Congressman Anthony Gonzalez Visits City of Medina for Workforce Updates

Feb 25, 2019 | News, Newsletter

Barbara Dzur
City of Medina

 

The City of Medina hosted newly elected Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, who represents Ohio US District 16, for an economic development update visit on February 1, 2019.  The day began with a tour of the Medina County Career Center (MCCC), one of the top-rated Career Centers in Ohio. District Superintendent Steve Chrisman and Adult Education Director Peggy Reeves led the group that included city and school officials, Congressman Gonzalez’s staff, plus State Representative Darrell Kick whose district includes a portion of Medina County.

The tour focused on what the Career Center is doing to prepare a skilled workforce.  New programs, training adjustments to meet the skills needs of today’s businesses, technology advancements, and accelerated training options for both high school and adult students were pointed out as the tour progressed.  An example is Medina’s Optical Technology program, one of only two high school training programs in the State of Ohio training is this field. Multiple entry-level employment opportunities await the graduates of this program, or graduates can go on for more advanced training, including becoming an optometrist. All programs at the career center have an educational path that enables graduates to matriculate into college and/or earn college credits while still in high school.

The tour was followed by lunch at the career center and a discussion of workforce issues in Medina County and other concerns, such as funding for the Ohio Department of transportation. The Congressman shared his observations after being on the job for a short time and his insights into what to expect from the national level.

After lunch, the group traveled to FireDex, one of Medina fastest growing companies that has just completed a construction project in 2018 which doubled its building size to accommodate the hiring of 30 additional employees. Fire-Dex LLC, headquartered in Medina, is a leading manufacturer of head-to-toe protection for first responders, including turnout gear, rescue and wildland PPE, boots, hoods, gloves and helmets. After a meeting with company owner and CEO Bill Burke and Human Resources Manager Jamie Marks, the group was joined by State of Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof for a tour of the company.

As with many Medina manufacturers, FireDex is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers.  Marks shared that the company processes nearly 100 applicants for every hire that lasts more than 90 days.

In Memoriam – The Life of Dan Evers

I first met Dan in the fall of 2016.  I had moved to Central Ohio over the late holiday season in 2015 to begin serving as the new Director of GROW Licking County CIC, Dan’s former role.  I was immediately struck by many in the community who worried that I would “not be enough,” that the “shoes were too big,” and that “Dan was larger than life.”  And they were right. 

read more

OEDA 2022 Annual Excellence Awards – Call for Nominations

The Ohio Economic Development Association’s annual Excellence Awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations in Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development.  Submit your nominations today and have excellence in your community recognized statewide!

A panel of judges will evaluate the nominations, determine finalists, and select a winner for each of the categories noted below.  Award winners will be announced in conjunction with the 2022 OEDA Annual Summit, being held October 3-6 at the Exchange at Bridge Park in Dublin, Ohio. 

read more