LIMA — By 2027, a total of 115,000 jobs could be up for grabs — due to retirement and job growth — in the eight-county region, but as total population is expected to decrease at the same time, Greater Lima Region Inc. President/CEO Doug Olsson is looking at how the privately-funded not-for-profit organization can fill in the expected workforce gap caused by an aging, shrinking population.
Olsson presented an overview of the group’s work in a short presentation during the Allen Lima Leadership Class of 2020’s fourth session held Friday at the new OhioMeansJobs employment center on Commerce Parkway, where he joined OhioMeansJobs and Allen County Department of Jobs and Family Services officials in providing an overview into the region’s workforce efforts.
“(Workforce) is part of what GLR is trying to address,” Olsson said. “You can see that there is a gap that exists now.”
As Olsson described it, GLR has categorized its work under three related categories. On the economic development side, Olsson said GLR is working as a regional coordinator with smaller economic development organizations, such as the Allen Economic Development Group and the Auglaize Mercer Business Education Alliance, to provide incentives to businesses looking to come into the area. Housing improvements and commercial property investment falls under the community development umbrella, and as for workforce development efforts, Olsson highlighted the region’s annual MakerFest, which GLR helps organize.
But while GLR helps with workforce development, OhioMeansJobs does the bulk of the heavy lifting, as was shown by ACDJFS officials who presented their efforts alongside Olsson. Under Director Joe Patton’s leadership, ACDJFS has been largely overhauled to be more business-focused, and officials gave an overview of the myriad business services the department currently provides during their ALL presentation reviewing the ACDJFS jobs program.
Due to a tight job market, Patton said employers, more than ever, are asking about how they can find good employees, and the department has instituted a number of programs to ensure businesses can meet their needs. In the overhauled department, businesses can now find a dedicated recruitment team, job coaches, dollars for incumbent worker training, a state-funded employee test trial program, employee wraparound services to help push people toward self-sufficiency, personality testing, streamlined job posting services and even marketing consulting for social media all paid for by tax dollars. In the near future, the department plans on providing training space through its up-and-coming convention center currently being built behind the department’s new location southeast of Lima.
“Our recruiters will find candidates for the jobs that you have,” OhioMeansJobs Administrator Jessie Doyle said. “It’s kind of like a buffet of services.”
A copy of the presentation used by Olsson and ACDJFS officials can be found online at limaohio.com.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.