Federal workforce program to bring more than $1 million investment to Fostoria

[Fostoria, OH Feb. 5, 2019] – The Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services office announced a collaboration between several entities resulting in a federal program that will invest $1.1 million into the workforce in Fostoria and Seneca County.
The US Department of Labor program, entitled Fostoria YouthBuild, will focus on low-income young people who have left school without a diploma, are exiting foster care, or have been adjudicated.
The program is to include occupational skills training for in-demand fields for 62 youths over three years. The goal is for participants to receive certifications, hands-on work experience and direct entry into apprenticeships or employment opportunities.
County DJFS Director Kathy Oliver said the program is helpful for employees and employers.
“We are excited about the opportunity to assist more youth in Seneca County with gaining employment skills,” she said. “The YouthBuild grant is the result of many community partners working together. We look forward to growing a well-trained youth workforce for local employers.”
The program began Feb. 1 and is currently in the planning stage. Enrollment for the program is set to begin May 1.
According to the program abstract, Fostoria YouthBuild aims to create a supported pathway to construction and construction plus training and careers. Program staff will recruit, assess and support young adults through an intensive six-month training regimen. The training will occur after a two-week mental toughness training. The training program utilizes the National Center for Construction Education and Research Pre-Apprenticeship Level 1 Carpentry Training curriculum. Participants will be able to earn college credits awarded through community college partners that will apply toward a Building Trades Associate Degree and beyond.
Also, YouthBuild participants will work toward receiving a GED, CPR/First-Aid certification, 10-hour OSHA certification and will take part in community service involvement and the Six Pillars of Character leadership development training program.
Collaborators for this project are Seneca County DJFS, GLCAP/WSOS, Area 7 Workforce Development Board, Associated Builders and Contractors-Northern Ohio Chapter, Ohio Means Jobs, Seneca County One-Stop, Seneca County Pivot Court, Seneca County Land Bank, Fostoria Economic Development Corp., Fostoria Learning Center, ProMedica Fostoria Hospital, Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Centers, Terra State Community College and several employers.
GLCAP/WSOS President and CEO Ruthann House said she was optimistic about the program.
“We are so excited to be working with such a great group of partners to bring much-needed workforce development training and employment opportunities to Fostoria and Seneca County,” she said. “Building the skills of our youth is a major focus within our strategic priorities and we are ready to hit the ground running.”
Fostoria Economic Development Corp. President Renee Smith said the program is a great example of growing collaboration within the region.
“Programs like this are the key to workforce development, as this program is both collaborative and innovative,” she said. “This program offers classroom training as well as on-the-job experience. With our extensive group of partners, this program will offer everything from workforce development to community development. Our organization is honored to be a part of the program and excited to see what can be accomplished for those who participate.”
The federal program began in 1992. The local match for the grant program is $275,000. In 2018, there were just 187 Department of Labor-funded YouthBuild programs across 46 states and D.C.

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