Ohio Valley Goodwill was pleased to welcome State Representative Adam Bird and Prince Garuba, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries, to the organization’s Employment and Training Center on Monday, October 9th for a tour and overview of its 107 year old mission of service. State Representative Adam Bird is currently serving his second term as State Representative for the 63rd Ohio house district, which includes northeastern and southeastern portions of Clermont County and the western portion of Brown County. Ohio Valley Goodwill works in partnership with Clermont DD to provide a Vocational Training Center in Batavia which the Representative has previously toured. Additionally, Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries (OAGI) Executive Director, Prince Garuba was on hand to welcome the Representative to the organization.
According to Representative Bird’s official biography, he is an advocate for Ohio’s schools and students. He has spent the past three decades working as a leader in public education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and superintendent at Western Brown Senior High School, Batavia Middle School and New Richmond Exempted Village School District in Brown and Clermont County.
Prior to becoming state representative, Representative Bird contributed to his community through serving various roles in local organizations including as Trustee for the Clermont County Public Library, President of the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference, and as the Clermont County representative to the Southwestern Ohio Instruction Technology Association.
Tour of Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Employment and Training Center
The Representative was provided with an extensive tour of Goodwill’s programs and services for individuals with disabilities, our nation’s veterans and others experiencing challenges to employment.
The legislator was also interested in the opportunities for community inclusion offered through the Center for Advocacy, Recreation and Education (CARE) program which is designed to provide enrichment options for individuals with Developmental Disabilities served in partnership with County Boards of DD. Additionally, Representative Bird was surprised to learn about Goodwill’s Transitional Living program and on site dormitory as well as the extensive Health and Wellness services offered by the organization.
The Representative was impressed by the many services that the organization offers to assist individuals to attain community employment and enjoyed learning more about these services from Chelsea Ashcraft, Mission Services Director and Susie Skeens, Grants Director.
Working Together to Support Ohio’s Citizens
The Goodwill team led by President and CEO, Mark Hiemstra, discussed the history of its organizational mission and dedication towards serving individuals with disabilities as well as military veterans and expanding service recipient populations in the future. OAGI Executive Director Prince Garuba provided an overview of various legislative initiatives being supported by Ohio Goodwill’s for the Representative’s information.
Ohio Valley Goodwill is grateful to State Representative Adam Bird for making the time to visit Ohio Valley Goodwill and learn more about the organization’s critical services for people with disabilities and our nation’s veterans. Goodwill looks forward to working collaboratively with the Representative in the future on service options to benefit all of the citizens of Greater Cincinnati facing barriers to employment and particularly, the constituents from Clermont County which he represents.
All of the photos from the Representative’s visit to Ohio Valley Goodwill are available to view.