PAULDING – The Paulding County Business Advisory Council meeting was held at the OSU Extension Building in Paulding this week. Over 30 business owners and administrative leaders from around the county joined with administrators from all three county school systems. The main topic of discussion was workforce development.

Attendees heard presentations about the tools and options they currently have available to help ease the workforce development issues we are all facing. Economic Development Director Tim Copsey stated, “At one time our businesses all felt they needed to keep all hiring information within their walls. No one shared hiring practices or workforce needs outside their own entities. Today all of our employers are facing the similar hiring pains. We need to collectively share ideas of what is working and what isn’t working for the betterment of the entire county.” Copsey continued, “We need our employers to share what their critical workforce needs are. If we have a collective thought of repetitive needs around the county, Vantage and NW State can create the teaching instruction modules required to train those individuals for upskilling current workers or future employment. We don’t know what need is if employers don’t share that with us.”

Presenters included: Superintendent Rick Turner from Vantage Vocational Career Center; Jim Drewes from Northwest State Community College; Tiffany Dargenson with Paulding/Defiance County Ohio Means Jobs office; Lu Cooke, the Northwest Ohio Liason for Governor Jon Husted office and Copsey.

Each entity conveyed what they can provide to help employers. Ideas were discussed about how to promote economic and workforce development beyond high school students down into the junior high and elementary school levels. The hope is that the more students know about their county employment opportunities, the more they are likely to stay in the county when they choose employment.

The Paulding County Business Advisory Council Developed out of what was originally the Paulding County Human Resource Manager Roundtable and the Western Buckeye Educational Service Center and Paulding County Schools meetings. The two groups were combined to possibly share expectations and communication in regard to what schools currently offer and what businesses hope they can receive in future workforce. The group attempts to meet quarterly throughout the year. The fourth quarter meeting will be scheduled soon.

Eighteen business from all over Paulding County joined in the event making this the largest turnout to date. For more information about how to get involved with the Business Advisory Council or to hear about any of the information shared please reach out to the PCED office 419- 399-8295.