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New Norwalk business helps residents find jobs

Zoe Greszler • Apr 18, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Norwalk has welcomed a new business with the sole purpose of helping place workers with just the right job for them. 

Surge Staffing opened in the former Amez Boutique, 26 W Main St., on March 27. The boutique closed in November.

The staffing agency features a wide-open space with areas with private computers and a few desks, allowing for one-on-one consultation and application processing. Anyone looking for a job, or any business looking for a worker, is welcome to visit Surge Staffing and “see who we are and what we do for them to fill those local opening,” acting manager and staffing specialist Abigail Havens said. She likened the business to WestStaff, but said there are a few things that make the business unique.

“Our logo is ‘Where people work better,’” Havens said.

“So we try very hard to put people in jobs that we know that they will like, where we know that they’ll stay and can get hired to instead of just jumping around. That’s important because to have a job, you need to love your job or you’re not going to want to go to work. We take the time to screen our people to see ‘OK, is this going to be a good fit?’ Or if they’re having issues, we’re just a phone call away. Even if you have to call us at 2 in the morning because you’re having issues at work and you work night shift, you can reach out to us. We’re here.”

Havens said this makes a difference and helps fill the needs of the community better, creating better solutions for both the employee and employer. 

“We’ll reach out to companies — or sometimes they’ll reach out to us — to see if they have any openings, what qualifications are needed,” she said. “We’ll work with just about any type of job; anything from industrial to clerical work so we’re kind of a big horizon in what we can do. We can also have onsite managers there at factories.”

Havens said the business will “work with anyone” who has an hour to sit down and go an interview and application process. The services are free of charge to use. Havens said she hopes to help workers to find work the love and can grow in. 

“I feel like Surge is an important addition to the community because we are a little different from other agencies in that way,” she said.

“We don’t just look at our people as temps; we look at them as employees. We want people to do better. We will give you the chance to do better. If we think that we have an opening that you’re going to do well in it, then we’re going to give you the chance to prove it to us. We’re about giving chances. People need a job, they need jobs to live.”

Surge Staffing is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I feel like we’re going to do good here (in Norwalk),” Havens said. “I feel this is a good location because this is right on the main strip and Norwalk has a lot going on.”

 

JHI gains marketing specialist

MONROEVILLE — Janotta & Herner (JHI Group) has added Emily Andrews to its team as a communications and marketing specialist. She will spear-head marketing efforts ranging from promoting new building projects to internal communications for Janotta & Herner, Firelands Fabrication and 620 Construction.

“Emily will be a quality addition to the JHI team,” said director of business development Ted Kastor.

Andrews has a bachelor of science degree in journalism and mass communication from Kent State University. She has been working in marketing for more than 10 years.

 

Wine production board looks to future

A Wakeman man is the vice president of a board that plans to pave the future for Ohio wine production. 

Re-elected to the Ohio Wine Producers board was Ed Trebets, of Urban Vintner, Willoughby. New members on the board are Eric Cotton, of Silver Crest Cellars, and Madison and Anita Davis of Breitenbach Winery, Dover.

Returning members include: Joe Juniper, Vermilion Valley Vineyards, Wakeman; Walter Borda, Caesar Creek Winery, Xenia; Mary Tabeau, Chateau Winery, Helena; Andrew Codispoti, Gervasi Vineyard, Canton; Dustin Heineman, Heineman Winery, Put-in-Bay; Dan Mastropietro, Mastropietro Winery, Berlin Center; Maura Meranda, Meranda-Nioxon Winery, Ripley; and Donna Roberts, Terra Cotta, Vineyards, New Concord.

Juniper was elected as the board vice president and Roberts as the secretary-treasurer.

 

Firelands awarded for safety

SANDUSKY — Firelands Regional Medical Center was recognized by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for workplace safety at a recent Sandusky Area Safety Council banquet.

Firelands was presented with a special award for achieving 2,748,511 hours worked without a lost time safety accident for a period of time in 2018. In addition, the hospital received an achievement award for for improving its incident rate by at least 25 percent from 2017.

“Safety is of the utmost importance to us, whether it is for our patients, guests, volunteers, or employees,” said Sarah Henkel, Firelands director of safety and security. “With an organization the size of Firelands, receiving this award is truly an honor.”

   

12-year museum director retiring 

FREMONT — The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums’ director of development, who led the organization’s largest-ever fundraising campaign and introduced new ways of raising money for the organization, is retiring.

Kathy Boukissen will retire May 31 after 12 years as the director of development.

“We’ve really worked as a team here, and people feel the passion we have,” she said. “I’ve never felt like it was a job or career because of my love for the organization and what we stand for. I truly believe in it.”

During her years at Hayes Presidential, Boukissen introduced sponsorships for events and programs, helped connect numerous Hayes family members with the organization, started the annual Gateway to the Future fundraising appeal and began the annual membership appeal to recruit and retain Hayes Presidential members. Additionally, she has written grants to obtain funding for programs and exhibits.

Building relationships is what Boukissen has enjoyed most about her job.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and I enjoy finding a way to coordinate where their passion for giving is with an area that benefits both them and Hayes Presidential,” she said.

During retirement, Boukissen and her husband, Rob, plan to spend more time with their children, five grandchildren, her large extended family and friends. She plans to spend time at Lake Erie, riding her bicycle and traveling.

For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org. Like HPLM on Facebook at @rbhayespres and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @rbhayespres.

 

Register for health symposium

COLUMBUS — Registration is open for the fourth annual Ohio Workers’ Compensation Medical & Health Symposium. The large event will take place April 26 and 27 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Themed “comprehensive care for an injured worker,” the free symposium features education tracks and credits for health care practitioners, their staff and legal professionals.

“This year’s symposium offers outstanding learning opportunities led by local, national and international experts on some of the most pressing health and medical issues of our time,” said Stephanie McCloud, CEO of the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC).

Subjects offered Friday and Saturday in the provider clinical education track include:

* BWC’s medical initiatives for injured workers and providers.

* Chemical dependency hazards of health-care professionals.

* Clinician/patient collaboration and trust.

* Management of mild traumatic brain injury patients.

* Medical marijuana nationally and in Ohio.

* Opioid drug epidemic.

* Practical, effective, chiropractic best practices.

Subjects in the provider staff forum track (Friday only) cover:

* BWC’s medical initiatives for injured workers and providers.

* Proper billing and reimbursement processes.

* The terms causation, maximum medical improvement, substantial aggravation and more.

* Vocational rehabilitation and transitional work programs.

Registration is free. For questions, call BWC’s provider contact center at 1-800-644-6292, option 0-3-0 or email [email protected]

 

Tourism jobs abound in area 

LAKE ERIE SHORES & ISLANDS — Spring has sprung in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands, and that means the summer season is just around the corner.

As the spring through fall seasons are generally the busiest for seasonal attractions, this is an important time for businesses looking to adequately staff their establishments. All types of service providers such as restaurants, retail shops, banks and gas stations pick up foot traffic due to the increased numbers of visitors. Tourism jobs are plentiful in the region as businesses get ready to greet the influx of guests that comes with warmer weather.

Nearly 14,000 individuals between Erie and Ottawa counties work in jobs supported by travel and tourism. Did you know that one in every four jobs in Erie County is tourism-related? In Ottawa County, it’s one in every six. That’s everything from the housekeeping staff at local hotels, to the hostess at your favorite restaurant, the lifeguards at the water parks, meeting sales professionals, all they way up to executives at a major theme park corporation. These jobs generate more than $356 million in wages annually.

The tourism industry has the ability to launch careers.

The jobs are a gateway to opportunity, building critical skills in customer service, developing strong work ethic and more. In fact, a 30-year study by the U.S. Travel Association discovered that those people who begin working in the tourism industry ultimately earn higher wages in their careers than those who begin in almost any other industry. Nearly 40 percent of workers who began their careers in tourism earn at least $100,000.

In Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands, which welcomes more than 11 million visitors annually, tourism is a $2.1 billion industry, showing the region is the “ideal place to play, live and work.”

Related businesses with positions can post job openings on the tourism website at SHORESandISLANDS.com/contact-us/careers. 

 

Ballreich’s Potato Chips gets new owner

TIFFIN — Ballreich Snack Food Co. and Ballreich Bros. Inc., the 98-year-old Tiffin potato chip brand, has been sold to a new owner.

Ballreich Snack Food is a recently formed group of Northwest Ohio business professionals who want to see the company continue to grow and remain an area tradition. Operations will continue uninterrupted at the plant, 186 Ohio Ave., Tiffin, and the group will retain the 55 dedicated team members currently employed.

The investor group has plans for future expansion and will look to expand its markets.

The Ballreich Family has owned and operated the business since 1920 and the current owners, Brian (grandson of one of the original founders), and Linda Reis, have managed and grown the company since 2006.

“We have accomplished some really good things over the last 13 years in terms of growing our markets, earning SQF (food safety) certification and supporting numerous community events and organizations,” Brian Reis said. “As with all companies, we are now at a point in time to take the company to the next level and Linda and I are happy to have connected with the investors and team from Ballreich Snack Food Co.”

“So many people have enjoyed Ballreich’s potato chips over the years and they have become part of the fabric of what makes Northwest Ohio such a great place to live, work and play. We are very excited and feel blessed to have the opportunity to continue to build on the Ballreich tradition and hope to set the company up to thrive for the next 100 years,” CEO and president Steve Dandurand said.

Ballreich’s started in 1920 by Fred and Ethel Ballreich, who famously came up with the term “marcelled” for the name of the waves in the chips based on the popular hairstyle of the time.

Fred Ballreich’s brother, Carl, and his wife Emma joined the company after working at the Chevrolet plant in Flint, Mich. In 2006, Ballreich’s became the official chip of the Toledo Mud Hens and in 2009 was named the official chip of the Lake Erie Crushers, Toledo Walleyes, Bowling Green State University Falcons and University of Toledo Rockets. 

  

4 Ohio cities best for manufacturing jobs

Four Ohio communities have been ranked among the top-50 in the country for manufacturing jobs.

Data analyzed from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) identified metro areas where manufacturing jobs are thriving in 2019 based on four factors: median manufacturing salary, number of manufacturing jobs available, cost of housing and year-over-year industry growth.

Ohio has the third most top-50 manufacturing cities in the U.S. Toledo had the highest ranking in the state in fourth place, followed by Cleveland at No. 19, Cincinnati at 32 and Akron at 39.

 

New funeral services serve area

MANSFIELD — The Ohio Cremation & Memorial Society announced the opening of a branch location in North Central Ohio.

Founded in 1995 on High Street in Columbus by a local funeral director, the inception of the society was to fill the niche for families looking for a simple, stress-free and affordable option for cremation and memorial services. The flagship location serves families across Ohio, and with limited space and a growing market, a new location was necessary.

“Mansfield was chosen for the convenience of families living in the north half of the state,” said Beth Buxton, manager of the High Street memorial center.

Fully licensed by the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, the new facility includes reception and conference space, a modest area for memorial services and life celebrations, urn selections and an office. A licensed funeral director is available for consultation in person or by telephone 24 hours a day.

The Ohio Cremation & Memorial Society website, OhioCremation.org, clearly displays pricing and discounted service packages. The website also features a selection of forms, authorizations and resources that are easy to download and complete at home, prior to an appointment for pre-planning or for service at the time of someone’s passing.

Every thought was given to the client family for their ease and confidence in communicating their wishes, while addressing concerns with clear and concise answers.

Located at 9 Chambers Road in Ontario, the contemporary-transitional interior space decidedly does not look like a traditional funeral home. The memorial center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and can be reached at 419-529-6267 and online at OhioCremation.org.

  

12-year museum director retiring 

FREMONT — The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums’ director of development, who led the organization’s largest-ever fundraising campaign and introduced new ways of raising money for the organization, is retiring.

Kathy Boukissen will retire May 31 after 12 years as the director of development.

“We’ve really worked as a team here, and people feel the passion we have,” she said. “I’ve never felt like it was a job or career because of my love for the organization and what we stand for. I truly believe in it.”

During her years at Hayes Presidential, Boukissen introduced sponsorships for events and programs, helped connect numerous Hayes family members with the organization, started the annual Gateway to the Future fundraising appeal and began the annual membership appeal to recruit and retain Hayes Presidential members. Additionally, she has written grants to obtain funding for programs and exhibits.

Building relationships is what Boukissen has enjoyed most about her job.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and I enjoy finding a way to coordinate where their passion for giving is with an area that benefits both them and Hayes Presidential,” she said.

During retirement, Boukissen and her husband, Rob, plan to spend more time with their children, five grandchildren, her large extended family and friends. She plans to spend time at Lake Erie, riding her bicycle and traveling.

For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org. Like HPLM on Facebook at @rbhayespres and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @rbhayespres.

 

If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email it to [email protected]

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