The GRIT Project (GRIT) is a collaborative approach to build a high demand workforce and stimulate economic growth through public and private partnerships. The effort is designed to maximize federal, state & county resources in rural Ohio, through partnerships with organizations such as OhioMeansJobs (OMJ), common pleas and drug court(s), K-12 school systems, community colleges & universities, economic development agencies (JobsOhio/APEG), Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services (ODJFS), drug treatment providers, businesses and other not-for-profit agencies. The initial GRIT effort focuses on a five-county area in southern Ohio that includes Adams, Brown, Highland, Pike and Scioto counties. The GRIT team is actively engaged in the broadband discussions for southern Ohio by sitting on committees and advocating for the funds needed to deliver the solution. This infrastructure is critical to moving the whole region forward for the workforce of today and tomorrow.

As GRIT, our primary focus is delivering an empowerment bundle which positions young adults and unemployed workers with the tools needed to pursue rewarding employment. These services and ultimately the jobs that we are working to bring to the region require broadband access. COVID has taught employers and elected officials that work can be done remotely and from home. We are working hard to bring this type of work to the area.

In some cases, broadband infrastructure will take many years to build out to a satisfactory level. In these cases, the GRIT team is actively involved with delivering short-term solutions for internet such as hotspot buses.

Who we are

Our Leaders:

Randy Chandler



Crystal Keaton



Denise Reading

Project Advisor


WHat are our goals?

Targeted Outcomes:

  • Education:

o High School Graduates are work ready with a post-secondary/education plan

o Increased participation in post-secondary education

o Increased completion in post-secondary education

  • Jobs

o Increased job placement

o Increased 90-day job retention

  • Economics

o Increased wages

o Decrease in those living below/near the poverty level

o Increase in small business development

o Increase in local sales tax revenue

  • Social

o Drug usage prevention

o Reduce relapse & recidivism rates

o Great economic inclusion of all Persons eligible for work

How do we plan to achieve this goal?

Targeted Actions:

  • The GRIT Project will target 7,500-10,000 residence of Adams, Brown, Highland, Pike and Scioto

counties from January 2019-June 2021 to:

  • Assess the interest, aptitudes, values and personality of each participant and match them to high demand

jobs (locally and remotely)

  • Create educational/training plans for 100% of the participants

  • Create and share data on the “ability” and “interest” of the supply chain with economic development

leaders and educators to inform recruitment efforts and workforce development training program


  • Provide wrap-around services to remove barriers to individual plan success

  • Support 75% of participants to engage in targeted education/training to match demand

  • Establish viable childcare and after-care programs in each county

  • Establish virtual shared workspace centers for remote employees (Virtual Job Centers)

  • Support 50% of participants in finding work in the five-county area for local employers or remote

employers (Virtual Job Centers)