Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Workforce Training Money Available

Workforce Training Money Available

More than 80,000 Ohio employees have already been trained through the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program and now the state is making a third round of funding available to businesses. This program will make $29.4 million available in Fiscal Year 2015 for employers to enhance the skills of their employees.

The Ohio Development Services Agency will reimburse the employer for up to 50 percent of the eligible training costs, up to $4,000 per employee, after 1) the employer pays the full cost of the training, and 2) the employee successfully completes the training. The maximum amount an employer may qualify for in a fiscal year is $250,000. The company must be in operation for at least 12 months in Ohio to participate.

A pre-application is now available beginning September 15, 2014 for businesses who want financial help to train their current workforce. Applications for the grant program will be accepted for review on September 30, 2014 beginning at 10:00 a.m. 

For more information about the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program visit http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_wtvp.htm.  

For additional assistance, contact Shannon Vanderpool at (614) 644-8560 or Shannon.Vanderpool@development.ohio.gov,  Jennifer Spohr at (614) 466-4184 or Jennifer.Spohr@development.ohio.gov, or Julia Hinten at (614) 728-4878 or  Julia.Hinten@development.ohio.gov

Please note that we have made some positive changes to this year’s application:
·         Eligible NAICS codes are being provided for potential applicants to verify eligibility before applying.
·         Names of individuals being trained along with the last four digits of their SSN, date of birth, and verification of wages are no longer being collected in the application. Rather, they are collected at the time of the reimbursement request. This will make the application process less tedious and reduce the number of amendments being requested.
·         The Window of training has been extended from 11 months to 17 months (August 1, 2014 – December 31, 2015). 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chamber Issues Endorsements

The Board of Directors for the Licking County Chamber of Commerce recently voted to endorse the following community levies appearing on the November 4 ballot:

Licking County Library - This is a 1 mill continuing operating levy (renewal).  The first ever operating levy was put on the ballot on May 4, 2010 and passed by 51%.  It was a 1 mill, 5-year levy. The proposed use will be to maintain public library services at all six locations including:  Main Library, Buckeye Lake, Hebron, Emerson R. Miller (west Newark), Mary E. Babcock (Johnstown), Hervey Memorial (Utica) as well as the bookmobile.  The passage of a continuing levy will provide stable long-term funding for the Licking County Library.  

Citizens for Seniors - This is a 1.2 mill, 5-year renewal levy.  The first senior services levy was passed in 1985.  The issue has appeared on the ballot 8 times and has passed each time.  The most recent issue was on the ballot in 2009 and passed with 54.4% of the vote.  Funds from this levy must be used for providing or maintaining senior citizens services or facilities.  The 2010 census showed that 19.8% of Licking County's population was age 60 or older.  The 2020 projections show that rising to 23%.  Approximately 8,000 seniors are provided with service from the Aging Program in Licking County each year.  The Aging Program currently provides 1,000 meals to seniors each day.

Citizens for Children Services - This is a 1 mill, 10-year, replacement levy.  The children services levy was first passed as a 1 mill levy in 1985 for a ten-year period.  In both 1995 and 2004, a 1 mill replacement levy was passed by voters for another 10 years.  In 2013, 1,937 reports of abuse and neglect involving more than 3,000 children occurred in Licking County.  Funds are utilized to assist in the direct care of abused and neglected children by providing funds for children in foster care, aids in adoption services and supportive services such as assistance with shelter and health services.

The Chamber Board of Directors urges you to support these vital community issues by voting YES on November 4, 2014.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Walking In My Shoes. . .Leadership and the Week Ahead

Last week flew by, given Monday was Labor Day and the Chamber was closed for the day.  So, like you, I tried to fit five days of work into four.  I had meetings every single morning and many others throughout the four-day work week.

A lot of my time was spent planning for this week.  Below is what will occupy most of my time this week:

Board Meetings

I serve as a Board member on several local Board of Directors.  This week, I have The Works Board meeting and the Chamber has our Board meeting this week.  For the Chamber's Board meeting, it is a shortened agenda, since we also have our Board and Staff Retreat immediately following the Board meeting.  This is the first meeting of the fiscal year for us.  In addition to our standard items, we will be adopting a new Financial Resolution, giving fiscal authority to the new officers - Caroline Fraker, Chair; Luke Baus, Chair-Elect and Jim Mitchell, Treasurer.  They are excellent leaders and I look forward to working with them over the next 12 months.  The Board will also be asked to consider endorsing three community levies which include the Children's Services Levy; the Senior Citizens Levy and the Licking County Library Levy.  

Strategic Planning/Board and Staff Retreat

As I mentioned above, we have a Board and Staff Strategic Planning session this week.  Although some might find this as exciting as getting your teeth pulled, I enjoy it.  It energizes me because as a Board of Directors, we get to review the past year.  We have had many successes, but we also weren't able to accomplish everything we planned to get done over the past 12 months.  It is important to do a review before looking forward, in my opinion.  Just because you weren't able to check something off of your to-do list, doesn't mean it is a dead issue.  You may want to considering placing it back on your list, but it may need modified from the previous version. Planning sessions also allow for major creativity, which isn't always the case in standard Board meetings, when the focus isn't necessarily on planning. I will be sharing our road map with the membership next month.

Community Leadership of Licking County

September of each year marks the first class of our Community Leadership of Licking County program.  The Chamber has been operating this program for close to 30 years and have graduated over 600 leaders throughout our county.  Participants will learn a great deal about themselves and their leadership skills, talents and styles, as well as become educated about all the wonderful assets Licking County has to offer that they may never have known.  I am the Director of this program and truly enjoy getting to know a new class of leaders each fall.  Look for updates and photos throughout the year on our Facebook page, twitter feed (@ChamberofC) or on LinkedIn.

Have a great week!

As always, please feel free to contact me anytime at the Chamber 740-345-9757 x5 or email chottinger@lickingcountychamber.com.  Please follow us on Twitter - @ChamberofC and @Chambercheri.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Come Fly With Us. . .

. . .to the Canadian Rockies.

The Licking County Chamber invites you to join us for a 6 day getaway to the Canadian Rockies June 21 - 26, 2015.

You will visit places like Banff, Bow Falls, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Valley of the Ten Peaks, Yoho National Park, Calgary and more.

Your trip includes 5 nights at a first class hotel in Banff; round trip air fair from Columbus and 7 meals.

Tour rates are $2195 per person double occupancy

Sound interesting?  Join us for an informational meeting on October 9, 2014 from 6 - 7 p.m. at the Licking County Library, located at 101 West Main Street in downtown Newark.

Questions?  Please call Cheri at 740-345-9757 x5

Monday, August 25, 2014

Job Opening at the Chamber

The Licking County Chamber of Commerce is looking for a highly motivated professional to retain and recruit members.

TITLE:  Membership Services Specialist


-Maintain an extensive knowledge of all chamber benefits, programs and events
-Membership database administration
-Update social media sites
-Enhance and promote affinity partnerships
-Assist in membership recruitment activities
-Administrative duties as assigned


Candidate must be detail oriented, proficient in Microsoft Office, social media, database administration and possess exceptional verbal and written communication skills.  Candidate must have a high school diploma and bring a minimum of 3 years relevant experience.

This is a part-time position, 20 - 24 hours per week.  Salary range $13-$15 per hour
For consideration, submit a cover letter and resume via mail or email only, to:
Licking County Chamber of Commerce
Cheri Hottinger, President
P.O. Box 702
Newark, OH 43058-0702

Deadline to apply is September 19, 2014

Walking In My Shoes. . .at the Chamber

I often get asked "What is happening at the Chamber?" or "What does the Chamber do?"  Because my days are never repetitive, it is sometimes hard for me to give a short answer.  I often think if only someone could walk in my shoes for a day. . .

Although I can't "share my shoes" with you, I can give you some insight into my weekly activities at the chamber, or the inside scoop on what I am working on from week to week.  I plan to post weekly updates in hope that you can be more informed about what I do at the chamber, as well as share opportunities for you to get involved.

Hope you enjoy a look into my world. . .

Week of August 25, 2014

Creating Interest in Manufacturing

You may or may not know this, but the manufacturing industry in Licking County is thriving.  We have many companies who are expanding and looking for skilled workers.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that with a large pool of workers retiring, we are having a problem finding skilled workers to fill all of these positions.

The chamber, in partnership with many others, is working on a manufacturing campaign.  The first phase will be implemented at the high school level.  We are currently working on a video that will be shown to juniors and seniors at two high schools to help encourage them to enter the manufacturing field.  Last week we filmed at Screen Machine Industries.  This week we will be filming at Owens Corning and The Bionetics Corporation.  Thanks to Stand Alone Media House for producing this video.  I will be sharing this video on our website once it is completed, which should be in early October.

Endorsement Requests

November 4 will be here before we know it.  In addition to candidates running for office, there are many community issues which will appear on the ballot.  The Chamber has received three endorsement requests for the general election.  This week our Government Affairs Committee will be conducting endorsement interviews with the Licking County Library, Children's Services Levy Committee and the Senior Citizens Levy.  They will be making their recommendations to the Chamber's Board of Directors, who make all endorsement decisions.  Look for an announcement regarding these endorsements in the September/October newsletter.

Welcome Aboard

The Chamber's fiscal year comes to a close at the end of this month.  A special thank-you to those Board Members who have served two, two-year terms and are leaving the Board this month:  Lindsay Englefield with First Federal Savings; Connie Hawk with the Licking County Foundation and Jack Stickle with Henderson, VanAtta, Stickle Funeral and Cremation Services.  In addition to those three, my Chairman, Mike Massaro with Tectum, Inc. will finish his reign as well.  Mike has been a great leader for the chamber this year.  These vacancies will be filled by three new individuals coming aboard beginning September 1.  They are:  Andrew Guanciale with Coldwell Banker King Thompson; Pat Jeffries, consultant; and Ryan West with First Federal Savings.  This week I will be conducting Chamber Board Orientation for the three newcomers.  In addition, I will be welcoming Caroline Fraker with MedBen as my new Chairman.  I am looking forward to working with these outstanding community leaders.

If you have any questions or comments about the information I have shared, please feel free to contact me via this blog, email at chottinger@lickingcountychamber.com or call me at 740.345.9757 x5.  I would love to hear from you.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Small Business Loan Program Available in Newark, Ohio

The City of Newark announces the availability of grant funds through the 2014 Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

The City of Newark Development Department and Park National Bank have partnered to create a citywide Small Business Loan Guarantee Program for small, for-profit businesses located in Newark, Ohio.  In order to make loans more readily available, the City will use funding to offer loan guarantees on various types of business loans provided by Park National Bank.  Applicants are not limited in the type of projects to which the loans may be applied.

The program is intended to encourage economic development through the establishment of new businesses and growth of existing businesses.  Loan proposals with a positive effect on job creation and retention, the abatement of building deterioration, and service to low-moderate income individuals will be viewed most favorably by the Development Department.  Loan proposals must be consistent with federal, state, county, and local regulations including zoning, building, health and safety codes.  The approval of applications will be determined at the discretion of the City of Newark Development Department.

The loan guarantees offered by the Development Department shall range between $1,000 and $5,000.  The loan guarantee shall cover a maximum of 25% of the loan provided by Park National Bank.  For the purposes of this program, the loans offered shall range between $4,000 and $50,000. 

The City of Newark has issued a request for applications beginning on July 28, 2014 and ending on December 19, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. 

Please make note of the following requirements:

  • Businesses must be for-profit entities.
  • Businesses shall have between zero and fifty existing employees.
  • Businesses must be located in the City of Newark.

The application materials will soon be on the City of Newark website here: http://www.newarkohio.net/city-services/departments/development/programs/economic-development/small-business-loan-program