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May 2024 Update – All Counties

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Stats & Figures

“Through our partnership with the grit project we are hoping to make an impact on the workforce for mental and Behavioral Health in Appalachia Ohio”

Peggy Garcia, Appalachian Children Coalition

Assessments This School Year and Next School Year

Students take the Future Plans Career assessment which identifies their strengths, interests, personality, and work values, and then explore careers that are a fit for them. Each student meets one-on-one with a career coach to discuss their results and potential career paths, with the end goal of developing a career plan. Below is a list of schools in each county that have done assessments this school year or are planning assessments for the 2024-25 school year.

AdamsManchester, North Adams, Ohio Valley CTC, Peebles, West Union
AshtabulaAshtabula County Technical & Career Campus
AthensAlexander High School, Athens High School, Federal Hocking High School, Nelsonville High School, Trimble High School
BrownEastern Local, Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington Local, Souther Hills CTC, Wester Brown Local
ClermontBethel-Tate Local, Felicity-Franklin Local, Goshen High School, Grant Career Technical Center, New Richmond Exempted Village, Williamsburg Local
ClintonWilmington City Schools
CoshoctonCoshocton High School
FayetteMiami Trace, Washington Courthouse City Schools
GalliaGallipolis High School, River Valley High School, South Gallia High School
HighlandBright Local (Whiteoak Jr./Sr. HS), Fairfield Schools, Greenfield (McClain) Exempted Village, Hillsboro City, Lynchburg-Clay
HockingLogan High School
JacksonOak Hill Union Local
JeffersonEdison High School
LawrenceChesapeake Union Exempted Village, Collins Career Technical Center, Dawson-Bryant Local, Fairland Local, Ironton City School District, Rock Hill School, South Point Local, Symmes Valley Local
MeigsEastern High School, Meigs High School, Southern High School
MonroeBeallsville High School, Monroe Central High School, River High School, Swiss Hills High Career Center
MuskingumFoxfire High School, Franklin Local Community School, Zanesville Community School, Maysville High School, Philo High School
NobleCaldwell High School, Shenandoah High School
PerryCrooksville High School, Franklin Local Community School, Miller High School, Sheridan High School
PikeEastern Local School District, Scioto Valley Local – Piketon, Waverly City, Western Local, Pike Christian School, Pike CTC
RossAdena Local, Chillicothe City, Huntington Local, Zane Trace Local
SciotoNew Boston Local (Glenwood HS), Portsmouth City, Clay Local, Green Local, Minford Local, Northwest Local, Valley Local, Portsmouth West(Washington-Nile Local), Portsmouth STEM Academy, Sciotoville Community 
VintonVinton County Local
WashingtonBelpre High School

County Highlights


  • A Career Fair for Adams County students was held at the Adams County Fair Grounds in March. Area businesses showcased opportunities and networked with students discussing future careers, pathways, and employment.
  • GRIT provided table sponsorship for the first Adams County Chamber Awards banquet. United States Representative Brad Wenstrup and Ohio Director of Agriculture Brian Baldridge were guest speakers, and local business owners were recognized for their impact on Adams County. 
  • Adams County Day at the Capital, provided through Leadership Adams, allowed Adams County leaders to attend the State Capital and hear encouraging words from Senator Terry Johnson, Director of Development Lydia Mihalik, Representative Justin Pizzulli, and Director of Department of Public Safety Andy Wilson.
  • Adams County Training and Business Center hosted the first Adams County Trades Expo, in collaboration with the Electrical Training Academy, Ohio Means Jobs, and GRIT. Students from the county were invited to attend and hands-on demonstrations were available for them to participate in. Later in the day, the event was open to the public for the same opportunities and information regarding the trades.
  • The Peebles Defender featured an article regarding collaborations and work between Adams County Business Hazelbaker Insurance, student internship, Adams County Chamber membership meetings, and GRIT. (See the article here:
  • Mental Health Internships and IT Tech Internships are currently taking place, as well as job shadowing opportunities through local businesses and county law enforcement.


  • ATECH has 130 people assessed and coached with another 100 ready for coaching. They are gearing up for a fantastic summer youth program offering six different programs.


  • Nelsonville HS had a Career Fair for their students where GRIT took part and promoted their summer training programs.
  • Tri County career fair was a success for their students to have a chance to see what was available in the workforce.
  • OMJ Athens/Perry put on a Job Fair at the Athens Community center where individuals got to visit with over 50 businesses and agencies to view the opportunities in the areas.


  • The GRIT Project has been a supportive role in the Sardinia Hope and Promise project. Our involvement has played a crucial role in advancing the economic development of the small town of Sardinia.
  • Ashlie Webster, Community Outreach Partner for the GRIT Project, met with the Western Brown staff about a strategic plan to assess and coach their student’s next fall. We look forward to working with and supporting the career development with them.
  • Ashlie Webster met with the principal of SHCTC to discuss utilizing the Future Plans assessment and coaching tools with the career counselor next fall.
  • Becky Cropper from the ESC was awarded the GRITTY Award at the Leap forward with GRIT day. We wanted to acknowledge Becky for her unwavering support and advocacy for the GRIT project. Becky has been instrumental in our efforts to advance career and workforce development in Brown County.
  • GRIT sponsored a table at the Annual Drucker Awards hosted by the Brown County Chamber of Commerce held at the Willow Event Center


  • Child Focus of Clermont County took the Future Plans the assessment refresher course hosted by Ashlie Webster at the Sardinia Hope and Promise Workforce Center. The Child Focus staff implements the assessment as part of their support for clients. They came with great questions that will help them continue to do wonderful work helping individuals skill up and advance their careers.
  • Clermont Counties OMJ participated in a training on the Future Plans assessment hosted by Ashlie Webster at the Clermont County OMJ office. Their staff uses our career assessment and coaching tools to better support their clients.


  • Talks with Quaker Digital Academy continue and partnership with the SOD Center (Sustainable Opportunity Development) are in the works for assessments and potential summer programs for next summer.
  • GRIT is offering assessment and coaching to the Safe Harbor Project, a new program serving girls 14-18 who have been rescued from sex trafficking situations.


  • Coshocton High School continues with the assessment and coaching process.


  • Rio Grande college put on a Job Fair with over 30 business presenting and looking to hire. Over 100 high school students and Rio Grande students attended to see the career options that where available.


  • Future Plans has hired a new Community Outreach Partner, Hilarie Ames, for Highland County. With Hilarie joining us, Ashlie Webster will now have the opportunity to focus more deeply on Brown and Clermont Counties.


  • Logan HS held a Job Fair /Interviewing event where their students got to ask business representatives about what they do followed by setting up a time do an interview with them for possible employment.


  • GRIT has established partnerships with local courts and probation services as an added support for justice-involved clients. Our strategic collaborations with Jackson County’s judicial system have yielded significant outcomes, with 10 clients enrolled in our program and 7 already benefiting from personalized coaching and interest in our services.


  • Edison Local High School will be participating in career assessment and coaching in the fall. They are also interested in providing and participating in summer programs next summer.
  • The Jeffereson JVS is interested in trying out our career assessment demo.


  • he Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce voted to join the Best Ohio Manufacturing Association and will now be able to take advantage of all the partnership has to offer.
  • Sarah Redoutey and Brady Carter were able to connect with Tri-State STEM+M Academy and are excited to partner. They will be offering the Future Plans assessment and coaching sessions next school year and have some juniors and seniors registered for the GRIT Summer Programs.


  • Talks continue with MVMC (Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition) and have begun with the Inspired Minds project thanks to a referral from the MVMC.


  • A business advisory meeting was held in Pomeroy by the MC3/AMESC agencies with the topic of attendance in the schools and the workforce being a problem.


  • GRIT presented to Swiss Hills Career Center; students will be assessed in the Fall at all 4 schools in Monroe County. 


  • GRIT team members met with Morgan High School leadership about using the Future Plans career assessment for their students.
  • Meeting with Tourism Bureau and Ohio Southeast Economic Development Director has results in working with BB2C (Building Bridges to Careers) for a potential intern position to help those organization with social media. 


  • Shenandoah High School will assess students in the fall.
  • Attended Noble Local School district school board meeting, two BAC meetings, Child abuse awareness event, In-Demand Job fair, and Shenandoah High School Career Expo.
  • GRIT presented the summer programs to students at Caldwell High School and met with leaders about potential use of the career assessment and coaching in the future. 


  • OMJ Athens/Perry put on a Job Fair at the Athens Community center where individuals got to visit with over 50 businesses and agencies to view the opportunities in the areas.


  • The Pike County GRIT Meeting was held May 2nd at the Pike County CTC.
  • OSHA training was conducted at the Western Career Center May 6th-9th.
  • The Future Plans career assessment was conducted in the Business Management class at Pike County CTC.
  • Basic Computer Training Workshop at Western Career Center planned for May 23rd.


  • The Jump Start Your Future Day of Learning was a huge success! This day of learning was put on by the South-Central Ohio Educational Service Center’s Business Advisory Committee on May 3rd. The day brought together over 100 sophomores from Scioto County to participate in career exploration. There were sessions on manufacturing, cyber security/IT, the Future Plans Assessment tools, SSU programs, Military options, Community Action programs, and Scioto CTC Program. The day ended with a great panel of local business professionals and a trivia session. A big thanks to all who helped plan this day for the students.
  • Future Plans staff represented the GRIT Project at the Shawnee State Advanced Manufacturing and Trades Expo on Monday, May 6. This was a great networking event for the community. There were several who participated in the Lean 6 Sigma White Belt training program.


  • GRIT was invited to conversations with the TVISP (Tuscarawas Valley Industry Sector Partnership), a manufacturing coalition.


  • BB2C held their annual Career Fair at the Marietta Fairgrounds. School age students and adults explored the career options available.
  • Belpre HS hosted a Robotic competition with other area schools. The teams learned to collaborate get the final challenges completed.

Student Opportunities

Registration for the GRIT Summer Program for youth is wrapping up soon! Check this page out now: GRIT Summer Programs 2024

Project REACH – Adult Program Updates

The Adult Program is excited to share our fantastic work and fun collaboration in Appalachia!

Recently, our focus with the GRIT Project is growing efforts to support more justice involved projects in Brown County, Children Services Ohio Start efforts in several counties and ODRC onsite efforts for reentry planning at Noble Correctional Institute.

The continued focus with Project REACH is collaborating with each partner in Pike, Scioto, and Jackson counties to help clients specifically involved with the justice system. Our efforts include helping clients locate jobs, having support when reentering the workforce, and helping businesses with candidate funnels.

Partner Spotlight

Learn more about our partner here:

Ashley Puckett and Brandi Hawthorne are collaborating in Lawrence County with Land of Goshen Treatment Center to help clients with career planning.

An Update from the Team Members of Adult Programs

“We are thrilled to highlight the impactful work and exciting collaboration’s happening in Appalachia, including efforts to support justice-involved projects and reentry planning. Project REACH involves partnering with agencies to assist clients in finding jobs and reintegrating into the workforce.”- Genna Scott, Adult Program Manager

“Collaboration within the counties is beginning to grow. Clients are beginning to reach out and several have now been referred to their local OMJ services. “-Brooke Davis, Holistic Care Coordinator with Project REACH

“In Jackson County, I have successfully established partnerships with local courts and probation services, enabling us to provide support to justice-involved clients. Our strategic collaborations with Jackson County’s judicial system have yielded significant outcomes, with ten clients enrolled in our program and seven already benefiting from personalized coaching and seeing an influx of interest in our services. This demonstrates the impact and hope our work brings to the community.”-Stacy Stalder, Career Mentor with Project REACH.

Community Outreach Partners

Southwest Ohio
Brady Carter – Southwest Regional Project Director –

Southeast Ohio
Michelle Carte – Southeast Regional Project Director –