West Side Business News & Notes
More than 9,000 job seekers assisted by Goodwill; annual meeting planned
WEST AKRON — In 2013, Goodwill Industries Serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties helped 9,004 individuals through a number of services that offer assistance to people struggling to find employment, including soft skills training, job training programs, financial coaching, job placement and work experience programs, according to Goodwill officials.
The agency will formally present 2013 service numbers at its Annual Meeting and Celebration of Champions event March 27.
“We take pride in our mission to help individuals prepare for, find and retain employment,” said Nancy Ellis McClenaghan, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries Serving Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties. “We continually look for ways to increase and improve the services Goodwill offers to help individuals become more successful in relation to their employment goals.”
In 2013, Goodwill placed 489 individuals in positions at area businesses and provided 247 program participants with training and work experience within Goodwill’s Retail and Contract Services operations.
The agency will honor successful program participants and recognize businesses that have partnered with Goodwill to provide skills training opportunities, hired Goodwill graduates or used the agency’s services to help recruit qualified applicants at the annual meeting, which will take place at Portage Country Club, 240 N. Portage Path. The event will begin with networking at 5 p.m., followed by the program at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30. To register, visit bit.ly/Goodwillannualmtg or call 330-724-6995
LearningRx Akron/Bath introduces new owner
According to center officials, Buie became familiar with LearningRx in North Carolina, where he and his family previously resided. The nearest LearningRx center was hours away at that time, and the distance prevented them from enrolling their son in the training program. On returning to his hometown of Akron, Buie and his wife, Sharon, enrolled their son, who faced struggles with learning and schoolwork, at LearningRx Akron/Bath, according to center officials.
Pleased with the results, Buie learned the business was for sale and purchased it.
“It was an easy decision for me to make once I was able to witness the incredible changes in our son’s life,” he said. “We had searched long and hard to find answers to our concerns. With deep gratitude we found those answers in the LearningRx program.”
Buie formerly owned and operated a ServiceMASTER business in Connecticut and has owned a long-term care insurance business for the last 13 years. He will lead the existing training staff with the intent of increasing the scope and reach of LearningRx’s services.
“I feel honored to have this opportunity to provide a solution to families that struggle with frustration and feelings of hopelessness regarding their children’s education and their futures,” he said. “We have real solutions that meet learning challenges head on and overcome them.”
LearningRx Akron/Bath is in its 10th year of business serving Akron and surrounding areas. It is located at 150 Springside Drive, Suite B-240. More information is available at www.learningrx.com/akron-bath or by calling 330-668-9711.
Contest open for food entrepreneurs
TOLEDO — Through a simple entry form, any aspiring food entrepreneur has the opportunity to bring his or her product to grocery store shelves through the Northeast Ohio Food Contest.
The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) is being assisted by the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen (CCLK) in conducting a contest that showcases Northeast Ohio-based food products ready for food manufacturing.
Contestants will submit a form outlining details of their recipe based on the viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, marketability and overall appeal to the marketplace. Finalists will then be invited to present their business concept and food product to a panel of judges.
The contest winner will receive technical and business development assistance to help advance a product to the marketplace, as well as samples of product to be used for consumer feedback.
Production will take place at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) in Bowling Green or CCLK in Cleveland. The NOCK and CCLK are commercially licensed kitchens that educate and provide technical assistance to new and growing food businesses.
The deadline to submit the completed application is Feb. 21 (only one product per applicant). Obtain an application form along with rules/regulations at www.ciftinnovation.org, or call 419-535-6000, ext. 117, for more information. Applicants within the 18-county Northeast Ohio region will be considered.
Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.
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