the next two to three years. The company is currently interviewing for 10 management and administrative position, and will begin the hiring process for 40 skilled production, quality control and maintenance jobs next month, with production slated to start in mid- to late fall. Wages will start at $12 per hour, with an increase to $16 after a year.

Kudos to the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation for their work on the project and to Regional Growth Partnership and JobsOhio for their support.

Nox Corp. manufactures vinyl tile for commercial customers to use in building flooring for applications like hospitals and large offices. The tile is sold in 50 different countries, but the Fostoria plant will primarily serve US customers. Nox looked into locating in Fostoria due to recommendations within the flooring industry. Rubber and vinyl flooring manufacturer Roppe has been headquartered in Fostoria for more than 50 years.

In the media:

Fostoria “right on track” for 2015

2015_01_22 - Fostoria Dream Team

The Fostoria “Dream Team” – Mayor Eric Keckler, Chamber Exec. Sally McDonald, and FEDC Director Renee Smith

I just attended the 100th annual meeting of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce held at the beautiful Good Shepherd Home (which just celebrated a $2M expansion.) In attendance were scores of local and state leaders eager to celebrate the great year that Fostoria had and look forward to the year to come.

New Chamber Executive Director Sally McDonald kicked it off by sharing her theme of “I think I can; I think we can; I know we can; We can;” playing on the Little Engine That Could story. It was totally appropriate given Fostoria’s rail heritage and the fact that 1,000 trains go through the community every day. She set a course for focusing on positive messages – each attendee received the “homework” to provide a positive message for the 100 Days of Good News the Chamber will be sending out. She also pledged to commit to focusing on increasing member benefits and value.

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation chief Renee Smith provided energetic comments about how well things had gone last year, including how industry was expanding and hiring and sharing the fantastic statistic that 40% of all the available industrial properties were sold for a total of $11M+ worth of investment (want to do a future post on that.) She also talked about how her top three priorities for 2015 would be (1) Retention & Expansion; (2) Marketing; and (3) Attraction.

If you haven’t heard, Fostoria has a new tagline – “We’re right on track.” Well, with the great businesses there, a town full of great people, and the Fostoria Dream Team (see above picture), the future of Fostoria is bright indeed.