Workforce Development Board

The Workforce Development Board (WDB) is comprised of individuals who represent business, economic development, education, labor and community organizations. They work in close partnership with the Stark and Tuscarawas County Commissioners in planning, administering and overseeing workforce development programs funded under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), enacted in 2014, is the federal legislation under which public workforce development programs are conducted. WIOA is intended to serve all job seekers and employers offering a universal service model.

The Workforce Development Board aids area businesses by serving as a community workforce development catalyst, promoting not only a strong economic development effort, but also to support our community’s capacity to meet the challenges of a high productivity workplace. This is accomplished by assuring that education and employment opportunities are well planned and supported by the private sector; are well coordinated within the community; afford ease of access; are of high quality; and demonstrate an acceptable return on taxpayer investment.

In 2006, the Board created the Workforce Investment Council, a 501c3, to seek grants and other private funding to enhance and expand workforce development activities in Stark and Tuscarawas Counties.

  • Schedule

  • Wednesday, July 10th, 2024

    Zoom Meeting

  • Wednesday, September 4th, 2024

    Kent State University-Stark Conference Center

  • Wednesday, November 6th, 2024


  • Wednesday, January 8th, 2025

    Zoom Meeting

  • Wednesday, March 5th, 2025


  • Wednesday, May 7th, 2025


Unless otherwise noted, meetings will be held on the 1st Wednesday of every other month, beginning at 12:00PM.

Workforce Development Board Officers & Executive Director

  • Scott Robinson

    WDB Chair

    Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce

    Scott Robinson

  • Vacant

    WDB Vice Chair


  • Damus Cole

    WDB Secretary

    Canton JATC-Electricians

    Damus Cole

  • Joseph Sekely

    WDB Treasurer


    Joseph Sekely

  • JoAnn Breedlove

    WDB Executive Director

    JoAnn Breedlove

Workforce Development Board Members

  • Marla Akridge

    Tuscarawas County Economic Corp.


    Marla Akridge

    Marla Akridge is the Executive Director of the Tuscarawas County, Ohio Economic Development Corporation (TCEDC). Throughout her 23-year career, Akridge has assisted many communities in furthering their economic and community development interests. She has worked with economic development organizations and chambers of commerce in Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, Colorado, and Ohio. Akridge has worked with large companies as well as entrepreneurs and has helped develop several rural development projects. Marla has a huge passion for broadband. TCEDC and Tuscarawas County have made broadband a top priority because of every business and citizens should have equal access to broadband. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Auburn University. Marla is married to Ron “her Southern Gentleman” and they have a Catahoula (Zigzag). She enjoys biking, running, hiking, and being outdoors.

  • John Aldergate

    Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital


    John Aldergate

    John Aldergate serves as the Director of Human Resources for the Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital. In his current role, he oversees HR Operations for our regional hospital and actively works to engage caregivers, recruit locally and to be the best place to work in healthcare. Prior to his hospital career, he spent over 25 years in HR in government and non-profit in Columbus Ohio. John has a strong background in strategic HR Operations that includes employee engagement, benefits, talent acquisition, policy, payroll, training and development, occupational health, diversity and inclusion, labor relations and compliance. He is a graduate of Capital University with degrees in Human Resources and Labor Relations and completion of the Leadership Columbus executive program. John is active with the Stark Tuscarawas Workforce Development Board, Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce, and the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum. He considers himself fortunate to be making a living doing what he is passionate about, in a community he loves and calls home.

  • Rick Baxter

    Alliance Area Development


    Rick Baxter

    Rick Baxter is the current President of Alliance Area Development and the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce. He graduated from Milligan University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Marketing. Before starting his role as President of Alliance Area Development and the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce, he spent 20 years as a commercial banker. Rick is very active in the Alliance community as he is a member of the Alliance Rotary Club and a board member for the Alliance YMCA.

  • Stephen Carson


    Stephen Carson

  • Damus Cole

    Electrical Trades Center of Greater Stark County

    Damus Cole

  • Andrew Fowler

    The M.K. Morse Company


    Andrew Fowler

    Andrew Fowler is the current Executive Director of Manufacturing at The M.K. Morse Company. He has worked his way up through the company over the past 20 years, first starting as a Technology Center Test Technician in 2004. He earned his Associate of Applied Science from Stark State, his Bachelor of Science from the University of Akron, and his MBA from Malone University.

  • Lisa Gould

    Hall of Fame Village


    Lisa Gould

    Lisa Gould has worked at the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Co. since August of 2020, currently employed as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Lisa oversees strategic and operational HR functions for the publicly-traded company and growing Hall of Fame Village campus. With a proven track record of managing rapid growth in the human resource space, Lisa has a strong background in HR that includes writing policy, organizational strategy, recruitment of high-performing teams, and customer service. In her current role, Lisa drives human resources programs, practices, processes, and policy, including organizational development, employee relations, employee engagement and satisfaction, performance management, and compensation analysis. Lisa recently launched an internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee with the company where she hopes to further foster an inclusive and safe workplace for all team members in a growing environment. Prior to this position, Lisa served as Vice President of Human Resources at CommQuest Services for 9 years. She has also worked in the capacity of staffing, sales, and international customer service, which gives her a unique background of understanding various business models. She is a long-time certified member of the Society of Human Resource Management, where she has served on the board at the State and local level, and was recently appointed to the Stark Tuscarawas Workforce Development Board. She also serves on the Board of Stark County HR Association’s DE&I Committee. Lisa earned her MBA from University of Northwestern Ohio and her BS from Kent State University. She and her husband, Matt, have three grown children, a new grandson, and live in Alliance on a 38-acre tree farm.

  • Para Jones

    Stark State College

    Para Jones

  • Alison Kerns

    Harcatus Tri-County C.A.O., Inc.

    Alison Kerns

  • Mike Lauber



    Mike Lauber

    Mike Lauber is the Chairman/CEO TuscoMFG in Gnadenhutten – design, engineer, and producers of custom metal fabrications, store fixtures, and specialized vending equipment. Lauber’s current volunteer roles are as follows: Trustee, The College of Wooster; Board Member, MAGNET; Officer, Tuscarawas County Economic Development Corp; Trustee, Community Improvement Corp of Tuscarawas County; Mentor, Indian Valley High School. Lauber graduated from Massillon Washington High School, received his BA Economics/English from The College of Wooster, and is MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Lauber is the father of four, grandfather of six, and spouse of one. He is an Eagle Scout and lives in Dover, OH.

  • Susan Lenigar

    Stark County Job & Family Services

    Susan Lenigar

  • Marc Manheim

    Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)


    Marc Manheim

    Marc Manheim has worked in the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) field for over 35 years. He has been employed by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) for over 20 years, starting as a Vocational Rehabilitation Supervisor and advancing to Area Manager for the East Central Ohio Region, which serves over 2,500 Ohioans with disabilities annually. Prior to working at OOD, he worked at Goodwill Industries of East Central Ohio as Director of Workforce Development. Manheim has a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and a Master’s degree from Walsh University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with supervisory endorsement and also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). He currently serves on the Workforce Board of Area 6 (Stark and Tuscarawas counties) and the Workforce Board of Area 16 (Belmont, Carroll, Harrison and Jefferson counties).

  • Rick Moss

    Iron Workers Local 550 Canton

    Rick Moss

  • Steve Rippeth

    Buckeye Career Center

    Steve Rippeth

  • Scott Robinson

    Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce


    Scott Robinson

    Scott Robinson serves as President of the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Ashland University with a degree in Radio/TV. Prior to his chamber career, he spent 15 years as the President of the United Way of Tuscarawas County along with another 12 years as a News and Sports reporter at WJER Radio in Dover, Ohio. Scott is active with the Tuscarawas County Community Improvement Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio and the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum.

  • Tracy Sabo

    Aultman Health Foundation

    Tracy Sabo

  • Joseph Sekely


    Joseph Sekely

  • Sarah Spies

    United Way of Tuscarawas County


    Sarah Spies

    Sarah Spies is the President/CEO of the United Way of Tuscarawas County. Prior to joining the United Way, Sarah served as the Programming and Communications Coordinator for the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center. She is a lifelong resident of Tuscarawas County and currently lives in New Philadelphia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kent State University and Master of Arts in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. Outside of work, Sarah is involved with the Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County, Tuscarawas Arts Partnership, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles #515.

  • Darren Van Winkle

    Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway


    Darren Van Winkle

  • Patrice Yacko

    Dover Chemical

    Patrice Yacko

Stark Local Elected Officials

  • Janet Weir Creighton, Chief Elected Official (Council of Governments)

  • Richard Regula

  • Bill Smith

Tuscarawas Local Elected Officials

  • Chris Abbuhl

  • Greg Ress

  • Kristin Zemis

Workforce Development Board Team

  • JoAnn Breedlove

    Executive Director

  • Maddy Miller

    Communications Manager

  • Rebecca Harris

    Executive Assistant

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