Innovative Program Targeting Training, Jobs and Hunger Receives Prestigious State Award

Aug 27, 2018 | News, Newsletter

Cathy Petersen
Montgomery County

 

Montgomery County’s Job Training and Urban Garden Enhancement Program Honored by OCC

 

 

Montgomery County’s “Trucks and Tomatoes” Job Training and Urban Garden Enhancement Project is the recipient of the 2018 President’s Award for Innovative Practices by the Ohio Conference on Community Development.

The “Trucks and Tomatoes” Project is the result of a partnership between Montgomery County, the Dayton Foodbank, Butler Technology and Career Development Schools, and Central State University (CSU), with support from private sector trucking companies.

Like many communities, Montgomery County faces a shortage of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers.  The County Commissioners recognized that need, identified partners, established a plan and found other benefits, as well.

“The Trucks and Tomatoes project started with a goal of providing life-changing CDL credentials to low-income and unemployed individuals, and it quite literally grew into so much more,” said County Commissioner Judy Dodge.  “We are investing in people through partnerships that provide critical training, jobs and food in our community.”

Butler Tech provides the training while Central State University provides the classroom space, and, in exchange for moving and expanding its community garden, the Dayton Foodbank provides the paved parking area.  In addition, Butler Tech executed a ground lease with the Foodbank and pays $6,000 annually for use of the driving pad. This contribution is used to provide 24,000 meals for needy families in the Dayton Region.

Butler Tech held its initial CDL training class at the Foodbank site in July 2017. Twenty-two students have completed the training. Candidates typically have job offers, often with starting wages between $40,000 and $50,000.

This innovative program was funded in part by Montgomery County’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), with additional leverage from Montgomery County general revenue funds.

OCCD is an association of more than 160 community and economic development professionals representing cities, counties, villages, non-profit organizations and consulting firms across Ohio. The OCCD Member Awards were created to formally recognize those community development professionals who have made the greatest difference in their communities and in Ohio.

The 2018 award was presented at the OCCD’s Annual Summer Luncheon and Banquet held July 25, 2018 in Sandusky, Ohio.

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. 

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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. 

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