April 23, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
47°F

Ohio Means Jobs signage to cost taxpayers

Local taxpayers will have to foot most of the bill for new signs, stationery and other items required by state-mandated changes at the Medina County Job and Family Services’ Workforce Development Center in Medina Township.

At Monday’s county commissioners meeting, Workforce Development Director Bill Hannigan said a state law passed early this year transforms the state’s county employment services centers to Ohio Means Jobs hubs. Ohio Means Jobs is the state’s employment database for unemployed workers and businesses looking to hire.

The change means that by March 26, the Workforce Development office at 3721 Pearl Road will need new signs, website design, letterhead, business cards, posters, brochures, manuals, new-client folders and other items.

The state offered a one-time stipend of $6,000 to cover the cost of new signs.

“We put the funding source in place with signage in mind because we knew the signage would be a one-time expense that is a larger expense,” Johnson said.

But Hannigan said the county will have to pay the other costs — and it won’t be cheap.

He said they are seeking estimates but expects the greatest cost will be reprinting the thousands of folders they use for information packets given to new job-seekers.

He said some costs can be eliminated by using desktop publishing software to design letterheads with the Ohio Means Jobs logo.

Hannigan said he hopes to pay some of the costs with money from the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, though those funds have been dwindling along with state dollars for the past several years.

Hannigan said that despite the costs, the change does make sense.

“Even if people move, they will see the name and understand the services they can obtain by going to the center,” he said.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services spokesman Benjamin Johnson agreed, saying the benefits of the changes outweigh the costs.

“We think it will make it easier to identify the employment centers, no matter what part of the state you live in or do business in,” he said. “We know that some counties will have costs they bear themselves, but in the long run this will pay off for all counties and the statewide system.”

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.