POMEROY, Ohio – Teachers and administrators from the Meigs Local School District, local business owners,and community members met recently with the purpose of creating a partnership to bridge the gap between education and employment.
The meeting was hosted by Farmers Bank and facilitated by Meigs High School Principal Travis Abbott, Farmers Bank President Paul Reed, and Meigs County Economic Development Director Perry Varnadoe. The meeting attendees participated in roundtable discussions regarding the fundamental work skills that employers are looking for in employees and how students can be better prepared for the workforce.
“I believe that schools can drive positive, meaningful change in our community and for our community to thrive our students must be engaged in their education and have the ability to see themselves being successful here at home,” stated Principal Abbott. He went on to share a vision of every student graduating with a viable plan for their future and seeing an opportunity for success in Meigs County and its surrounding communities.
Economic Director Varnadoe shared the most recent population and employment data that shows Meigs County gaining in both areas. “If you begin in Ashtabula County and travel south and then follow the Ohio River, you won’t find a county that has gained in population until you reach Meigs County.” Varnadoe also noted that Meigs County is one of two counties in our region that has gained in jobs between 2009 and 2018, with Vinton County being the other.
Farmers Bank President Reed discussed the importance of having students prepared to enter the workforce after graduation. “When students graduate they go to college, to the military, or to the workforce. We want our graduates to have the job ready skills that will allow them to meet the needs of our local employers no matter what they choose as their next step,” Reed explained, “and we want them to have the opportunity to lead successful lives here in our community.”
The group will meet again in May to continue identifying ways they can create a lasting partnership to benefit the future of our students and community.