SIDNEY — Mike Dodds, the executive director of the Sidney-Shelby County Economic Partnership, addressed the Sidney Rotary Club, Jan. 22.
He gave an overview of what the partnership does and the opportunities that in Shelby County. The Sidney-Shelby County Economic Partnership is a nonprofit organization comprising private business and public leaders from across Shelby County who are dedicated to maintaining the county’s economic growth and stability. It serves as the economic development point of contact for this area. The staff works closely with local and state officials to make known financial and employment incentives available under Ohio law.
Dodds said that Shelby County has the highest percentage of manufacturing jobs per capita of all 88 Ohio counties. Thirty eight percent of Shelby County residents are employed in the manufacturing field. He noted that an additional 17,000 workers come into Shelby County to fill some of these positions.
One of the latest projects that Dodds discussed was a partnership with Hometown Opportunity. Hometown Opportunity focuses on connecting local businesses with local employees via its website. Employers can post their jobs and job seekers can post their resumes.
Dodds advised that one of the obstacles facing business in Shelby County is finding enough employees. The unemployment rate for Shelby County is 3.6 percent and businesses cannot find enough people to work for them. He advised that a recent study showed that there will be more than 573 new jobs created in manufacturing over the next several years for entry level production, skilled labor and supervisory positions.
Dodds will retire this year, but he wishes Shelby County the best, he said, and he is looking forward to his next challenge.