Officials in northwest Ohio last week held a two-day workshop to generate ideas to expand job creation opportunities and assist businesses and workers harmed by defense cutbacks at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima.
The participants first learned that existing workforce development efforts in Allen County have a cohesive structure, according to Future iQ Partners, the consultant hired by the county through a $220,000 grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).
“You don’t have dysfunction here,” said David Beurle, the firm’s CEO. “You’re not broken … and you’re not starting at zero. You’ve got momentum,” he told the two dozen participants.
One challenge, however, is that private sector and community efforts aren’t closely linked, reported limaohio.com.
“Just a few spokes needed tightened up on the wheel a little bit,” said Denny Glenn, the Allen County Commissioners’ project manager for the grant.
Future iQ Partners next will draft an action plan that will be used in a proposal for another grant from OEA. Additional funding would be used to implement the initial stages of the action plan, according to the story.
Options for the second phase include forming a local leadership team, creating a position or organization to focus on workforce needs, streamlining marketing and promotional tools for the region, and hosting an event focused on the manufacturing workforce.
The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility that produces tanks and military vehicles.