LIMA — This year’s Allen Lima Leadership’s Community Impact Project will center around a survey geared toward millennials as a way to help improve the Lima workforce.
This year’s class held its presentations Friday afternoon. Three groups gave their respective presentations on group projects surrounding the topics of youth, community development and workforce.
The winning group, made of Adam Walls, Peter Henning, Cara Carl, Tara Miller, Lisa Rampe, Traci Heinze, Chris Singleton and Melissa Sponseller, were tasked with the workforce development topic.
The team decided on focusing on the need to focus on retaining high school and college graduates and the attraction of new residents as a need of the current workforce. From there, the group met with Dave Stratton of the Allen Economic Development Group, who put out a similar survey in the past year.
“We did some research on the survey and how to make an effective survey and also validated the need for it,” Henning said. “We had a lot of literature from the various groups throughout Allen County saying how (that information) was needed, so we sort of took those two avenues and combined them to figure out there was a need and how we could make a difference — and how it could be different than what people had tried before us.”
The team’s mock survey included basic demographic information, likelihood to remain or relocate to Lima, likelihood to recommend living in Lima and an overall grade of Allen County in areas including quality of housing, business, education and public services.
An emphasis for the group is to keep the survey multiple-choice and below 15 questions to attract participation. In the team’s presentation, it explained how it thought the earlier survey, which was entirely written-response based, steered people away from taking the time to do it.
“There was this question of ‘Why do we not have good data?’ and we felt like if we could get it, it was a start for something that could be really helpful and useful for the community,” said judge Peggy Ehora, of Dominion Energy and a Lima councilor. “If you just could gather information, it would be helpful to a lot of agencies in the community, even outside of just economic development agencies. That was the primary thing we felt put them ahead, especially in the environment that we’re in right now.”
Along with Ehora, the judging panel included ALL board chair Jennifer Niese, Will Cason, Dave Woodward, Randee Henson and Scott Unverferth.
The class graduates the program in September, so the team plans to implement the survey before then and hoped its effects will last well past their graduation.
The other groups presented on a youth project connecting fifth-grade students with juniors in a Lima schools mentorship program and a Chili for Charity community event to raise money for organizations.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.