Alex Delaney-Gesing

The unemployment in Lorain County stood at 7.2 percent at the end of 2013, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Although this percentage is a decrease compared to the previous months, the rate is still high in comparison to other counties in the state. In Lorain County, countless numbers of people are either without jobs or are unable to sufficiently provide for their families with the jobs they do have. Reasons behind these situations vary, but a common factor is the subject of under developed skills in the current 155,000 work force population.

A vastly diverse array of local businesses and industries in the county require certified specialists in certain areas and specific skills / techniques needed to adequately perform. In order for these skills to be learned and applied, a program that teaches them is needed. That is where the newly developed program called Workforce Innovation Network (WIN) comes in.

Developed between Lorain County Community College and Lorain County Joint Vocational School, WIN is the first partnership of its kind in the area. It’s goal is to become the single source for Lorain’s workforce training. As a way to encourage more workers-in-training, WIN covers up to 50 percent of training costs. In cases where specific skills are needed for particular businesses, customized training is provided. A broad range of programs are currently available at both LCCC and LCJVS for students to enroll in.

From becoming certified in a particular field to building on previously learned skills, WIN is prepared to provide workers with the tools they need to pursue potential employers.  Current programs offered include: Specialty Crop Growers, Paramedic, Word / Information Processing, Mechanical Maintenance, Entrepreneurship, Business, Information Technology, and Manufacturing. In addition, a Home Health Aide training program has been made available on Feb. 24. Program courses can be completed in one to two years, depending on part-time or full-time student status.

“Our goal is to find programs that meet the needs of our students in the area and / or help students complete a career path without having to switch campuses,” said Kit Tyler, Adult Education director at Lorain County’s JVS.

 For students interested in entering the offered programs, Tyler says, “A coordinator is available to meet on an individual basis. As time goes on, we will be expanding these programs so more outreach systems will be set in place.”

 If interested in enrolling in a WIN program, a phone line has been set up at (330) 366-4946 to provide information. Visit WIN’s website at for further details on offered programs or email