NCOR looks at first year

After nearly a year in existence, the North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments reflected on its accomplishments and looked at ways to continue its success in the future during its first annual meeting Tuesday morning.

NCORcog President John Davoli thanked chair Jim Lahoski for his vision and faith in the program.

“We are better together; we are stronger together,” Davoli said.

He said NCORcog applied for several Local Government Innovation Fund grant studies for the city and county, and was successful in getting an information technology grant that led to receiving a $500,000 loan to consolidate local governments’ technologies.

He said the council is currently working on a Safe Routes to School program and LGIF grants for a shared facility study and a natural gas study.

Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller spoke about an upcoming job fair, which is to take place noon-6 p.m. May 13 at Tiffin University’s Heminger Center.

He said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan and commissioners have been working together to bring a job fair to Tiffin.

Zoeller said the fair is a “three fold process” that is to unite employers and workers, promote the county and expose younger students to a professional setting.

He said there are about 425 jobs in Seneca County, including several high-paying factory positions, that employers are struggling to find hard working employees for who can pass a drug test.

Zoeller said he hopes to get 20 businesses to participate in the fair, including 8-10 manufacturers that are actively looking for employees. He said he wants to invite local high school students and students from Sentinel, Terra and Owens to the fair.

Randy Cole, president of the State of Ohio Controlling Board, spoke at the meeting about the importance of shared services.

“We are living in an age where sharing isn’t just something you should do, it’s something you have to do,” Cole said.

Cole said there are 44 types of government, 6,460 agencies, 20,230 elected officials and 671,300 government employees in Ohio in 2013.

“I’m not a know-it-all from Columbus,” he said. “I’m a guy who’s traveled the state and studied the stuff and seen wonderful things happen. My main message here is we’ve got to continue to connect the dots. And every time we hear something good happening some place, we have to see if we can do it in our community too.”

Also at the meeting, Davoli said NCORcog will have a healthcare update forum April 11, with Employee Benefits International President Jim Dustin as the featured speaker.