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Greenville High School CTC to Add Adult Workforce Training
District inaugurates county’s workforce development efforts with new program  
January 12, 2012 

GREENVILLE-  On Tuesday, the Greenville School Board’s approval of a service agreement with The ProtoGen Group for adult workforce training is now the first step towards a workforce development campaign for Darke County. According to Superintendent Susie Riegle, the school has been working with the county’s Partnering for Progress (P4P) initiative and with local business officials for months towards the new wrinkle for the Greenville Career Technical Center (CTC). 

“This contract, and the related work and research, are first steps towards making our CTC more responsive to the businesses in our community,” said Greenville Schools Superintendent Susie Riegle. “We are getting input from manufacturers throughout the county to ensure that we develop an effective program and curriculum.” 

The ProtoGen Group is a private training organization that provides training for business and industry and focuses primarily on manufacturing. Located in Russia, they also partner with other technical skills programs in the region, such as those offered at Upper Valley Career Center, so that duplication of effort is avoided.

ProtoGen is working with the Greenville High School CTC in the development of the adult training curriculum, which will grow over time as more local businesses and organizations provide input to the program. 

School officials are going all out to make sure they support that goal. 

“Our CTC Director Guy Parmigian is scheduling tours and meetings with local manufacturers so that the school staff can learn more about modern manufacturing and the environment it takes place in. We need to learn as much as we can about the context of what we’re providing,” explained Riegle. 

Though the effort only began late in 2011, there have already been developmental meetings with state and local workforce personnel and many of the county’s largest employers, including Midmark, Whirlpool, GTI, The FRAMGroup, and Ramco Motors. 

“The companies have been extremely giving of their time and have been more than happy to work with both the schools and the Partnership on a total workforce development plan for the county,” commented Darke County Economic Development Director Marc Saluk. “The schools’ efforts are an amazing first step but we will pursue any solution that helps get our workforce the skills they need.” 

According to Saluk, many area counties have plans in development to address a skills gap in western Ohio. According to Saluk, workforce personnel and the companies themselves all comment that, despite high unemployment in recent years, many positions locally go unfilled because the right skills to fill it are missing in the workforce. The same problem makes it more difficult for those that do have jobs to work their way up. 

Officials with Partnering for Progress, which initially approached the school district about expanding the Greenville CTC’s reach, say that the schools’ efforts are just a part of an overall focus on workforce development. Workforce personnel and the economic development office are making regular visits to employers to ensure they understand and can utilize the training programs in place for both new and existing workers. Additionally, various assessment programs are under consideration that could eventually positively impact both the hiring and training processes for local employers. Regardless of the tool, no program will move forward without the participation of the business community. 

“It’s an evolving process,” said Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers. “We need to better understand the specific needs of the businesses in our area and their specific requirements for their workforce. We also need to learn more about what programs work better than others. The key is to keep moving forward together until we have the most competitive workforce in Ohio.”

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