GALION- Coming off a successful 2022, the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce has another busy year ahead of them.
Executive Director Miranda Jones reports the Chamber added 38 new members last year, propelling their largest-ever membership total to 383. Moving toward 400 members is the chamber’s new goal by the end of this year, aided by maintaining a strong retention of nearly 95%.
“It’s about strength in numbers,” Jones explained. “More members equal better functionality.”
Galion received a workforce grant late last year, and due to that, the Chamber has begun working closely with area schools via the Mid Ohio Educational Service Center (MOESC).
They will team up with industry-specific videos for schools to discuss the biggest in-demand jobs in the area, like senior care, manufacturing and hospital work.
“We have jobs right here in Crawford County that are readily available,” Jones said. “What can you expect, and what is the cost of living in Galion compared to a place like Columbus? The Columbus region will boom with Intel and Amazon building more data centers…so we need a secure way to keep our people living and working here in Crawford County.”
Starting in Quarter 4 of 2022, Jones’ team began the process of making connections with schools, businesses, and working quarterly with MOESC Special Projects Director Amy Wood to bridge the so-called gap between education and businesses.
Part of the effort involved working with 24 local teachers to attain continuing education credits via Ashland University, which can help teachers when they discuss potential careers with their students.
The Chamber also endeavors more activity in Crestline, with “Chamber chats” at the town’s local coffee shop, making residents aware of area business, events, and helping people build their network.
This starts with the Forecast Breakfast, a collaborative business update in Bucyrus, hosted by their chamber on Feb. 22.
Lastly, annual Galion-area events that people look forward to also will return in 2023, including Third Fridays in Uptowne, running from June to September; the annual Chamber meeting in May at The Hub at Village Square; the 21st annual golf outing June 22 at Valley View Golf Course; and more.