XENIA — For department directors and a superintendent, the new decade looks bright — and busy.
Greene County Veteran Services
Executive Director Timothy Espich said he will work towards increasing awareness of services available to local veterans and their families.
“We would like every veteran in Greene County to contact our office to learn what they have earned through their military service,” Espich said.
Greene County Public Health
Addressing health outcomes and reducing health disparities is what Health Commissioner Melissa Howell said her office, which earned accreditation a year ago, will continue this year.
“We will be the organization that continues to inform and educate the community about disease threats. Right now influenza is leading in headlines but each day we are scanning for potential threats to health through sophisticated surveillance systems,” Howell said.
According to Howell, health educators, nurses and sanitarians are addressing more traditional illnesses like heart disease, stroke and obesity, as well as health conditions like opiate use, syringe exchange, tobacco use and vaping.
“Our approach in each area is not a one size fits all so we adapt to the needs of Greene County and look for individuals who experience poor health outcomes at disproportionate rates due to disability or lack of resources so that everyone has the opportunity to have optimal health,” Howell said.
Howell said GCPH also intends to seek renewal of a 5-year, 0.8 mill operating levy.
Greene County Department of Job & Family Services
Director Beth Rubin is ready for a busy year helping people lead safer, healthier lives and improve their futures.
“From children to seniors, from underemployed individuals to families in crisis – we are here to help and proud to offer our services,” Rubin said. “This includes partnering with the community as a whole to address larger issues such as the drug epidemic and its impact on all of us.”
There’s one main goal that sticks out in her mind.
“We want to find more local families interested in fostering and adopting children who need our help, particularly teens,” Rubin said.
Other goals include increasing child support collections, helping more job seekers obtain employment and increase their earnings, and improving efficient service delivery through technology.
Greene County Parks & Trails
Director Jon Dobney has full intentions to keep the momentum going in 2020 after a bursting-at-the-seams year.
“As a stepping stone into the future years, we want to continue our efforts with creating destinations right in our backyard,” Hanna Lamb, marketing specialist, said.
A couple parks in particular are undergoing development.
Restoration is ongoing for Russ Nature Reserve, which was hit hard by the Memorial Day tornado. The Lovely Nature Playscape has been restored and the Russ House demolition is underway. New plans include incorporating a partnership with Wright State Engineers Without Borders to guide an observation deck project, using the natural topography, in the lower meadow.
A feasibility study for Caesar Ford Park — which features 200 acres, 10 miles of multiple-use trails, a disc golf course and outdoor music venue — is also underway.
“We are looking to gain the communities’ interest for the park, as we have so many ideas internally, we want to make sure it aligns with what our visitors want, too,” Lamb said. “This location has so much potential!”
Greene County Career Center
Excitement is building as the new school facility rises just off U.S. Route 35 near U.S. Route 68, south of Xenia.
The new campus will open in August for the start of the school year, as well as a facility at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport.
“Applications are rolling in and numbers are already showing record interest,” Superintendent David Deskins said. “We are adding new programming with cybersecurity, engineering technology and aviation maintenance after listening intently to input from our career-technical program advisory committees and community leaders. We plan to expand our programs and services even further by offering additional options through our partner districts.”
The district’s goals for 2020 include increasing its impact on building the local workforce, serving all career technical interested students in the county, and helping staff and students achieve the high expectations requested by business and industry partners.
Deskins’ vision includes empowering students through advanced technologies to succeed in career, college and life, as well as empowering staff to provide the integrated instruction that students need to succeed.
GCCC will be able to respond to in-demand job markets in the region, Deskins said, and look toward future job markets.
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