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    Since 2007, the Ohio Workforce Coalition has been bringing together leaders from education and training institutions, economic and workforce development organizations, business and industry, labor, and human service providers. The Coalition promotes public policies that build the skills of adult workers, meet employer skill needs, and strengthen the workforce system to ensure opportunity and prosperity for Ohio families.

Patt-McDaniel Announces Early Warning Network Awards

Organizations will receive more than $2.4 million in Early Warning Network funds to identify companies at risk of closure or layoffs

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Department of Development Director Lisa Patt-McDaniel today announced that 11 Ohio organizations will receive funds to help them identify and assist companies at risk of closure or layoffs. The Early Warning Network facilitates partnerships among state and local workforce and economic development partners, identifies possible resources, and implements strategic solutions for companies at risk.

“The Early Warning Network allows us to continue our proactive work with companies that are in need of assistance, rather than getting involved after layoff notices are given,” Patt-McDaniel said. “This program will ensure that companies around the state have the resources needed to keep their employees on the job and continue to bolster their communities.”

The Early Warning Network funds three types of programs: Retention Programs, Labor-Management Cooperation Programs, and an Employee Ownership Center. All applicants included documentation that showed a strong track record in working with employers, maintaining stable relationships with regional partners, and administering layoff aversion activities.

Awards for the Early Warning Network Include:

Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District – $250,000 to operate a Business Retention Network Program in Southeastern Ohio. The program will focus on assisting local economic development professionals as they seek to help companies retain employees and expand their businesses.

Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Foundation – $250,000 to encourage local economic development practitioners to become involved in regional retention efforts, connect with the University System of Ohio, and improve the overall infrastructure of retention efforts. The Foundation partners with the Southwest Ohio Regional Workforce Investment Board, Workforce One Investment Board, Workforce One Investment Board of Southwest Ohio, and local community economic development partners.

Mahoning and Columbiana County Training Association – $140,000 to expand the Business Resource Network, an economic development model that is significantly enhancing the regional capacity to collaboratively market and deliver demand-driven business services.

Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission – $242,745 to create the Business Assistance Network, in partnership with Workforce Development Area 1 and The Ohio State University South Center. The Network will lead the regional retention program effort by systematically aligning the regional resources of economic development, the chamber of commerce, educational institutions, and workforce development to provide a platform for a unified delivery assistance model for businesses.

The Workforce Initiative Association/The Employment Source – $250,000 for the Regional Business Network in Stark and Tuscarawas counties to better coordinate of outreach and access to services for area employers and their workforces. Efforts will be focused on layoff aversion and are expected to help maintain the region’s workforce.

Columbus Chamber of Commerce – $249,804 to assist early warning efforts in Central Ohio. The funds will be used to further expand relationships with business executives, to respond to threats of companies at risk of closing or leaving, and to support companies with expansion potential.

Lima Area Chamber Foundation – $250,000 for the West Central Ohio Network, which is a collaboration between local and regional economic and workforce development professionals. The funds will enable the Network to expand its proactive work with at-risk employers by using available resources to avoid mass layoffs and possible closures.

Northwest Ohio Center for Labor-Management – $90,000 to assist business needs, set up labor management committees, and act as a neutral chair when needed.

Columbus Area Labor Management Committee – $90,000 to assist with layoff aversion activities for Central Ohio businesses.

Southwest Ohio Center for Labor – Management Cooperation – $90,000 to continue supporting businesses and workers in averting layoffs, proactively securing workplace retention, and facilitating organizational transitions.

The Ohio Employee Ownership Center – $500,000 to continue supporting the development of employee-owned businesses. The Center provides technical assistance, training, and outreach to the business community in four areas: business owners looking to exit their businesses; owners interested in selling their businesses to employees; employee groups, local governments, and community groups seeking to avoid shutdowns and job loss; and existing employee-owned companies seeking to improve.

For more information on the Early Warning Network, please visit http://development.ohio.gov/workforce.

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