City to Businesses: 'Let Us Help You'

Strongsville celebrated its business community – and sought input on how the city can better serve local industry – at a luncheon June 19.

Mayor Tom Perciak told the business leaders, many representing some of the city’s largest employers, that he wants their feedback on both the advantages and challenges of operating a company here today.

“We want to hear from you,” he told the crowd. “It’s important for us to hear what’s going on in your individual shops.”

Representatives from 18 local companies offered insight into their operations. Bill Young, CEO of Southwest General, echoed the sentiments of many in the room when he said the labor force is the biggest challenge for the health center.

“We have 100 openings for RN (registered nurse) positions,” Young said.

Paul Psota, CEO of Altenheim Senior Living, added that a lack of public transportation makes it difficult to bring entry level workers to Strongsville. He also said employees at his facility need evening and overnight daycare options.

“That (24/7 childcare) would be a huge asset in our community,” Psota said.

Jeff Minnick from Swagelok also said it has been a challenge to find qualified employees since opening a machine shop in Strongsville, but said city officials have helped the company find local talent and arrange hiring events.

“Those are the kind of things we’d be happy to do for anyone in this room,” Economic Development Director Brent Painter said.

Both he and Perciak said told the business leaders that companies like theirs, of all types and sizes, are the key to the city’s economic success.  
“Our security, our Aaa bond rating, is built on the idea of diversity among our industries,” Painter said.

“Strongsville approaches business a little differently than most cities,” Perciak added. “We want to be a part.”

Businesses represented at the event included Momentive Technologies, Kraft Fluid Systems, PLIDCO, Altenheim, Enterprise Holdings, Clark-Reliance, Schaeffler, Spartronics, SouthPark Mall, B.A. Sweeties, Fabrizi Trucking & Paving, Southwest General, Infinium Walls, Kalinich Fence, Swagelok, Sgt. Clean Car Wash, Kalfas Construction and Woodpeckers Inc.