BUCYRUS — The Crawford Works board of directors has named Heather Smith the organization’s new executive director. She has been transitioning into this leadership role since she began employment with the organization in October 2019.
“Heather brings both professional and personal experience to the organization that makes her the ideal fit for the position,” said Patrick Hord, Crawford Works board president and co-founder. Smith was previously employed with Avita Health System for 17 years; having spent seven of those years in a leadership role. She earned her master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University in 2019, and is currently pursuing an MBA.
“I lived in Galion the majority of my life,” Smith said. “I had my first son when I was 14, my second son at 15, and my third son when I was 17; Needless to say, I wasn’t a typical high school student. With the support of my grandparents, I was able to continue going to high school until my senior year.
”Family support was critical and the positive influence and unconditional love that my grandparents provided my children and me was priceless. This personal experience allows me to empathize with many of the challenges facing Crawford Works members, and motivates me to work within the Crawford Works framework to make a positive difference.”
Crawford Works is a non-profit organization formed in 2016 by a group of local business and community leaders to help people find a way out of poverty and to a place of self-sufficiency, dignity, and hope through employment.
Crawford Works is fully funded by donations from individual donors, employer partners, and community partners including the Community Foundation for Crawford County and the United Way. Donated local office and workshop space has been generously provided by First Federal Community Bank of Bucyrus, and the Crawford Success Center, a campus of North Central State College.
Individuals and families that find themselves in a vicious cycle of poverty and dependency on public assistance do not usually have the ability to simply lift themselves out of their circumstances. Crawford Works uses a proven approach and is designed as “a hand-up rather than a hand-out” that is modeled after the proven and successful Cincinnati Works program, which has developed a business model that is research-based, accountable, outcome driven, and includes unique services that are both employer-focused and holistic.
“At Crawford Works, our mission is to partner with willing and able individuals who are living in poverty, to assist them in advancing to economic self-sufficiency through employment,” Smith said. “Everyone has barriers to overcome throughout their life – some more than others. It is important to remember that one’s current situation is not necessarily their final destination.” To learn more about Crawford Works, visit their website at www.crawfordcoworks.com or call 419-310-4653.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. on April 8, 2020 at the Crawford Works office located at 115 South Sandusky Avenue, Bucyrus.