Champaign County group pushes local site to promote jobs

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The Springfield News-Sun digs into issues that affect jobs and the economy in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent coverage of local unemployment rates and incentives for local businesses to add jobs.

The Champaign Economic Partnership is moving forward with a plan to promote a new website this spring to link local schools, businesses and prospective employees in the region.

Marcia Bailey, economic development coordinator for the CEP, said several details are still being worked out on the site, but once complete it would allow workers to post resumes, receive online updates about job openings and serve as a recruiting tool for area companies.

Jill O’Neal, a CEP board member, co-founded the site with partner Ashlie Starkey.

While the OhioMeansJobs site is helpful, Bailey said in some cases it can be difficult for residents to find all of the openings in the area on the state site, so once complete it would give local firms a new tool to more directly connect with the area’s workforce.

The CEP provides economic development services for Champaign County, as well as Urbana and villages in the county.

CEP board members also provided a brief update about the Champaign County Food Council. The food council recently sought help from the CEP as part of a plan to develop a shared-use commercial kitchen in a former fire station in St. Paris.

If approved, the kitchen could be shared among several small area businesses, who need a licensed, inspected facility to process or prepare food products for sale to the public. The food council recently filed for status as a limited liability company, said Steve Hess, a CEP board member and Champaign County commissioner.

Becoming an LLC will allow the food council more protection after CEP board members previously raised concerns that the CEP could be held liable if a problem arose with the kitchen, Hess said.

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