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

Alex Jones, Director

Acting as the public ambassador for Firelands Forward and responsible for facilitating the collective success of the regional effort, Alex oversees the staff and systems of the Firelands Forward workforce Collaborative.

Alex is a 2009 graduate of Sandusky High School, and a 2013 graduate of Ashland University, where he majored in Political Science and History. He was a scholar member of the nationally recognized Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs. In his professional career, Alex brings experience working as a Public Relations Liaison for the Ohio Auditor of State’s office, where he worked in 15 counties across Northwest Ohio, including Erie and Huron. Most recently he was the Parent and Community Liaison for Sandusky City Schools. Alex lives in Sandusky with his wife Alexa, an educator at Perkins High School, and their dog Zeus.

Kelleigh Beatty, Project Coordinator

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 is responsible for managing the Advisory Board and Work Groups, and building collective impact capacity across both Erie and Huron counties.

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, and races with the Sandusky Sailing Club.

Regional Support


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

Move Forward With Us.