Ottawa County Business Advisory Council

Posted on: June 17, 2021



The Ottawa County Business Advisory Council (BAC) was established in the summer of 2014 as a means for business leaders and K-12 educational leaders to partner together to understand and support employment needs within Ottawa County. In addition, the BAC has a goal to engage our youth in better understanding the career opportunities available in their community. Members of the BAC consist of representatives from education (superintendents and principals), business leaders for Ottawa County’s leading industry sectors and local community partners. The BAC would not be where it is today without the support of the Ottawa County Community Foundation.

The BAC was established based on the efforts of the OCIC and United Way to build a stronger relationship between education and business in an effort to develop a pipeline for our future workforce. Through OCIC Retention & Expansion business visits, businesses in the industrial, manufacturing and professional sectors continuously express their growing concerns for meeting current and future employment needs. Regular business outreach through the OCIC’s R&E program has proven that more needs to be done to promote skilled trades and professional careers within Ottawa County.

The mission of the Ottawa County Business Advisory Council is to engage the business and education communities to understand and support the educational and employment needs within Ottawa County.

2018 Ottawa County Career Showcase
2019 Workforce Signing Day
2019 Ottawa County Career Showcase
2019 High School Senior Bus Tour
2017 Ottawa County Career Showcase
2018 High School Senior Job Fair
2019 Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy
2019 CEO Internship Program
2019 Teacher Manufacturing Boot Camp

It is the goal of the BAC to support implementation of every initiative on the Career Development Roadmap. We believe that 100% of Ottawa County students should graduate from high school with a plan for their future. While Ottawa County school graduation rates are above the state average, the BAC believes that every student should graduate from high school with a solid foundation and plan for future career, college, military and/or vocational employment. The BAC aims to educate and expose Ottawa County students to the skills and continuing education needed to fill in-demand jobs in Ohio, with an emphasis on Ottawa County.




Ottawa County High School Junior and Senior students have an opportunity to earn high school credits for participating in our Career Engagement Opportunity (CEO) Internship Program. The CEO Internship program provides students with a pathway between school and work. Students develop entry level skills in a specific occupation, practice career management, and prepare for employment all while earning high school credit.

The CEO Internship has several benefits:

  • Students can earn 1/2 credit for every 60 hours of internship time.
  • The internship is flexible and presents a wide-range of possibilities for hours/schedules. (i.e. – can be done afterschool, during school, weekends, summer, etc.)
  • The CEO Internship gives the students an opportunity to “test the waters” of a desired occupation.

Participating employers have included Magruder Hospital, The Watering Hole at Monsoon Lagoon, Ottawa County Probate Court, East Harbor State Park, The Ashley Group, and US Gypsum.

To participate in the internship program, please fill out the forms below:


In March 2021, the CEO Internship Program was recognized by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria. North Point Educational Service Center’s BAC (includes business advisory councils of Huron, Erie, Ottawa and Sandusky Counties) was recognized as a three-star council (one of ten in Ohio) in part to the CEO Internship Program.

Participating CEO Internship Sites

If you are a business and would like to be listed above as an internship site, please submit your information below:

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The Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy (STA) is a comprehensive, credit-based skilled trades program for high school seniors. This is the second year of the STA. The purpose of this academy is to educate and expose Ottawa County students to the skills and continuing education needed to fill in-demand jobs in Ohio, with an emphasis on Ottawa County.

The Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy includes virtual classroom instruction from Northwest State Community College’s Core Manufacturing & Logistics Skills (CMLS) Program curriculum and in-person hands-on lab activities in the designated workshop area that will prepare students to take the MSSC Certified Production Technician exams/assessments. The Ottawa County Skilled Trades Academy has been certified by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC).

The MSSC is a 501c3 non-profit, industry-led training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line technicians. The Certified Production Technician (CPT) Certification addresses the core technical competencies of higher skilled production technicians in all sectors of manufacturing.

Students have the opportunity to complete the following trainings:

  • OSHA 10-Hour Course – seniors can receive their OSHA 10-Hour card (industry credential), along with entrepreneurship and ethics components.
  • CPR/AED Training – seniors can receive their CPR/AED card and gain lifesaving skills that can help them respond to emergencies.
  • Forklift Training – seniors can participate in forklift training and become a certified forklift operator, in compliance with OSHA laws.

High School Juniors are required to apply for the program in the Spring prior to their Senior year beginning in the Fall. Applications are approved by a panel of Ottawa County school and business representatives.

If you are a Junior and are interested in attending the Skilled Trades Academy your Senior year, please fill out the form below:

The STA application period is currently closed. The next application period will be in Spring 2022.


The Ottawa County Career Showcase is collaborative effort between private sector and K-12 education, and is hosted by the Ottawa County Business Advisory Council. This event has set the stage for students to engage with local companies and learn about career opportunities that exist in the same communities where they live, play and learn. The Ottawa County Career Showcase is held on the same day as National Manufacturing Day.

Students are challenged to engage in activities with the exhibitors in an effort to help students explore different career options. Participating businesses prepare hands-on activities for students, such as athletic training and physical therapy challenges, pipefitting races, team building exercises, CNC and robotics operations, chemistry experiments and more. These activities demonstrate skill sets necessary to excel in a broad cross section of careers including CNC, culinary/hospitality, electrical, engineering, emerging healthcare, machine operation, maintenance and welding.

Businesses who have participated in the event over the years include Materion Brush, Bay Point Resort & Marina, Magruder Hospital, Davis Besse, Ohio Air National Guard, Graymont Dolime and many others.

The BAC held it’s 6th career showcase event in 2019. We are confident that we will be able to host our 7th career showcase event in October 2021.


The Ottawa County Business Advisory Council teamed up with North Point ESC to host Ottawa County’s first Teacher Manufacturing Boot Camp in June 2019. The focus of the boot camp was to introduce our local teachers to the variety of manufacturing career pathways available within area businesses and the possible career opportunities that exist for local students. Teachers were challenged to engage in employer activities, learn about the diversity of products and services, what vocational and soft skills are needed by local employers, and current and future job opportunities within each business. 21 teachers completed the boot camp.

Teachers received graduate credit hours from Ashland University for completing the boot camp and presented to a panel of local business leaders, colleagues and BAC members about what they learned about each business and how they are going implement the information they learned into their curriculum.


Ottawa County’s very first Workforce Signing Day(s) was held in February 2019. The events were put together to recognize high school seniors who will be starting their career path in the workplace. Danbury High School recognized three high school seniors who have made a commitment to join the workforce after graduation. Woodmore High School recognized one high school senior who would be signing a contract with a local employer following graduation. Workforce Signing Day recognizes High School Seniors choosing to enter career pathways leading to in-demand careers – not college.

This event is similar to “National Signing Day” events held for high school senior athletes. In this case, seniors will be applauded as they announce their career plans, rather than their college of choice, and normally sign “letters of intent” for a job offer, apprenticeship or advanced technical training.


70+ high school seniors from Ottawa County school districts toured ten manufacturing companies throughout the county. The bus tour was designed to give high school seniors with an interest in skilled trades a first-hand look at local manufacturing operations and provide a better understanding of local career paths and opportunities in the skilled trade profession.

Local employers provided plant tours and engaged in one-on-one discussions about career opportunities in the skilled trades sector, the current and future employment needs, and the expectations employers have when looking to hire individuals.


The REACH Program is designed to introduce 4th and 5th grade elementary school students to the workforce by allowing business representatives to visit the students on a monthly basis. Students will learn about the types of jobs available at these businesses. A curriculum book is utilized by each business representative (developed by the Education Department of The Ohio State University) to present a series of lessons, reinforced by hands-on activities, such as a visit to the business location. These lessons are designed to encourage students to develop life skills that will assist in preparing them to join the workforce in the future. The Ottawa County REACH Program was first introduced for the 2018-2019 school year, and is currently being used in two of the six school districts.

To learn more about the Ottawa County Business Advisory Council, please contact us: