WORKFORCE PROJECT UPDATE … Jay Miller, Pete Prichard, Fred Lord (JFS Director), and House of Prayer Pastor Ben Harris (in back) addressed the Williams County Commissioners during the January 6, 2022 session. All Commissioners were present, Lew Hilkert and Brian Davis seen in picture. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
January 2022 started off slowly on Monday, the third, but picked up immediately at the next meeting on January 6 for the Williams County Commissioners.
The organizational meeting had been planned for the third, but due to illness, only two commissioners were present. Those two did vote on the third to approve the minutes of the December 30, 2021 meeting and to pay the bills, as well as signing the payroll.
Commissioner Terry Rummel explained the change in the agenda and Clerk Anne Rummel said they would try for Thursday for the Organizational meeting.
All three were present for the meeting on Thursday, January 6, 2022 and began the organization of the year. Approval was given for:
-Resolution 2022-1 Election of a President (Lew Hilkert nominated Terry Rummel, seconded by Brian Davis) Terry Rummel was elected
-Resolution 2 Election of a Vice President – Lew Hilkert was elected
-Resolution 3 Setting the meeting days and times for 2022 – these will stay on Mondays and Thursdays during the 8-4 time period
-Resolution 4 Establishing the Holidays for 2022
-Resolution 5 Setting the Rules for the WC Commissioners in regards to the Regular meeting, Special meeting, and Emergency meeting
-Resolution 6 Appointing members of the Board of WC Commissioners to various boards and committees for the year 2022 (this was approved with discussion – Rummel stated, “There was a change on, that says I will no longer be on 911 and EMA, and I am opposing that change.”
“But I am going to vote yes to this with the caveat that I will still engage into all of the departments. It is kind of an agreement that we’ve had that we can’t work out and we agree to disagree on this one and we are going to move through the process, but I will vote yes.”)
-Resolution 7 Designating and granting various authority to Clerk in case the board does not meet due to a holiday, emergency or lack of quorum
-Resolution 8 County Engineer being Authorized to enter onto private property adjacent to County Road Right of Way
-Resolution 9 County Engineer being Authorized to hire labor and proceed by Force Account
-Resolution 10 County Engineer furnishing Labor and Equipment to Townships and Municipalities
-Resolution 11 Appointment of Sanitary Engineer for WC, Ohio which is Todd Roth, effective from January 6, 2022, until re-org of 2023, cost not to exceed $16,551
-Resolution 12 Setting Monthly day and time for meetings at the Hillside Country Living to continue on the third Thursday of each month at 8:30 a.m.
-Resolution 13 Setting the Salary of the Members of the Veterans Services Commission for 2022. (Retcher clarified, ”There is an increase, but they have to start a new term, that the Veteran board proposed, before the salary becomes effective. So Josh King, his term is new as of January 1, so he will receive the $4,460.07, and the rest of them will remain at $3,774.58 until they start a new term.)
-Resolution 14 To designate the Official Representative and Alternate for the purpose of voting at the Annual Meeting of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio in 2022. Official is Lew Hilkert and Alternate is Terry Rummel.
-Resolution 15 Appointing members to the WC Department of Aging for the year 2022: Jim Watkins, Melissa Cronin, Crystal Matthews, Peg Bernath, Mary Mohre, Loralee Mercer and Mindy Martin
-Resolution 16 Expressing intent to conduct an internet auction for the sale of un-needed, obsolete or unfit county personal property in 2022
-Resolution 17 Appointment of Signatory to Farm Service Agency – Commissioner Hilkert
Leaving the Organizational meeting and moving into regular items, the commissioners approved:
-Resolution 18 Supplemental appropriations on behalf of the commissioners and JFS
-Resolution 19 Authorizing Fred Lord, Director of WC JFS to act as the WC Commissioners Designee for approving inter-county adjustments of allocated funds
-Resolution 20 Funding Award “Maggie Fisher submitted to the Board a fiscal year 2021 notification of a Grant Award from the Area Office on Aging to allow maximum flexibility during the pandemic. No additional funding has been allocated at this time so a copy of the award will be on file with Department of Aging.”
-Resolution 21 Entering into a contract agreement between JFS and Huntington Billboards for billboard advertisement to promote Fraud Awareness at a cost not to exceed $2795. The term will be January 31, 2022 through October 9, 2022.
-Resolution 22 Entering into an amendment to lease agreement between WC and SAA bright.net for the purpose of including maintenance of Hillside fiber as well as locations of service changes and to assign the agreement to Defiance Holdings, LLC.
-Minutes for previous meeting and payment of bills
They also signed: Dog warden report for December 27 – January 2; Monthly court costs for dog warden; December monthly report of all dogs seized, impounded, surrendered, redeemed, and destroyed; Insurance Coverage Letters in regards to new employees in JFS; Standard beginning of year letter for the order of the Board to the Ohio BMV gratis unit; Signature certification in regards to Rummel being President which will go to MVPO; letter to CCAO in regards to rep and alternate; monthly expenditures on behalf of the Prosecutor’s office for January; Ohio State Employment Relations Board 2022 Public Employer Annual Information Report; and Auditor’s office Financial report for December 2021.
Commissioner Hilkert mentioned the need for a resolution soon, to appoint two members to the WEDCO Board.
Following a short recess, in which the commissioners moved their chairs and name plates to accommodate their new positions, they went back into regular session.
Fred Lord, from Job and Family Services was present with three gentlemen, Pete Prichard, Jay Miller and Pastor Ben Harris, who were ready to give reports on their projects.
Prichard is the JFS Workforce Opportunities Director at Northwest State Community college. Miller is Prichard’s subordinate, in his words, and serves in Williams, Henry, Ottawa, Sandusky and Harding counties as the coordinator. He shared that he works closely with Fred Lord and Pastor Harris on some initiatives for Williams County.
Prichard said that it is a unique project that was created by “a handful of great directors at JFS” to help people in the (Comprehensive Case Management Employment Program) CCMEP/TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) money area to get them engaged in local wages with employers.”
“Basically, it is to help people get into the workforce instead of choosing not to get a job. The five counties developed it and work together to “better the community as a whole.” Now thirteen counties are involved.
The program helps employers set up apprenticeship and peer apprenticeship programs, to attract students from the school districts. They are focusing on helping young people between fourteen and eighteen mostly, but are also working up through the 18-24 year-olds as well.
Miller said, “One of the great collaborations that came out was working with Pastor Ben. He has got a lot of great ideas, for Montpelier especially.” Harris shared that he is very interested in helping families in difficult situations. Guiding them into finding work, developing a work ethic and joining the workforce is definitely needed in the area.
They are aiming to help the 30% that are choosing not to enter the workforce, for whatever reasons, and get them connected to the community with jobs. He is focused on getting the people the resources they need to move them in that direction.
A specific description of their goals was given by Miller, “a lot of irons in the fire, but the big thing right now is working with economic development to get employers engaged beyond the on the job training programs that are available, and actually look at a broader scope.
Commissioner Hilkert brought up the topic of transportation and it was agreed that this is often an issue. Many young people are choosing not to get a driver’s license and this makes it harder to hold a job.
Lord said that some of the CCMEP funds are available and used for transportation, helping students get their license, and providing vouchers. Prichard encouraged the commissioners in their effort to bring transportation to the county.
Harris pointed out that it saves money to send a counselor to a village, such as Montpelier, to work with the people, rather than sending 8 to 10 families a week to Bryan for the assistance or to fulfill a court order.
Following this portion of the day, the commissioners went into an Executive Session with Fred Lord, in regards to the compensation of personnel. No action was taken and the meeting adjourned for the day.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org