Geauga Growth Partnership (GGP) stepped away from their regular business agenda during their bi-monthly board meeting on Monday evening, May 15th to recognize their outstanding partnership with Berkshire Schools Superintendent Mr. Douglas DeLong, who will be leaving his position at the end of this school year.
GGP Board Chair Mr. John Epprecht spoke of Mr. DeLong’s involvement when GGP hosted the first class of high school sophomores for the inaugural GGP Career Readiness Training in 2013. That first Career Readiness class laid the groundwork for what has become the highly successful GGP Youth Workforce Development Program, which in 2016 provided training experiences for more than 1200 students.
When GGP Founder Frank Samuel first developed the concept for youth career training, he sent preliminary information to all the Geauga County school superintendents to solicit interest. “Doug DeLong was the first, and perhaps the only, educator to respond,” said GGP Youth Education task force chair John Wilhelm.
Since that time, Berkshire Schools, under Mr. DeLong’s leadership, have piloted every aspect of the Youth Workforce Development Program.
GGP Board of Directors presented Doug DeLong with a Certificate of Appreciation, which states,
“The Geauga Growth Partnership is pleased to honor Mr. Douglas DeLong for his vision and unwavering commitment to student success and educational excellence during his distinguished tenure as Superintendent of the Berkshire School District in Burton, Ohio.
In grateful recognition for his passionate service and valued partnership, the Geauga Growth Partnership has contributed $750.00 to the Kent State University Geauga Campus Educational Scholarship Fund to advance higher education. This scholarship will be awarded to a Berkshire High School graduate from the Class of 2017 in honor of Douglas DeLong.
Our sincere best wishes to Douglas DeLong for continued success and good fortune.”
“In all my years as an educator,” said Doug DeLong. “This is one of the best things I’ve done. It’s been a great experience.”
Douglas DeLong has been superintendent for Berkshire School District since 2008, and prior to that, served as principal of Chardon High School.
GGP’s Youth Workforce Development Program began in 2012 by providing High School Internships with Geauga County businesses for 9 students. Beginning in 2013 the programs expanded to include Career Readiness training for High School sophomores, juniors and seniors. In 2015, GGP added 8th Grade Career Awareness Days to the offerings, which provide days for 8th graders to visit area businesses to learn of potential careers, education and skill requirements, and more. In 2017, GGP held the first “Ignite Your Career” event offered to students in grades 7 -12 with their parents.
GGP developed the Youth Workforce Development Programs with the goal to “Prepare Tomorrow’s Workforce Today.” Geauga Growth Partnership is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization created in 2010, which works to retain and grow jobs, contribute to business growth and strengthen the local economy.
Geauga Growth Partnership’s mission is to enhance the business climate, encourage job creation, to strengthen economic prosperity and to improve the quality of life for all Geauga County residents.
Pictured In Photo: From left to right, Tracy Jemison, Doug DeLong, John Epprecht