BUCYRUS – Ohio Mutual Insurance Group surprised local non-profit Crawford Works — and 130 guests at last week’s “Evening of Impact” — with a $12,000 donation to kick-start the non-profit’s public awareness and impact campaign. The Ohio Mutual donation will provide 12, one-year scholarships to people in the community who are seeking job readiness, life skills, and employment coaching services from the non-profit created in 2016 to assist people to economic self-sufficiency and self-reliance.
After a successful pilot of its program, which is based on the successful Cincinnati Works model, Crawford Works is telling its story to the community, and it is a story worth telling. During the Oct. 23 program
Crawford Works recognized 20 members for “staying on the job” a year or more.
“Sustained employment is the major program objective of Crawford Works, so we wanted to recognize our members who have valued work enough in their lives to stay employed,” said Robin Hildebrand, board advisor.
The keynote was delivered by Beth Gifford, former Crawford County resident and CEO of Columbus Works. During her presentation, Gifford shared the importance of providing pathways and support services for community members who have not had the opportunity to experience “the dignity of work.” According to Gifford, who has more than 20 years of experience in the human capital management industry, nearly 4 out of 10 people in Ohio do not go to work, which contributes to significant manpower gaps as companies struggle to meet production demands due to the lack of able-bodied workers.-
Gary Frankhouse, executive director of the Crawford Partnership, echoed Gifford’s remarks.
“In Crawford County, the number of able-bodied people who do not go to work is slightly higher than the statewide rate of 37%, so the need to transition people to sustained employment is very real and apparent. Crawford Works is the only local resource designed to go the distance with individuals; supporting them until sustained employment and economic self-sufficiency are achieved.”
Pat Hord, Crawford Works Board chairman and CEO of Hord Family Farms, told business and community leaders that Crawford Works was implemented as a pilot program to see if the Cincinnati-based program could be modeled and adapted to a county the size of Crawford.
“As an employer partner, I’ve personally seen the impact that Crawford Works has had for members of our own team, and I’m proud to serve on the Board, representing our company. When we look at the heart of the challenges we face in workforce development, attraction and retention of talent, I believe Crawford Works is a crucial part of the solution.”
Annie Carter, Crawford Works board member and owner of Carter Machine, urged fellow business leaders and community members to get involved.
“The results of the Crawford Works pilot are compelling,” said Carter. “I believe we have a responsibility and an opportunity as community and business leaders to invest, to engage, and to act in order to move our industries and our communities forward.”
“A strong, vibrant work force is key to the on-going health of our local community and economy,” said Todd Boyer in presenting Ohio Mutual’s donation. “We believe in the mission of Crawford Works, and support the vision of those who brought it to Crawford County.”
For more information or to help Crawford Works make a difference in our County Community – “One Life a Time”, contact Crawford Works at [email protected] or call 419-569-9427.