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SOD Training Center awarded $20K grant

SALEM — The Sustainable Opportunity Development Training Center is among five programs across Ohio receiving a workforce development grant from the Association of Ohio Commodores Foundation Fund.

The Association awarded the SOD Center Inc. $20,000 to support the continuation of the SOD Training Center’s workforce development training model that has trained nearly 1,200 local employees. Salem resident Robert Sebo, a member of the Commodores, nominated the SOD Training Center for this grant award.

Since launching in November 2018, the SOD Training Center has facilitated 75 courses and workshops supporting workforce development in the Salem region.

Julie Needs, Executive Director of the SOD Center, said “The pandemic had a significant impact on our ability to provide training by shuttering our center for nearly 12 months. This generous award by the Ohio Commodores Foundation will support the revival of the SOD Training Center’s efforts to meet the needs of local and regional employers by addressing important issues of workforce development such as, skills gap, employee retention, skills growth, company retention and growth, economic development, and a workforce pipeline for current and future industry in the region.”

This project will assist in developing and upskilling a ready and able workforce to succeed and excel in careers with local and regional employers. Local and regional employers cite workforce as a top challenge to growing their businesses. Providing dedicated specialized training that addresses the employers’ needs as well as the skills employees need to obtain and follow a career pathway is necessary for overall economic growth in the region.

“We are honored and grateful to be one of the five organizations selected by the Ohio Commodores Foundation to support workforce development in the State of Ohio,” Needs said.

The Association of Ohio Commodores awarded grants totaling $80,000 as the Association celebrated its 55th anniversary with this inaugural grant round during its 2021 Winter Meeting. Grants support training, professional development, and other community activities that create and develop a strong Ohio workforce.

The Association of Ohio Commodores Foundation Fund was established in partnership with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO), a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. FAO creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org. To learn more about the Association of Ohio Commodores Foundation Fund, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org/Commodores.

For more information regarding the SOD Training Center, visit sodcenter.com. The SOD Center is a 501 (c)(3) organization facilitating growth to advance economic vitality and improve the quality of life for Salem residents.

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