Funds sought to retrain ORV workers

Published 10:59 am Friday, June 24, 2011

CAO promotes community services

The decision is final. The Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility will close as part of an effort to reduce a multi-billion dollar state budget shortfall.

Now county officials are focused on getting funds to help those employees from Lawrence County facing unemployment to get back on their feet.

Recently Gene Myers of the Job and Family Services joined forces with the Scioto County Community Action Organization to apply for federal retraining and relocation funds.

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“We attached to a WIA (application) so we could provide something,” Myers said.

Out of the more than 300 staff members at the center about 70 of them live in Lawrence County. They would be eligible for the WIA funds for training or covering costs to move to a new job.

The county could receive between $500,000 to $700,000 in federal WIA funds.

“That’s what been applied for,” Myers said. “Just because we have that amount doesn’t mean that’s what we’ll need.”

That local application goes to the state, which then forwards it to the Department of Labor and its National Emergency Grant program.

At its Thursday meeting Lawrence County Commissioners approved designating the county’s CAO as the WIA fiscal agent as requested by Myers.

On Tuesday Gov. John Kasich reaffirmed the state’s decision to shut down the Franklin Furnace center, about a day after county commissioners, Ironton’s mayor and State. Rep. Terry Johnson met with state officials to plead the case for keeping the center open.

Commission President Les Boggs faulted the state for not showing the logic behind the decision to close the facility.

“We saw a five-to-10 minute presentation,” Boggs said. “Really there was no reason why. We are not happy but now people know what they have to do.”

Jim Malone, coordinator of community services for the CAO, told commissioners that with the tough economic times the CAO is actively promoting a variety of programs it has available from medical care to energy bill assistance to WIC. He provided commissioners with information to offer when they received constituent calls for help.

“We are going out into the community and aggressively telling folks now about our services,” Malone said. “We try to focus on one-stop service. … If we don’t utilize those programs, we don’t want those funding sources to stop.”

In other business, the commissioners:

• Received to study a request by the American Red Cross requesting a $5,010 matching contribution that it said in a letter could meet the needs of six county families of four for one week. That assistance would be broken down into $115 for food, $520 for clothing and shoes and $200 for three days of shelter for each family;

• Accepted the resignation of EMS employees, Christopher Crump and Chris Howell;

• Hired Alexander Degutis, Bayli McDowell and Albert Hager II as part-time EMTs for the EMS at a rate of $9 an hour;

• Proclaimed June 30 as Joe Black Day in recognition of the Soil and Water Conservation District. Black is retiring at the end of the month;

• Received the weekly dog warden’s report where 40 dogs were destroyed; three were sold and two were redeemed by their owners. This week there were 89 dogs in custody.