Business Advisory Council
Southern Ohio Educational Service Center Business Advisory Council (BAC)
The Southern Ohio Educational Service Center Business Advisory Council serves Adams, Clinton, Fayette, and Highland Counties. It is a partnership of the Southern Ohio ESC, local K-12 and post-secondary educators, area businesses, and economic, community development, and workforce development agencies who work together to assess the workforce needs and employability skills for student and community success in the regional economy.
Adams County/Highland County
Adams and Highland counties currently have a joint council with the vision of working to position this region as a healthy and relevant workforce ecosystem. The mission of the collaborative council is to coordinate and sustain efforts among schools, businesses, and communities to build a stronger workforce in the region by identifying and cultivating the strengths of individuals and aligning them to the needs of existing and emerging industries. The collaborative council is established to bring workforce development stakeholders together to ensure coordination of their efforts. The council has created work groups for each of the areas of focus (data and research, education for work, barriers to work, internships and job shadowing, finance, and communication). These groups are working to address the action steps as laid out in the collaborative council’s strategic plan and provide information and recommendations for action to the county council.
The Clinton County council and Clinton County Workforce Collaborative – an initiative of the Clinton County Port Authority, OhioMeansJobs Clinton County, Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, and the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce – tackles critical and multi-faceted workforce needs by bringing together business, education, non-profit, government, economic, and community development leaders to create solutions that work for Clinton County. Through conversation with local business, education, and service agency leadership, the Workforce Collaborative identified three overarching areas of focus and established correlating Working Groups, each with specific projects and goals. The Barriers to Work Working Group brings employers and service providers together to explore cooperative solutions to the challenges of workforce mobility, childcare, housing, and broadband accessibility. The Education & Training Working Group identifies skill needs among the existing workforce and assists individuals and employers in finding appropriate training and credentialing to meet those needs. The School & Community Connections Working Group connects employers and schools to bridge workforce development gaps by attracting and retaining students for the current and future workforce.
The mission of the Fayette County council is to bridge the needs of our community’s education with the required skills of our local employers to create a thriving workforce. Our vision to guide our work is to provide each community member with the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce, while providing employers with a continually growing employment pool of viable candidates. The county council is composed of three subcommittees, each working to continually address needs and building action plans to execute goals and gather meaningful data to continue the continuous improvement process of the council. The three subcommittees (working groups) of the county council include: School to Business Bridges, Barriers to Work, and Working Training.
The county council has established the following overarching goals for the 2023-2024 school year:
1. Develop Professional Skills for Future Careers
- Continue to survey students for interest in military, college/vocational training, or employment.
- Build career/work exploration experiences for students in their areas of professional interest.
- Create direction for those who want to work, so they have jobs upon graduation.
2. Build Partnerships
- BAC Subcommittees (School to Business Bridges, Barriers to Work, and Workforce Training) will come together to work towards building partnerships that will benefit both students and businesses.
3. Connecting with Tomorrow’s Workforce
- Build a strategic plan to address employment retention challenges by educating students on employment benefits beyond salary and the long-term benefits of sustained employment.
Purpose of a Business Advisory Council
Business advisory councils foster cooperation among schools, businesses, and the communities they serve. This work ensures the work of educators aligns with the needs of businesses. This cooperation can make a local education system more aware of the local labor market, promote work-based experiences within businesses and help students prepare for successful learning and employment opportunities. Business advisory councils include regional business leaders who are familiar with business and industry needs. Members partner with district leaders to plan and carry out the council's work.
Roles of a Business Advisory Council
1. To advise local school districts on changes in the economy and job market and the areas in which future jobs are most likely to be available.
2. To advocate for the employment skills most critical to business and industry and the development of curriculum to teach these skills.
3. To aid and support local school districts by offering suggestions for developing a working relationship among businesses, labor organizations and educators.
4. To provide meaningful, hands-on career exposure through mentorships, internships, apprenticeships and job-shadowing experiences.
For additional information and resources, visit the Ohio Department of Education & Workforce's Business Advisory Council webpage.