Jun 21, 2011

State budget cuts force layoffs, changes in programs and services

State budget cuts are forcing Athens County Job and Family Services to eliminate 25 positions, 18 of those through layoffs.

In the proposed state budget, Athens County Job and Family Services stands to lose $1.2 million in state and federal funding. The agency is also projected to lose an additional $670,000 in federal stimulus funds.

“Our staff members struggle every day to meet the overwhelming demands of an increasing caseload of families in need,” Director Jack Frech said. “Cutting services to poor people to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy represents the worst of what’s left of our social conscience.”

Jun 16, 2011

Local officials urge state leaders to protect funding for safety net programs

The Ohio budget process may be close to being finished, but area residents still have time to encourage state leaders to make major changes to protect services for families in need.

The Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate have both passed their versions of the two-year state budget, and now legislative leaders from both bodies are trying to come up with one budget plan for the next two years. The House and Senate budget plans, along with the plan submitted by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, call for deep cuts to human services programs, local governments, education and other areas of the state government. These cuts will further harm the state’s safety net system, which has seen its funding slashed several times in recent years.

“Ohio needs to raise revenue, instead of just continuing to cut the budgets to state programs,” said Jack Frech, director of Athens County Job and Family Services. His agency has lost millions of dollars in state funding in the last three years and had to lay off staff and reduce or eliminate services. Now, Athens County Job and Family Services stands to lose more than $1 million in the latest round of cuts.

Jun 9, 2011

Earning their GEDs opens up new doors for Athens County residents

The Athens County Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program honored its graduates from the 2010-2011 academic year with a special ceremony held on Friday, June 3 in Chauncey. Graduates from a wide range of ages and backgrounds earned their GEDs through the program at the Athens County Job and Family Services Work Station this year, and a large crowd of family members and friends attended the ceremony to support the graduates.

Several of the graduates explained during the ceremony and after that they will now be continuing their educations in college or taking on new job opportunities.

Jun 8, 2011

Graduates honored for their achievements, discuss their plans for the future

The Athens County Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) Program honored its 2010-2011 graduates during a Friday, June 3 ceremony and also heard from three special speakers during the evening.

The ABLE program is coordinated by the Athens County Job and Family Services Work Station and has helped 67 area residents receive their GEDs in the last year. And by the time the school year concludes at the end of June, the program likely will have more than 70 graduates. Over the last several years, the program has averaged more than 70 graduates per year.

Jun 1, 2011

Impact of federal budget cuts also discussed at the recent One Ohio Now meeting in Athens

Doug Stanley, director of the Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action Program (HAPCAP), said at the May 24 One Ohio Now meeting in Athens to discuss the state budget proposal that while his agency should not be hurt directly by the state budget, it could be greatly impacted by cuts to the next federal budget.