Firelands Forward

North Central Ohio

Regional Workforce Development Initiative

About Us


Grow our region’s economy by connecting a stable skilled and supported labor force to meaningful and sustaining employment


Drive economic growth through innovative regional workforce strategies.

What We Do

Address immediate & future workforce needs of the Firelands region

Build on existing economic & workforce development work

Enable the region to develop strategies for a continuous talent pipeline

Kelleigh Beatty              Manager, Talent Initiatives

Kelleigh joined the team in 2020 as the project coordinator of Firelands Forward, a new regional workforce development initiative housed by ECEDC. In this role, she was responsible for managing the Advisory Board and Work Groups, and building collective impact capacity across both Erie and Huron counties. As the project has expanded into new territory and new project areas, Kelleigh now manages innovative talent initiatives of all kinds.

She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Political Science from Miami University, with a concentration in Public Administration. At Miami, she was the assistant editor of an international academic journal, worked in the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs, and was an advocate for public universities at the federal and state level. A Sandusky native, Kelleigh is an avid sailor.

Makenna Laser              Manager, Communications and Business Services

Makenna joined the team in 2021 as the Manager of Communications and Business Services. In this role, she works in business outreach in Erie, Huron, and Ottawa Counties. Her goal is to face workforce issues head-on, utilizing her skills in human resources, marketing, and communications. 

Makenna is a graduate of Norwalk St. Paul High School. She worked for her family’s business, Dave’s Food Mart Norwalk & Avery, before taking this role. She lives in Norwalk with her husband Joshua, a concrete finisher. Together they have two dogs – June and May.

Regional Support


  • Cedar Fair
  • Civista Bank
  • Erie County Community Foundation
  • Firelands Regional Medical Center
  • Huron County Commissioners
  • Lake Erie Shores & Islands
  • Mylander Foundation
  • Ottawa County Improvement Corporation
  • Randolph J. & Estelle M. Dorn Foundation
  • Schlink Foundation
  • Wightman /Wieber Foundation

Move Forward With Us.