Job and family services part of $4M grant

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Job and Family Services is one of five counties awarded a $4 million grant to assist individuals transitioning out of the criminal justice system and on to a career path.

Miami County Job and Family Services Director Teresa Brubaker reported on the U.S. Department of Labor grant award to the Miami County Commissioners on Thursday during its morning session. Commissioner Ted Mercer was not in attendance.

Brubaker said Miami County will share the $4 million grant among the other counties with Montgomery County likely to receive the largest part of the funding. Brubaker said Sheriff David Duchak signed off on the grant to work together on the “Pathway Home” project. The U.S. Department of Labor allotted $56.6 million for the program to help adult inmates find jobs for in-demand industries. The design of the program is to close the gap between release from prison or jail and enroll in the reentry program for employment opportunities.

Commissioner Greg Simmons said he was excited to see Miami County participate in the program to help those “on the wrong path.”

Commissioner Jack Evans said he liked the career and job placement part of the program to boost morale of those who were released from incarceration.

Other counties included in the $4 million award are Highland, Lawrence, Sandusky and Montgomery.

In other news:

• Miami County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Joel Smith gave his weekly COVID-19 update, saying that, as of Thursday morning, there is approximately 475 positive COVID-19 cases and cases are “going up at a faster rate.”

Smith said the county would also be receiving more thermometers, approximately 100, to have on hand.

Commissioner Simmons asked if more positive cases were being reported due to the increase of testing, to which Smith said yes, but he did not have access to the county’s number of tests taken as part of his data report from the state.

• Commissioners received the following bids for the Troy-Urbana bridge replacement: $447,399 from Brumbaugh Construction of Arcanum; $463,798.50 from Eagle Bridge of Sidney; and $558,314.32 from R.B. Jergens of Vandalia. The county engineer’s office will review the bids submitted.