District of Columbiana Seeks to Strengthen Relationships Between Business and Education – Business Daily

Salem, Ohio – The oil and gas business of the Utica Point Pleasant shale formation, the Southfield Energy power plant in Wellsville, and Royal Dutch Shell’s cracking plant under construction in nearby Monaca, Pennsylvania, are expected to have a significant impact on Colombiana Officials say the province’s economy creates jobs for residents here.

Central to achieving this is building a skilled workforce by strengthening the relationship between local business, education and economic development initiatives, says Tad Herold, Columbiana District Director of Economic Development and Chair of the District Business Advisory Council.

“Right now we have a core group of about 12 companies, who have been very active on the Business Advisory Board,” he said, noting that he would like to see his ranks expand. “We would like to see that number to twelve, twenty or fifty because the more input we get from different sectors in different employers, the more responsive we are to their needs.”

Herold says the purpose of the Business Advisory Board is to find out how schools can ensure that they meet the needs of employers, and provide them with a trained workforce with the required skills.

The organization hosted a forum on the Kent-Salem State University campus Thursday to encourage closer working relationships between business, education and economic development within the county to strengthen the region’s workforce. The meeting was attended by representatives from district schools, businesses, representatives from the Mahoning Valley Makers Alliance, Lt. John Hested and U.S. Representative Bill Johnson, R-6.

Educators, business owners and other interested parties attended the Columbiana County Business Council Advisory Forum Thursday in Kent-Salem.

While there are no new multibillion-dollar projects heading to the county anytime soon, Herold says the region is preparing for smaller companies to use materials manufactured from these large projects — plastic pellets produced from Shell’s ethane cracker, for example, or low-cost power from Utica. rocky – to move to the area.

“This is to make sure that schools provide education and students can stay in the District of Columbia, make a good living and help employers make their product or service in a way that makes us competitive,” Herold says.

Mary Williams, director of teaching and learning at the Columbia County Education Service Center, said the board meets regularly and is made up of those in school districts, community members and business leaders in the district. She added that there are frequent conversations about how to bridge the gap between education and business. A student’s path to college education after high school is not the only path to a higher paying career.

“We want to make sure that they know the different paths they can take, the different job opportunities that are available and the different resources that exist,” Williams said.

Mark C. Berna, founder and CEO of TFS Results in Cleveland, spoke to the group remotely via Zoom. His firm is a full-service strategic communications and consulting firm at the forefront of a national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.

Focus on topics such as Changing the Landscape, Younger Generations, Meaningful Education, Employing with Passion, Changing the Paradigm and Taking Action to Empower Educators, Business Leaders and Other Stakeholders at Thursday’s Forum. Berna’s goal was to connect the dots between education with purpose and work with passion.

“The right student in any educational path or even in business is the enthusiastic student,” Berna said. “They are dedicated. They see the light at the end of the tunnel for a program or a course or a classroom. They really want to get there.”

He spoke of 10.9 million job opportunities open nationwide – emphasizing that there is a gap between those vacancies and the unemployed who cannot meet the requirements of those jobs.

As of Thursday afternoon, OhioMeansJobs.com’s Jobs Board had 229,582 jobs statewide with 5,191 jobs within 20 miles of Lisbon — including Columbiana County.

Berna added that there are three non-negotiable things that academics must embrace to catalyze the development of the ultimate workforce within their students – strong academic knowledge, technical competencies, professional skills, and soft skills. He added that work ethic, showing up on time, leadership, communication, work-life balance, stress management, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, resilience, and social and emotional intelligence should be emphasized in the student’s learning process.

“I think they are the most important things we can do for our youth today,” Berna said. “These professional skills are essential in order to be able to move forward.”

Williams said students in elementary school can learn some of that through business collaborations with their schools — even with a job fair for kindergarten students.

“We feel that the sooner we can become students and start sort of talking about different career paths and different career ideas, the better,” she said.

Columbiana County Schools has partnered with Humtown Products and Fresh Mark Inc., Williams said. and BrightPet Nutrition Group and Clear Creek Oilfield Solutions with various projects to stimulate workforce development. Having businesses within schools, showing and talking about what they do, can motivate these educational partnerships.

“The more we can expose students and teachers to all the possibilities available, the better,” she said.

Above: Mary Williams and Tad Herold address attendees at Thursday’s meeting before the ESC Columbiana Business Advisory Council.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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