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Businesses looking for workers again

LISBON – Go to nearly any business in the county and you are likely to see a “Help Wanted” sign right now. Not only are businesses, schools and community organizations looking for help, but many are offering higher than usual wages to get employees to reengage.

During Wednesday’s Columbiana County Commissioner’s meeting, Commissioner Roy Paparodis read a list of nearly 70 employers across the county and in nearby counties all looking for employees, page after page of them. Some require specialized training while others are starting positions.

Later during the meeting, the county director of Job and Family Services Rachel Ketterman announced a program that allows youngsters in south county communities served by the CCDJFS to provide free pool passes to Thompson Park may have to be scrapped this year. The reason, as of Wednesday the pool had not been able to find enough certified people to hire as lifeguards to open the pool for the upcoming summer.

Similar problems across the state led Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to announce this week that Ohio will reinstitute the requirement for unemployed individuals to prove they are actively searching for work to obtain unemployment benefits, a requirement that was waived between mid-March and Dec. 1 due to the pandemic. Now even those with existing claims will need to begin showing they are seeking work.

Additionally, DeWine announced this week Ohio will stop participating in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program on June 26, meaning an end to those collecting an additional $300 per week in addition to normal unemployment benefits.

In anticipation of incoming funds from the American Rescue Plan of 2021, commissioners approved setting up a Local Fiscal Recovery fund where the money will be placed until spent.

In other matters:

— The commissioners approved the hiring of Ashley Mayer of Boardman, Julia Kozel of Fowler, Samantha Rhodes of Youngstown and Mykenzie Walker-D’Amico of North Jackson as social services employees with Children Services.

— The commissioners approved the county engineer’s request to bid out steel scrap removal.

— James Pusateri and Frank Ungaro were both reappointed to the County Airport Authority Board for another three years.

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