County opens new job center in West Dayton

Westown site will offer job coaching, high school equivalency work and career credential opportunities

A former grocery store in the Westown Shopping Center has been turned into a new employment-services center that is conveniently located within walking distance of thousands of West Dayton residents, local leaders said at a ribbon-cutting event on Wednesday.

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Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

A $2 million Employment Opportunity Center has opened in a former ALDI’s retail space that will provide workforce services for adults, plus programs and resources for teens and young adults, said Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge.

“The county’s expansion of its workforce services will help ensure everyone — everyone — will have the opportunity to succeed,” she said.

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Inside the Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center in the Westown Shopping Center in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Inside the Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center in the Westown Shopping Center in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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Inside the Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center in the Westown Shopping Center in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The 15,000-square-foot center has board and community rooms with state-of-the-art video conferencing technology that nonprofits and other community groups can use.

The center has 16 computer workstations and offices, including spaces for Sinclair Community College and the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.

Visitors also will be able to meet with a job coach, earn a high school equivalency diploma with Miami Valley CTC and earn a valuable credential with Sinclair’s information technology program, said county Commissioner Carolyn Rice.

The county’s male and female leadership academies will have a home at the center, she said.

“We are so very, very excited to see this investment become a reality and take off,” Rice said.

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Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

The new center will have job search services and workshops about building resumes and learning interview skills, supported by Montgomery County Business Services. Job-training grants can be administered at the new facility.

Montgomery County announced the new project almost exactly one year ago.

The center occupies space that was vacated by ALDI in spring 2018. The grocery store closed after about two decades in operation.

Ohio has not welcomed a new employment services office in decades, said John Trott, executive director of the Greater Ohio Workforce Board.

“So congratulations Montgomery County, Ohio,” he said, adding that this is an investment in people. “This is new for the state of Ohio.”

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Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

The new Employment Opportunity Center at 4303 W. Third St. is a 10-minute drive from the Jobs Center on South Edwin C. Moses Blvd., but making that trip by bus takes about 50 minutes, said county Commissioner Debbie Lieberman.

The new center will help remove a barrier to obtaining employment, which is limited access to quick, convenient and reliable transportation, Lieberman said, and also it will help West Dayton residents get essential services for building a career — not just getting a job.

“We’re getting closer to our population,” Lieberman said. “We are getting access to thousands of people in West Dayton.”

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Daj'za Demmings, CEO and President, Dayton Young Black Professionals was a guest speaker at the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Daj'za Demmings, CEO and President, Dayton Young Black Professionals was a guest speaker at the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Daj'za Demmings, CEO and President, Dayton Young Black Professionals was a guest speaker at the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Miami Valley CTC (Career Technology Center) will help residents get a high school equivalency diploma and move through its adult education programs to earn credentials that can lead to good wages, said Nick Weldy, superintendent of the center.

Daj’za Demmings, executive director of the Dayton Young Black Professionals, said this is an exciting project for West Dayton that is very close to where she grew up.

“This is literally in my backyard,” she said. “Let’s continue to grow, let’s continue to be great leaders and let’s continue to provide for the community.”

Caption
Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Caption
Inside the new Montgomery County Employment Opportunity Center at Westown. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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