Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Terri Lessnau of the Clermont County Boys and Girls Club which was established in 1996. They serve kids from ages 6 through 18 in New Richmond, Amelia and Glen Este. Terri shared how they have made numerous changes and partnerships to improve and stabilize their overall operation in the county. One major merger was to join together the Clermont County Club with the larger Greater Cincinnati Boys and Girls Clubs Organization. They have added a certified teacher and incorporated hot meals where they sit down together and learn manners.

The club operates on a Three Pillar Program:
  1. Graduate - working with the schools to help complete homework.
  2. Fit for life - requiring 45 minutes of physical activity daily.
  3. Ready to serve - working with local non-profits to help kids learn they can serve others.

Some of their other programs include:
  • First tee-A national program that teaches kids the game of golf.
  • Smart girls - Helping girls from ages 10-13 and 14-16 to make good decisions.
  • Passport to manhood - Helping boys from ages 10-13 and 14-16 to make good decisions.

A celebration will be held on Thursday, April 7 2016 at Receptions in Eastgate. Contact Terri at tlessnau@bgcgc.org or 513-888-0977.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Harry Snyder who is President of Great Oaks Career Campuses. In 1968 Hamilton County got things started with vocational education in our area. Today, they touch 36 school districts, serve over 28,000 adults, over 15,000 secondary students, have over 1200 business partners and offer 30 different career programs. Great Oaks is a state-funded school with a $60 million dollar budget. They offer all sorts of trainings and certifications for various fields including police, fire, aviation and CPR.

A few stats:
  • 94% of students are currently employed or enrolled in continuing education.
  • 46% go on directly to postsecondary education.
  • 84% of the 2015 student class passed a state of industry recognized assessment.
  • 96% of students are working in the profession in which they were trained.

Harry shared about a new program called RAMTEC. This stands for Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative. They collaborate with manufacturers, begin with short-term adult training, offer many certifications (Fanuc, Motoman, Mitsubishi, Parker, Yamasaki, Alan Bradley), expand to high schools and expand to lower grades through a mobile lab.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Cindy Gramke of Clermont Senior Services. Clermont Seniors has been caring for older adults for 47 years. They have a renewal levy on the ballot March 15.

Clermont Senior exists to provide a broad range of in-home services to keep seniors living in their own home as long as possible, delaying nursing home placement and saving taxpayers. They focus on things such as service, performance excellence and being careful, responsible stewards of taxpayer and donor dollars. Their typical customers are 75. Currently, the youngest is 60 and the oldest is 104.

73% of all revenue for services comes directly from the levy which has not increased in 15 years. Other revenue includes UW, Rent, Fundraising and Passport. In 2008 they lost about $1million in revenue and have been working to use their funds wisely, consolidating and cross-utilizing their staff wherever possible.
The following is a breakdown of funds:
  • Home care - 34.21%
  • Transportation - 18.84%
  • Case Management 13.93%
  • Adult Day Services 12.71%
  • Home-delivered meals 7.75%
  • Lifelong learning centers 3.50%
  • Volunteer resources 1.40%
  • Home repair .83%
  • Congregate meals .14%

For more information go to www.yesforclermontseniors.com

We also heard from Dan Ottke of Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities. They have a levy on the ballot March 15 which will replace 2 continuing levies that were originally passed in 1979 (.4 mill) and 1980 (1 mill). Replacement will combine the continuing levies into one moving forward. Since 2010, they lost over $1.8 million annually from state and federal sources. The needs of people with disabilities are on the rise, and without this levy passage their resources will be depleted by the end of 2017. There is currently a waiting list for services.

Clermont DD has done the following to conserve funds:
Downsizing of adult services
Reduces over # of staff from 189 to 159
Reduce by one building.
In 2015 and 2016 they put a freeze on offering any new services which impacts people needing community and home services.

A unique fact about Clermont DD is that they serve clients from birth through old age.

  • Early intervention and school age services
  • Full Time residential and day supports including transportation (Mandates)
  • Drop-in supports in the home
  • Vocational and day supports
  • Respite and assistance with summer care
  • Adaptive equipment and accessibility needs
  • Supported employment
  • Emergencies (Mandates)
  • Behaviour support
  • Investigations (Mandates)

For more information go to http://www.clermontdd.org/

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Mark Bryant of the Clermont County YMCA who spoke on the Global YMCA. The YMCA was founded in 1844 in London. Today, they are in 119 countries and serve 58 million people. They focus on local leadership and local needs and are far more than a “swim and gym.”

The Global YMCA Structure looks like this:
  • World Alliance of YMCAs
  • YMCA Area Alliances
  • National YMCA Movements
  • Local Y Associations and Branches

The Global YMCA currently has 270 Y-to-Y international partnerships to help 63 underserved countries. Mark shared that, in some countries, a YMCA is not a gym but rather a university because some countries do not have quality universities. Some YMCAs provide education and literacy programs. In Jerusalem the YMCA offers counseling to people who are hurting. The YMCA is the #1 provider of daycare in the United States. Global YMCA invest over $3million annually to help people all over the world.

There are many ways to get involved in with the Global YMCA. There are committees, global exchange programs, world service campaigns, fundraising efforts and volunteering at local YMCAs.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Martha Enriquez of Pine Lane Soaps of Batavia, Ohio. Martha’s products come from an 88 acre family farm in Jackson Township that belonged to her grandparents. This farm has been in the family for 5 generations and numerous local students have been given tours and connected with the farm through 4H. They have won awards for business and community involvement. Pine Lane’s slogan is, “Everybody uses soap or at least they should.”

Pine Lane Soaps makes a cold process soap which is an old fashioned lye soap that must cure for at least 4 weeks. Generally, there are about 3000 bars curing at any one time.

Other products include:
  • Whipped shea butter
  • Goat milk lotion
  • Home fragrance oils
  • Lip balm
  • Much more!

Why goat milk soap?
  • High fat content makes it very moisturizing.
  • Similar pH to our skin is very gentle.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acid helps to soften and rejuvenate skin.
  • Naturally occurring glycerin remains in soap.

Pine Lane products are in about 35 retailers in the Greater Cincinnati area including: Jungle Jim’s, Miller’s Bakery, Carneys Feed Mill, The Contemporary Arts Center, Whole Foods, and the Cincinnati Nature Center. They also setup at the Montgomery farmers market.

Martha shared some great facts about Pine Lane Soaps:
  • They have been raising goats for 40 years
  • They are a small family business, owned and operated by women
  • They have been making soap for 8 years
  • The proceeds support much of the farm
  • They produce 12,000 bars per year
  • They contribute to many local charitable groups

You can reach Martha and Pine Lane Soaps at 513-260-4352 or visit the website at www.pinelanesoaps.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Michelle Cloyd of Cancer Support Community. They offer numerous incredible services for cancer patients and their families. Michelle mentioned that studies expect there will be a staggering 45% increase of cancer diagnosis in the near future.

According to their website, “Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes psychosocial and emotional support, CSC offers community-based programs and services that are intended to provide non-medical care to men, women, and children with any type or stage of cancer and to their loved ones, to support a holistic, patient-active approach to wellness. CSC offers these services free of charge through professionally led support groups, educational workshops and presentations, healthy lifestyle programs, social activities, and programs specific to families and children. CSC’s programs and services are designed to complement conventional medical care, enhance quality of life, strengthen survivor care, improve the recovery, and facilitate better communication with medical teams.”

To learn more about the over 250 programs they offer every month, check out their website www.cancersupportcincinnati.org

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Dr. Keith Kline of West Clermont Schools. He shared that construction is well underway on the new 2500 student campus of the West Clermont High School. The building pad is complete, and bids are coming in on the foundation. Renovations are also underway on the Amelia High School campus which will become West Clermont Middle School. The mascot will be the “Wolves.”

This facility is being built with the community in mind. There will be meeting spaces, theater, gymnasium, media center, fields, turfed stadium,. They plan to change what education looks like in West Clermont. There will be a bank and spirit shop students can run, teacher’s academy, sports medicine-exercise science, college and career center, partnerships with local businesses, secure entrances, instructional technology, science labs, and a STEM Center for identified elementary students. While a traffic study is being conducted, the current plan is to have at least 4 entrances.

There will be a 3 story education wing, a fine art wing and an athletic arena (includes an 8-lane pool, weight rooms, auxiliary gyms, and much more). Attached to the building will be a 25,000 sq ft  Mercy Health Plex which will include doctor’s offices and urgent care facilities. Mercy will be giving $200k to the district for naming rights. The district will hire a management company which will be paid for through membership fees. Many summer programs will be offered for kids. The Health Plex will bring 50-80 jobs into the county.

The West Clermont High School is a 100 million design build project financed through the Clermont County Port Authority. This is the first major school-based design build project in Ohio. In the end, taxpayers won’t have to be asked for more money. The school should be open in August of 2017.

In the future, there will be a “Phase 2” which will utilize about $40 million in credit with the state to replace 2 elementary schools without going to the taxpayers for additional money. These schools would probably not come online until 2019 or 2020.