Friday, June 15, 2001

Job-help programs get grants

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Gov. Bob Taft on Thursday announced $5 million worth of one-time grants for local employment centers statewide, citing Warren County's One-Stop Center as a model for others to follow.

        “Our future depends on how well we train our workers ...” Mr. Taft told Warren County officials and business leaders after a tour of the One-Stop. “You're making a difference with lives and you're making a difference for the state.”

        The One-Stop opened in a renovated former courthouse in Lebanon in 1997 to link job seekers with businesses that need workers. It also offers vocational training; adult education classes; small business development; and assistance finding help with housing, child care and other issues.

        Michele Kinsella, a 33-year-old Lebanon resident who came here from Germany, told Mr. Taft the One-Stop helped her get her GED and learn business skills. More than that, her teacher provides moral support.

        “She's starting to make me feel better because I'm a little frustrated about the English book,” Ms. Kinsella said with a slight accent.

        The $5 million will be distributed among Ohio's 88 counties based on population and geographic area, Mr. Taft said.

        The grants are part of a state work force initiative that also will include using One-Stop Director Sue Wettstein as a mentor for other local governments' efforts, said Dennis Evans, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.


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