Getting more done with fewer resources is only possible in Southeastern Ohio because of the public-private partnerships that exist between Hocking College and regional nonprofits serving community members. Relationship formation between diverse organizations can be a challenge, but the benefits of collaborating include drawing more funding into organizations and passionate community members into engaging work. Through working together, we are able to identify emerging needs arising from our community members, and to develop responses or resources to help overcome challenges.

On November 4th ACEnet staff and Hocking College’s Chris Hedges presented at “Building the Wood Bridge: Connecting Non-Profits & Colleges to Support Entrepreneurs and Workforce Development,” a free event at The Lodge at Hocking College. We were able to share lessons learned in the “Building the Wood Bridge” grant, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission and included partners Rural Action and Hocking College.

The overall project design included finding ways to develop courses, provide infrastructure, and attract students in the wood products manufacturing sector. The end result was the creation of a pipeline of students who plan to become entrepreneurs in the industry, or join the growing workforce. While building this bridge, we have strengthened and grown a network and trust between partners.

Event also included breakfast & lunch at The Lodge at Hocking College, and tours of Hocking College’s Wood Lab Makerspace at Hocking Makers Network, and ACEnet’s Wood Manufacturing Center in Nelsonville.


Community Update by ACEnet Programs & Communications Coordinator, Meggan Loveland
Photos by ACEnet Multimedia Designer, Delia Palmisano