The Clinton County Workforce Collaborative (Collaborative) was recognized by the Mid-America Economic Development Council at the 2023 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference, held November 29-December 1, in Indianapolis.
The Collaborative received the Workforce & Talent (Large Division) Award in acknowledgement of the rapidity and effectiveness of the projects and initiatives brought forward by the Collaborative’s participating members. The panel of judges especially noted the ability of the Collaborative to mobilize the necessary resources in a rural county.
The Mid-America Economic Development Council sponsors the annual Economic Development Awards competition to recognize innovative approaches to enhancing entrepreneurial culture, marketing communities, placemaking, and strengthening the workforce. The Workforce & Talent Award recognizes an activity or innovative program that attracts new talent to a specific area, strengthens the skills of the existing workforce, and/or encourages retention of young/new talent. In 2023, 11 awards were presented to organizations from throughout the 13-state Mid-America region.
“Before the formation of the Workforce Collaborative, there was no single point of contact for this kind of effort,” said Ruth Brindle, Workforce & Data Specialist with the Clinton County Port Authority, and member of the Collaborative Steering Committee. “There were small, ineffective efforts that were often led by an individual non-profit or similar organization. The key difference with the work of the Collaborative is the ability to bring together all the relevant organizations to cooperatively develop impactful programs for the workforce and the employers.”
Between January 2022 and July 2023, the Collaborative: launched the School & Community Connections Resource Guide, representing almost 40 employers in over 30 industries; coordinated Student Immersion Tours for over 350 students from three high schools, five middle schools, and one Head Start program; conducted multiple surveys to understand the needs of the local workforce; hosted a Career Exploration Fair that brought together over 40 employers and over 650 high school students; assisted with the Wilmington City Transit Feasibility Study; hosted a Job & Community Resource Fair, connecting 40 employers and 20 service providers with over 200 job seekers; and launched a Child Care Awareness Campaign.
An initiative of the Clinton County Port Authority, OhioMeansJobs Clinton County, the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, and the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, the Clinton County Workforce Collaborative is open to anyone from the business, non-profit, education, and community/economic development sectors who would like to become more involved in collaborative solutions to the workforce challenges within Clinton County.
Mid-America Economic Development Council is a 13-state association dedicated to being the leading resource for making contact with site selectors, advancing regional economic development programs, and accessing thought leadership. Members are dedicated economic development professionals who share best practices to add value to their organizations and communities.
Photo: Ruth Brindle, Workforce & Data Specialist with the Clinton County Port Authority and Clinton County Workforce Collaborative Steering Committee member, and Horton Hobbs, Mid-America Economic Development Council President.