LIMA — While a great deal of attention is typically paid by the business community in and around Lima to attracting top caliber employees, leaders of business and industry also realize the importance of retaining the upper echelon of workers already employed here.
To facilitate that goal, Ohio Means Jobs-Allen County has steered nearly $120,000 in U.S. Department of Labor funding to businesses in Allen County throughout the past year to allow employees who have been at their positions for at least six months to upgrade their skills in a variety of settings.
The latest contribution came Tuesday morning, when representatives from OMJ presented a check for $10,492 to Mercy Heath-St. Rita’s Medical Center.
Joe Patton, director of Ohio Means Jobs-Allen County, said the presentation was a continuation of a “wonderful partnership” between the hospital and the county agency.
“We are happy to partner with St. Rita’s as part of our Incumbent Worker Training program,” said Patton. “This is a chance for us to help ‘up-skill’ existing employees in the county. “The program has opened some doors for some of the companies in our county, and we believe that developing leaders is very important for our community.”
Employee training made available through the Incumbent Worker Training program is intended to lead to the creation of new jobs, retention of jobs, increased wages for better-trained workers, a higher-skilled workforce and a more profitable business climate.
Patton said any employer in the county can reach out to OMJ to take advantage of the incumbent worker training programming.
St. Rita’s has been a long-time participant in the worker training program. Over the past three months, the program has assisted St. Rita’s with nearly $10,500 in reimbursements to up-train its work force.
Cory Werts, chief nursing officer at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s, said the funds provided by OMJ allow the hospital to stay competitive and to retain valued employees.
“We expect our employees to be continual learners and, through this partnership we are able to offer them leadership and motivational workshops and training. We’ve probably had 40 or 50 employees who have benefited from this program,” Werts said.
One of those employees is Stacy Schulte, who serves as director of medical education at St. Rita’s. She attended a Global Leadership Summit in August that featured prominent business leaders who talked about leadership and team-building skills necessary in today’s business climate.
Schulte, who has been an employee at the hospital for 20 years, said the continuing education helps motivate workers.
“St. Rita’s is really good at supporting and encouraging all employees to advance their job and management skills,” Schulte said.
To date, funds provided through OMJ have assisted Mercy Health with Global Leadership Summit, Studer Leadership Conference and The American Nurses Credentialing Center for the National Magnet Conference.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.