Initiatives Moving Crawford County Forward

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Community is your local employment resource! It’s a comprehensive website for students, job seekers, and area businesses alike to connect, network, and find/share employment opportunities within the communities in Crawford, Richland, and Wyandot counties! The four pillars of Community Opportunity include local talent, local businesses, local schools, and local quality of life. Opportunity Awaits!

Workforce Awareness for Graduates and Educators Tours

WAGE Tours provides an in-person opportunity for local students to experience different businesses and industries in Crawford County, in addition to their online connection via Community To learn more or sign-up to be a WAGE Tour business, click here.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Crawford County is part of a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, or CEDS, with Ashland, Richland, and Wyandot counties. CEDS provides a vehicle for organizations, local governments, institutes of learning, and private industry to engage in meaningful conversations about what efforts would best serve economic development and expand the region’s funding options.

JobsOhio’s SiteOhio

SiteOhio authenticated sites are development-ready, meaning that each site is immediately approved for building.  Ohio Crossroads Industrial Center is home to a certified SiteOhio site. The Partnership has invested more than $10k for the environment and geotechnical certifications. This particular site is also recognized as an Austin Consulting Food and Beverage Certified site. To view details and information on SiteOhio available in Crawford County, click here.

Catalyst for Higher Education

The Crawford Partnership helped initiate and support efforts to bring and open the Crawford Success Center, a branch of North Central State College. The county has seen positive growth in median household income and an increase in educational attainment. The Success Center hosts local businesses, customized training, and educational programs in courses like STNA. Click here to connect directly with the Crawford Success Center!

Transporation Improvement District (TID)

In 2020, Crawford County created a Transporation Improvement District or CCTID. This program is offered through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), created by the Crawford County Commissioners, and will allow all Crawford County communities to receive gap funding for transportation projects. For upcoming meeting dates and times visit “Events and Development 101.”

Electric Vehicle Charging

The City of Bucyrus, along with the Crawford Partnership, utilized a $100,000 grant available through AEP to instill an EV charging station in downtown Bucyrus, The grant covered 100% of the project with no cost to the city or community members. The station is easily found with apps that locate charging stations and will create an opportunity for local businesses while community members and visitors charge. Recent data shows more than 200 vehicles have utilized the station, with an average of 22 minutes per charging session.

Imagination Library

Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library is starting a new chapter in childhood literacy, through their partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. You can sign up any child from birth to age five to receive a new book in the mail each month at no cost to you. Studies have shown that children with 25 books in the home are more likely to complete an additional two years of school than their peers.  The Crawford Partnership is pleased to support this program alongside Ohio Mutual Insurance Group, United Way, and Avita Health Foundation. Currently in Crawford County has 1,033 children registered, which is about 40% of the county. To learn more about enrolling and donating to
Crawford County’s Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, click here.

CU Lead

Each year Erin Stine, CU Lead facilitator, leads the 20-25 person cohort on a personal and professional experiential leadership journey. The program has 200+ alumni. CU Lead is an experiential program, and Crawford County is the classroom! Through the course of the program, participants will have the opportunity to develop leadership skills where horses are the catalyst, attend a one-day retreat, explore the county during the Road Rally, & gain a better understanding of their leadership skills & Crawford County during the Leadership in Action days! To learn more about the purpose of the program and or to register for the next cohort visit, click here.

Crawford Conversation

Lead by the Crawford Partnership, and often in collaboration with local and regional organizations, these conversations center around social issues like mental health and homelessness. For information on upcoming conversations visit our Events & Development 101 page.

Growing Together

Piloted through a partnership between the Crawford County Council on Aging and Sonshine Child Care and Preschool, “Growing Together” is an intergenerational effort in our community to plant gardens, grow plants, and cultivate relationships.

Crawford Reads 20

Crawford Reads 20 is dedicated to raising a community of readers by encouraging everyone to read to a child for at least 20 minutes each day from birth through elementary school.  This countywide literacy initiative is designed to positively impact the culture of the Crawford community and the way it values reading and academic success!  As of the mid-November 2021, 16,747 books have been distributed – to stay up-to-date and learn more, click here.

Crawford Co. Prevention Coalition & Suicide Prevention Coalition

The Crawford County Prevention Coalition’s mission is to encourage and implement safety and prevention efforts for youths, adults, and families by providing support, building awareness, and connecting resources in Crawford County. The Coalition is comprised of a diverse group of representatives from the community. The Crawford Partnership is proud to provide ongoing support as well as support events, initiatives, and projects.

For more on the Crawford County Prevention Coalition, click here. 

For more on the Crawford County Suicide Prevention Coalition, click here.

Freese Center

A sports and entertainment complex concept presented by the Galion Port Authority and The City of Galion.  The concept originated from the Crawford:20/20 Vision, a strategic plan, written by the Crawford Partnership. The Freese Center will be a 60,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art community complex for local and regional sports activity, as well as host conferences, tradeshows, events, and provide a space for our local youth to hold practice or host a game. Several studies have been completed including a report from the National Association of Sports Commission/Market Analysis for Multi-use Complex & a report from Sports Facilities Advisory/Institutional-grade Financial & Strategic Feasibility Planning. This complex will improve the quality of life for families and businesses in Crawford County via generating tourism revenue and recreation. For more information on this project, visit The City of Galion’s website, click here.

Crawford Co. Business & Education Advisory Council

The Crawford County Business/Education Advisory Council was established in 1994 to fulfill the 1989 mandate that every school district develop a business/education partnership to exchange information and project leadership. The Partnership’s Community Opportunity Workforce Development Director chairs the committee, allowing businesses and schools to come together for open communication, strategic collaboration, and focus on workforce readiness. For more information, click here. 

Leader in Me

The Leader in Me program is transforming the culture of our local schools, including Bucyrus City School District, Galion City Schools, and Wynford Local Schools. The Crawford Partnership is proud to help build our youngest local leaders! To learn more about the Leader In Me program, click here.

The Partnership Serves as a Hub

The Partnership serves a central hub for elected officials across the county, organizations, boards, superintendents, and more to come together – working to enhance Crawford County. Local businesses can also use the space for hiring events, onboarding, & training.

Crawford Works

Launched initially under the Crawford Partnership, Crawford Works is now a self-sustaining non-profit organization. The Partnership continues to support these efforts. Crawford Works has been created for the purpose of assisting all willing and capable individuals with advancing to economic self-sufficiency through employment. Click here for dates for the next free five-day Job Readiness Workshop and learn about the program!

Additional Economic Initiatives

  • Awarded AEP’s Ohio Economic Advancement Program grant three consecutive years.
  • Facilitated $225k in grants from JobsOhio and the Ohio Rail Development Commission for Appalachian Railcar Services.
  • Facilitated Brownfield Grants for Cater Machine, Lot on N. Sandusky Ave., Bucyrus, and Salvation Army
  • Site Assessment Certification in conjunction with AEP.
  • Galion’s Community Reinvestment Area (CRA)
  • Opportunity Zones: Montrose Group provided a value proposition with a focus on industrial park development.
  • Via JobsOhio Inclusion Grant, aided a local business to secure $25,000 for new machinery & equipment.
  • Through the Rural Industrial Park Loan Program a local business awarded $2.5M to demo old facility and build a spec building to attract new business.
  • The Partnership hosted & lead a Complete County Committee for the 2020 Census.
  • Alongside the Community Foundation for Crawford County created & administered an Emergency Loan Fund for businesses in Crawford County.

Additional Community Initiatives 

  • Supported the City of Bucyrus by investing $100k to remove an abandoned gas station and beautify the neighborhood.
  • Received more than a quarter of a million dollars via the Community Connectors Grant and invested in programming and development, including Leader in Me.
  • Collaborative efforts include Youth Leadership Council, working with the Bucyrus Area Chamber of Commerce and the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Collaborated with the Crawford Park District to apply for the ODNR’s Nature Works Grant and was awarded $46,944. These funds will allow for the first phase of  a multi-use trail at Unger Park.
  • In partnership with the Bucyrus Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Bucyrus, we are working to create Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA). Please note both the DORA boundaries & map are subject to change as the City determines the final application and the DORA cups & marketing in this video do not represent the actual cups. This video explains what a DORA is, how it can be used, and laws.   Check out this video!

Additional Workforce Initiatives 

  • The Partnership invested $5k Seneca Crawford Area Transportation (SCAT) in public transportation services to support the local workforce.
  • Previously hosted and managed Supervisor Boot Camp, offering training for businesses, non-profits, and government entities.
  • Supported efforts to enhance childcare offerings for the area workforce.
  • Partnering with local schools & higher education to create career pathways.

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Together, we can continue to enhance the livelihood of Crawford County for the individuals, families, and businesses that call our community home.