Franklin County grant money aims to get jobs for people on public assistance

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Franklin County is paying out money for training and jobs but not just any training and jobs; jobs for people wanting to get off public assistance.

114 new employees could be walking through the doors of Engineered Profiles in the next 3 years, with job training on site and life-skills training through the Urban League. The company said the new hirings will add more than $3 million in payroll.

Aaron Dickerson is an Air Force veteran who said he spent some time on public assistance in the past and was out of a job just 6 weeks ago.

“I enjoy now being self-sufficient and this place has really good benefits and that is something I have been struggling to get for a number of years now,” said Dickerson, who is now in job training at Engineered Profiles.

Dickerson was hired before the county public assistance grant became available and said this is a great opportunity for those on public assistance.

”To be able to train the work force for the jobs they have right here in this building and the work that needs to be done, it is fantastic for the company and it is fantastic for the individual,” said John O’Grady, Franklin County Commissioner.

Engineered Profiles makes plastic parts for windows, doors, office furniture and other items. The $142,000 county grant pays for only a portion of the training.

O’Grady said the hope is to help those in poverty transition into the working world.

“It is a very meager way of making it in the world, and even at a training wage here, there is plenty of overtime, plenty of opportunity to grow,” Dickerson said.

“I think people tend to look at these things and think this is some sort of a government handout,” O’Grady said. “If you live in this community and you are paying taxes in this community, this program benefits you whether you are a part of it or not.”

There is a downside to this story. Those future employees coming to this south side business need public transportation because private vehicles are a luxury for many people on public assistance. NBC4 checked the Central Ohio Transit Authority web site and the nearest bus stop is on Lockbourne Road, about half a mile away from Engineered Profiles on Fairwood Avenue.


Commissioner O’Grady said the county knows with growth on the south side they need more public transportation.

Marty Stutz with COTA said “they are always looking for ways to improve transportation in areas with significant job growth.”

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