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.

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 like the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation (OCIC) and United Way in Ottawa County (United Way).

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 program, 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.

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.

Career Development Roadmap

CEO Program

High School Junior and Senior students have an opportunity to earn high school credits for participating in our Career Engagement Opportunies (CEO) Internship Program.  The CEO Internship program will provide 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 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, etc)
  • The internship gives the students an opportunity to “test the waters” of a desired occupation.

If you are interested in learning more about the CEO Internship Program or would be interested in participating to give a student a meaningful work experience, please contact Gaye Winterfield at 419-898-6242 or

CEO Internship Testimonials

Jeffrey Winterfield
2017 School Year
Interned at the Port Clinton Police Department and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office

Logan Martinez
2017 School Year
Interned at the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court

Ryan Gwin
2018 School Year
Interned at The Watering Hole

Cole Woody
2018 School Year
Interned at Port Clinton High School – Custodial Department

Ana Stahl
2018 School Year
Interned at Port Clinton City School District – Special Education and Early Childhood

Aaron Lee
2018 School Year
Interned at Oak Harbor Middle School – Band Department

Amaya Henderson
2018 School Year
Interned at Bataan Elementary School

Tim Paradiso
2018 School Year
Interned at The Ashley Group

Ottawa County Career Showcase

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 companies are able to engage students in different hands-on activities that 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 participate in the event include: Materion Brush, Magruder Hospital, Davis Besse, Graymont Dolime and more.

2018 Career Showcase

Ottawa County: It’s All Here

The “Ottawa County: It’s All Here” workforce attraction campaign is part of the Ottawa County Business Advisory Council’s initiative to remind high school students and alumni that they can build their future here in Ottawa County. The campaign officially kicked off in September 2018 with the help of area juniors and seniors who assisted in designing the website: Follow “Ottawa County: It’s All Here” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Whether you left for college for a year and came back, or you left for 10 years and came back… in Ottawa County, it’s all here.

REACH Program

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 program or if you’re a business who is interested in participating, please contact Gaye Winterfield at (419) 898-6242 or


The Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Training (START) program is a joint venture between Terra State Community College and Materion to introduce the skilled trades to local high school students. Terra State faculty and staff worked with Materion staff to develop an educational, yet fun, hands on summer camp. The high school students completed hands on activities in four areas: Automotive Services, HVAC, Machining, and Welding & Fabrication.

The 2019 START program will run June 10th through 13th (Monday through Thursday), from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.