Find the Employees You Need

We serve as an extension of your HR team, making direct and

meaningful connections to grow your company through a stable,

skilled, and supported workforce.

Serving all employers in Erie, Huron & Ottawa Counties, our connections

span our labor shed, from Cleveland to Toledo, and the resources we can

access go beyond that. Utilize our team as your company’s concierge for in-

depth data services, workforce/training grant connection, strategic recruiting

methods, employment barrier solutions and all the connections and

resources you need.

Join Our Employer Resource Network!

Employer Resource Networks® are private-public consortia whose purpose is improved workforce retention through employee support and training. We’re excited to partner with ERN Ohio to grow our first network dediated to supporting our workforce with resources and services including childcare, transporation, financial assitance, housing and more. 

Employer Services

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

Recruiting & Placement

We utilize our regional network and resources to head hunt for you. We help with marketing of  job descriptions, access to LinkedIn Recruiter, direct connection to graduating seniors (college & High School)  and more.

Data Services

Utilize Firelands Forward access to extensive labor market data to make informed decisions in your hiring process. We conduct wage analysis, job description comparables, and more in-depth, custom data services.

Resource Connection

In today’s workforce system there are an abundance of technical and financial resources available for your company. Firelands Forward can serve as your “concierge” in navigating and applying for all kinds of workforce and training grants. Also utilize our deep connections across trade groups and young professionals groups to see what further opportunities may be awaiting you.

Front Line Retention Work Group

Low wage frontline workers often face challenges securing supports such as childcare and transportation which enable them to be productive employees which can prevent them from advancing into higher paying roles with more stability.

This Work Group will work to improve the connection to and use of supportive services by low frontline workers and development of intentional pathways to advancement for qualified frontline workers which lead to higher wages in targeted industries in the Firelands region.

Current Projects

Projects should serve frontline workers, with a focus on those earning wages $25,000 or less. Additionally, the Work Group should select a subset of industries to focus on which have advancement opportunities for frontline workers and/or pay a regionally defined living wage. All projects developed by the Working Group will focus on residents of and businesses who have locations within Erie and Huron counties.

Frontline Worker Retention Group Roster

Kerrie Carte
Great Lakes Community Action Partnership

Neil Yingling
Erie County OhioMeansJobs

Sarah Ross
Norwalk Economic Development Corporation

Carol Wheeler
Norwalk Area United Fund

Stacey Hartley
BGSU Firelands

Marlis Rock
Goodwill Industries

Beth Maiden
Erie County Community Foundation

Madeline Jividen
Catawba Island Club

Shawn Culp
Fisher-Titus Regional Medical Center

Kelly Lippus
Huron County Chamber of Commerce

Carolyn Rodenhauser
Ottawa County Improvement Corporation

Elaine Colvin 
EHOVE Career Center

Chris Spence
New Growth Group

Abbey Bemis
Erie County Economic Development Corporation

Jenny Dodge
Child Care Resource Center

Shana O’Keefe
Great Wolf Lodge

Trudy Riddle
Erie County Department of Job & Family Services

Helping You Find the Employees You Need Now and in the Future.

Firelands Forward Strategic Plan

Covering a three year time horizon, 2020-2023, and developed with vast community input, the Firelands Forward Workforce Development Plan is designed to improve job skills, fulfillment, and retention. The Plan frames and builds coordination and collaboration across education, job training, and other supportive services to drive economic growth. It includes accountable and measurable solutions for improving the workforce.

Working to Solve Our Turnover Challenge

As a region – and a nation – we face the issue of high labor force turnover rates. Workers, especially those in lower-income professions, are leaving their jobs often, and this is causing instability for both employees and employers. What can we do about it?  Read our white paper on the causes and effects of turnover, and reach out to our team to discuss your insights and needs!

The Child Care Survey

Childcare is a huge employment barrier. We partnered with the Child Care Resource Center to complete a Child Care Study throughout the Firelands Region. We invite you to read the study and join us in the conversation to solve this barrier in your workplace. As a region, we must collaborate to face these issues head-on.  

Regionomics: Hierarchy of Workforce Needs

The complexity of the workforce landscape demands an integrated and tiered approach to begin to address the many underlying causes of low labor force participation. Firelands Forward created the Workforce Hierarchy of Needs (based off of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs)...

Regionomics: More Small Businesses = Stronger Communities

What is a small business? This can seem like a straightforward question. It’s that mom-and-pop shop down the street from my house I have been going to for years. But to better study and understand small businesses, which is what we do at ECEDC, it is important to use...

Child Care Study

Firelands Forward Regional Child Care Study In partnership with the Child Care Resource Center, a Child Care Study was completed throughout the Firelands Region. Every day parents across North Central Ohio make difficult decisions about who will care for their...

Regionomics: Benefits of Public Private Partnerships

Regionomics: Benefits of Public Private PartnershipsFirst let’s ask: What is a Public Private Partnership (PPP)? Britannica defines the term public-private partnership as a partnership between an agency of the government and the private sector in the delivery of goods...

Regionomics: Income Inequality

Regionomics: Income Inequality You may have heard the news – U.S. Women’s Soccer players will now make the same salary as the U.S. Men’s Soccer players. In a multimillion-dollar payout, the women’s team received compensation for years' worth of unequal pay and a...

Collab Corner: Recovery Friendly Workplace

Problems become opportunities when the right people join together to create solutions. 70% of people diagnosed with depression are in the workforce and mental illness has cost the economy over $20B in lost productivity annually. Better mental health support programs...

Tapping into the Veteran Talent Pool

A Digital Fireside ChatAs Employers navigate the post-pandemic work environment, many are wondering, "where has the workforce gone?" Join us for a Fireside Chat, hosted by Firelands Forward Director, David White, to learn about how to engage and attract the dedicated...

Sandusky Career Center Earns High Ranking

The Nursing Schools Almanac has recently released the 2021 rankings of the best nursing programs of Ohio.The Sandusky Career Center has been recognized on the list of best registered nursing (RN) diploma programs and the best licensed practical nursing (LPN) programs....

Topical Tuesday: holiday practices

The holidays can be a difficult time to navigate as an employer. All employers want is a happy staff for the holiday season. But that begs the question: What am I expected to do? I'm glad you asked, and you came to the right place. Discovering the best practices for a...

Manufacturing Mentorship Program is now Live!

Manufacturing Mentorship Program Trains Future Generations of Makers (COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Friday, Oct. 1, is National Manufacturing Day, and to celebrate the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Industrial Compliance is highlighting the benefits of the Manufacturing...

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