TRUMBULL COUNTY Funding halts job center proposal
The process of certifying one-stop centers is to begin this summer.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
HOWLAND -- There's no money to help Trumbull County build a one-stop center for job training and welfare agencies, but the county is still expected to do it, or join forces with another city or county.
"We have to find ways to fund the concept at the local level. There is no two ways about it," Tom Hayes, director of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services told local officials Monday.
A plan to put under one roof all Trumbull County government offices that help the unemployed has been studied for more than two years.
The site would include offices for Jobs and Family Services, the Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Workforce Investment Act.
At a standstill
Local officials envision the center as a sort of labor marketplace, where temporary agencies, military recruiters, charitable organizations and colleges and technical schools could also set up offices, but the plans have been at a standstill since the county commissioners got results of an architect's evaluation of three potential building sites this spring.
They hoped money would be available from the state.
Hayes offered about 350 displaced ODJF employees and $10 million for equipment to fill one-stop offices throughout the state, but no money to create the centers.
The process of certifying one-stop centers is to begin this summer. By the end of the certification process -- which would minimally require a location where people can walk in for access to a range of state and federal services -- Hayes said he expects about 50 one-stop centers in the state.
The centers could also have satellite locations or offer information over the Internet or computers in public places, like libraries, he said.
The committee, which spent two years pondering a one-stop center for Trumbull County, hoped that the cost of constructing or renovating a building could be covered by rent payments from the agencies housed there.
To make the plan work, the expense of moving the different county agencies to a single building would have to be offset in part by savings from job cuts, said Michael O'Brien, a county commissioner. Some receptionist and janitorial positions, for example, could be duplicated if agencies were moved to the same building, he said.
County commissioners also never settled on where a center would be.
Although the architect recommended a vacant building in the Ridgeview Plaza on U.S. 422, commissioners O'Brien and Joseph Angelo Jr. have said they would oppose moving the county offices from downtown Warren.