NCWA Sponsors Gloves & Goggles Event

October 8th and 11th, the annual Gloves & Goggles event was held at Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center. Sixth graders from Ashland County visit the Career Center for half a day and visit four high school career tech programs to learn more about them and have some hands-on fun!

Erv Howard, NCWA of Ohio Executive Director, Helps prepare backpacks filled with t-shirts, safety glasses, gloves, tape measures, and more for each student who attends.

Sixth graders learn more about Cybersecurity and even how to pick a lock!

Visit the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center Facebook page to see more pictures of students, teachers, staff, and volunteers!

NCWA Summit October 27, 2021

The North Central Workforce Alliance of Ohio (NCWA) and Ashland Area Economic Development (AAED) are teaming up to hold an informative lunchtime summit on Thursday, October 27 from 11:00am-1:00pm at Waters Edge Event Center, located at 170 Summerset Drive, Ashland, Ohio. The focus of this two-hour event will be to help local companies figure out ways to address the ongoing labor shortage that is impacting so many area businesses.

Keynote speakers will include Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Zane Gross, President & CEO of Wenco Wendy’s Franchises. Additionally, a panel discussion with leaders from several area companies will share how their companies are successfully tackling the challenge of filling vacancies within their organizations.

No matter your position or profession, there is something to be gained at this summit for everyone.
We ask that you please register before October 25th HERE.
This event is free of charge, lunch will be provided.

The NCWA of Ohio is a business-driven partnership consisting of employers from North Central Ohio whose focus is to share resources and ideas to solve common problems in attracting, training, and retaining the qualified and dedicated employees needed to grow area businesses. Questions? Please contact Erv Howard, Executive Director, at 

New Member Discount

We’re well into the third quarter of 2020, although it may seem like it’s been much longer than that. COVID-19 has definitely presented some challenges this year; everything from transitioning personnel with the ability to work from home to finding creative ways to bring them back to work in your facility.

You’ve probably made some decisions already this year that you could never have anticipated. Wouldn’t it have been valuable to have resources and partners to help you navigate those waters?

NCWA knows the challenges you’ve faced, so we want to offer you the opportunity to join the team at NCWA and explore the benefits we offer as they relate to your workforce needs at a reduced price. This provides you the opportunity to see what we’re about and participate in these benefits.

For a limited time, we are offering you a membership of 12 months for the price of six months! Below is a link to our website with membership and prices. Please contact Erv Howard at 567-203-4500 or 419-908-8270 with questions or to start your membership.

COVID19 Resources

These are challenging times for us all, employers as well as employees. Every day brings changes, new loan options, new standards, more safety measures, different information. Seems as thought it’s a full time job just to stay on top of it all. Below are links to some helpful resources. If you don’t find what you need here, send an email or give our Executive Director, Erv Howard a call and he will connect you with resources to answer your questions.


SBA Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Ohio Department of Safety

Department of Homeland Security

Ohio Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NCWA Connects With Future Employees

Several NCWA members including Brethren Care Village, Centerra Co-op, and Simonson Construction had the opportunity to meet with adult and high school students at the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center in January. Nearly 400 students stepped up to meet local employers.

Students learn about career opportunities with
Simonson Construction.
Centerra Co-op employees talk to students about high-tech
careers in the agriculture industry.

NCWA 2019 Workforce Summit a Success

Nearly 100 people met at the John C. Myer Convocation Center at Ashland University on October 30th for the annual summit. Attendees listened to speakers discuss their solutions to the limited workforce challenges throughout the region.

Kristi Clouse, Executive Director of Operations, Jobs Ohio shared with the crowd more detail about the structure of Jobs Ohio and how it relates to their efforts in workforce and training development. One area of focus is apprenticeships which is a valuable resource for both employers and employees.

A panel of three including Carrie McElevey, Group Training Leader of Schaeffler in Wooster, Maribeth Eckert, Senior Human Resource Business Partner at Charles River, Ashland, and Kevin Long, Plant Manager at Step2, Perrysville, all shared unique strategies for both hiring and retention. Apprenticeships, flexible schedules, employee incentives, multiple shifts, and training were just a few of the ways these employers have found to be successful in filling the employee gap.

Joanne Mueller, Vice-President Human Resources at Cedar Point was the final keynote speaker. Cedar Point has many creative and valuable solutions for filling their workforce. Everything from on-site housing to international Work and Travel (WAT) Groups provide the number of employees they need to fill their positions during the summer. Employees range in age from 14 to 80, with a 90 year old still on staff.

A highlight of the annual summit is always the Community Service Award. This year, Barbie Lange, recent Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce retiree was honored. “Thank you very much. I mean, like all of us, we’re just doing work as best we can, that God has given us to do”, Barbie stated.

Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center Interact Students helped set up the event, greeted attendees, assisted with locating their name badges, and directed attendees to their seats. Students sat at various tables with area businesses during the program and learned a great deal about local businesses.

Business owners and employees as well as attendees from education and state organizations all gleaned much information from the event.

2 Be Connected

This teacher event will be held on July 30 and 31, 2019. The purpose of the event is to have the educational participants visit area businesses and tour their facilities and learn firsthand what businesses are looking for from a potential employee.

Ashland area teachers will have the opportunity to participate in this 2-day event. There is no charge and lunch will be included. For more information, call Erv Howard at 567-203-4500.

NCWA Summit 2018 Highlights

The event was held on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at the Ashland University Convocation Center

The featured speaker was Montez King, the Executive Director of The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), developing national standards and competency-based credentials in manufacturing trades. Montez is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization.

– Breakout sessions with regional panelists
– Succession Planning, Retirement, Replacement
– Best Practices, Apprenticeships, Drug Programs
– NCWA Special Award Presentation
– Sponsorship opportunities

Summit 2018 Video Link

Girls with Goggles

The second annual Girls with Goggles event was held on October 12th, 2018 at the Ashland County West Holmes Career Center. There were over 300 sixth grade girls attending along with instructors from the career center, local businesses and visitors.

This program gives students the opportunity to learn more about the Trades and non-traditional careers. Animal Veterinary Science, Automotive Technology, Construction, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Engineering & Design Technology, Graphic Communications, Health Technologies, Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing, and Sports Science were the career options presented.