The Guernsey County Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) has been awarded a $325,645.00 grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to provide paid work experience and training in Guernsey County. The award is part of a recently announced $12 million package through ARC’s INSPIRE Initiative, which addresses the region’s substance use disorder crisis with investments that strengthen services in the recovery ecosystem and help facilitate workforce entry and re-entry.
“I commend The Guernsey County Community Development Corporation for their work supporting the recovery ecosystem in Appalachian Ohio, they are integral to bringing our INSPIRE projects to life,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The Guernsey County Community Development Corporation is a great asset in our efforts to address the region’s substance use disorder crisis, and I look forward to seeing how they will help build a strong recovery ecosystem and a stronger workforce for the opportunities of tomorrow.”
Guernsey County CDC Executive Director Ron Gombeda said, “Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for the ARC believing in our project and what are trying to do to improve the lives of those going through substance use disorder. This funding will provide paid work experience for those who are on the path to recovery, with the goal being full time permanent employment with a local business. I want to personally thank the ARC for its work in addressing this crisis within the Appalachia region by making this funding available.
Since INSPIRE was established in April 2021, ARC has invested $28.1 million in 83 projects across 289 Appalachian counties. The $12 million package for fiscal year 2022 is projected to improve nearly 450 businesses and prepare nearly 3,000 students and workers for new opportunities in the workforce.
ARC is expecting to issue a request for proposals for the next round of INSPIRE grant opportunities in early 2023. Additional information and resources are available at:
- Kearny and Rachel with Brick Insurance Group Inc., stopped by today to present us with a donation towards The Great Guernsey Trail. We are so humbled by their desire to donate to our beautiful trail. Without supporters like them, we couldn’t do what we do. Thank you both so much for the donation, it is truly appreciated by all of us there at the CDC. Pictured are Kearny Hambrick with Brick Insurance, CDC Executive Director Ron Gombeda and Rachel Friensehner with Brick Insurance.
The Guernsey County Community Development Corp. recently acquired St. Luke’s Chapel (AKA Fletcher’s Chapel) located at the old Fletcher General Hospital, a WWII medical facility for treating wounded soldiers. The process to acquire the chapel was started years ago by County Commissioner Skip Gardner, local historian Rick Booth, Kathi Albertson and more than a few others. As you can see in the pictures, the chapel is in solid shape structurally, but does need some extensive updates and repairs. Most importantly being the electric, followed by the plumbing, HVAC, and the roof. There has been a dedicated group of individuals volunteering their time to clean, box and label the items left in the chapel and I thank them dearly for their time. We did have to hire a professional cleaning company to remediate the inside of the chapel due to the animal waste.
Our long-term goal is to rehabilitate the building and turn a portion of it into a dedicated memorial for local veterans that served in our nation’s conflicts. Additionally, we want to provide the space as a community building that can be used for meetings, wedding ceremonies, etc. Thanks to my dedicated board and staff, the CDC has undertaken and finished a large number of projects and programs over the years. The projects include the Trailside Skate Park, the extension of The Great Guernsey Trail, our workforce development programs, the six countywide litter cleanups, and so much more. Those successes have only been made possible thought thanks to the continued financial support of so many individuals. Which is why I am reaching out and asking our supporters to once again donate to an amazing project. We are still estimating the cost of rehabilitation, and based on the cost of materials and the needed upgrades, we are looking at a minimum of $30,000.00. We say minimum because we may get into more issues as we proceed with the repairs. Because I love history and I love Guernsey County, this project more than any other has stoked my desire to make something that the whole community will be proud of for decades to come.
If you are interested in making a donation, please send a check payable to the “Guernsey County CDC” at PO Box 1175 Cambridge, Ohio with “Chapel” in the memo line. All donors will be recognized on the buildings future donor wall (unless you wish to remain anonymous). You can also donate online, through this webpage, by clicking on “donate today” in the header.
On November 3rd we received a call from the Sheriff’s Office about some illegally dumped tires, so today Paul Dickson and Dylan Tope went out and picked up the tires that were dumped at the intersection of Broadhead Rd. and Coats Rd. They picked up a total of 37 tires, which will be disposed of by Liberty Scrap Tire Service.