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Job fair promotes Ways to Work transportation program within Medina County

Sara Crawford - The Medina Gazette

More than 10 employers gathered at the Common Ground in Medina on Wednesday to provide information to potential job seekers as part of the Ways to Work pilot program through OhioMeansJobs Medina County and Community Action Wayne/Medina.

OhioMeansJobs Medina County Operations Manager Angela Smith said the goal is to connect job seekers who have transportation barriers with employers interested in Ways to Work. The Ways to Work program uses a ride-share program to transport people to and from work in areas of Medina County identified as having the highest demand for workers. The Summit and Medina Workforce Development Board, OhioMeansJobs Medina County, Community Action Wayne/Medina and United Way of Summit and Medina are collaborating on the program.

“It’s truly transportation for employees that public transit can’t meet the needs (of),” Community Action Wayne/Medina CEO James Fox said. “(It’s) a lot of second shift, it’s weekends.”

The Ways to Work program first began with Medina County Economic Development Corporation in early 2022. MCEDC received a grant in January 2022 to begin the pilot program. The organization then began providing rides to county residents who needed transportation to make it to work every day. In July 2023, the program transitioned from MCEDC to OhioMeansJob Medina County and Community Action Wayne/Medina, which took over the transportation immediately.

“One of the biggest challenges with the current iteration of the program is variable schedules and it’s all over the county,” Fox said. “… We were kind of forced to use a taxi model, which is incredibly expensive and inefficient.” Smith said several organizations met to discuss how to make the Ways to Work program more efficient and effective. Through several discussions, Smith said they landed on the idea of a ride-share model, transporting groups of people to a certain area, whether that be in Brunswick, Medina, Valley City or Wadsworth.

Fox said they began partnering with SHARE Mobility, which is a workforce transportation provider that Community Action had worked with previously in Wayne County. Through SHARE, Fox said the organizations will be able to use an app and provide employees with ways to get to work through scheduling.

“It’s going to be a lot more effective, efficient,” Smith said. “Hopefully, we can serve a lot more people that way.”

During Wednesday’s job fair, Smith said the goal was to connect employers with quality candidates, all while helping those who need transportation to get to those jobs once they were hired. Additionally, she said it will help for the sake of connecting employers to the organizations to get them involved with the Ways to Work program for current employees. Fox said once he receives a list of participating employers and employees, it should take SHARE less than two weeks to get the program up and running.

Meghan Adair of the Summit & Medina Workforce Area Council of Governments said the grant is set to expire on June 30. “We are really trying to get this moving quickly,” Adair said. “We really want to be able to prove to the state that this model works they will hopefully continue funding.”

To learn more about the program in Medina County, visit


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For more information, contact:

Angela Smith