Licking County Connects Business and Industry Partners with Educators

‚ÄčPreparing students for the workforce, keeping greatness in Licking County and connecting business and industry professionals with educators is the purpose of the annual Licking County Workforce Summit which has been appropriately titled this year as "Licking County Connects!"

The event takes place next Wednesday, August 3rd at the Newark High School Commons. In a collaborative effort between the Educational Service Center, the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Means Jobs and the Workforce Development Innovation Center at Central Ohio Technical College, the mantra for the program is "Creating an unmatched collaboration between businesses and educators in Licking County."

Over the past few weeks, area business leaders completed a survey to track current and future workforce trends, and to also note what they see as the collaborative opportunities between industry and education. The Workforce Summit will reveal the findings in a conference that brings both forces together to address key issues that will result in findings to the primary question, "In what ways can businesses and schools connect to make Licking County the unmatched leader in collaboration?"

"Research reveals that the greatest impacts businesses are facing as a result of the skills shortage, are their ability to meet customer demand, their ability to maintain or increase production levels and their ability to implement new technologies while achieving productivity targets; therefore, we recognize it as the optimal time for industry in Licking County to renew a fierce focus on positioning their industries as viable career options, and this begins with communicating with educators and students," explained Vicki Maple, director of the Workforce Development Innovation Center at Central Ohio Technical College. "We further recognize there is not just one specific solution to overcome the skills gap issue, but a combination of strategies must be employed. A number of stakeholders from businesses, the community and academia must collaborate to address current and future issues together."

The Workforce Summit registration and continental breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. The welcome remarks by Kurt Harden, President and COO of MedBen, and the program will begin promptly at 8:00 a.m., with breakout sessions taking place at 9:50 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The final agenda items before lunch include a guided action team activity and remarks by Licking Memorial Health President and CEO Rob Montagnese. The facilitator for the day will be Jill Campen.

"We are still accepting business and industry registration," Maple elaborated. "It is critical to have a balance of educators and business professionals participating so we can bridge this gap together."

There is a $20 participation fee. Registration takes less than one-minute and is available at or at the following link: 

Payment can also be conveniently provided online at the following link:

Maple concluded, "We look forward to what the future holds for Licking County businesses and our students who are the future workforce of Central Ohio. By participating in a Workforce Summit like this, we confirm our commitment to serve the technical educational and workforce development needs of the communities we serve. We look forward to others joining us."

Central Ohio Technical College opened in 1971 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2016. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential.  COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.