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Published: Wednesday, 5/30/2001

County eyes development office space at Riverside

Lucas County commissioners are expected to decide tomorrow on whether to lease a portion of Riverside Mercy Hospital to use as offices for the county's revamped economic development department.

Waymon Usher, director of economic development for the county, said yesterday that the space is needed because the department is beginning to use staff members from the department of Job and Family Services to expand into duties under the state's workforce investment act.

The space in the Government Center is inadequate for the expanding staff, he said.

Cmmissioners plan to establish a one-stop location to serve the needs of both employers and prospective employees.

The plan is to have counseling services, vocational training, job recruitment areas, and space for state and local agencies to aid people in moving from government assistance to employment.

Sandy Isenberg, president of the board of county commissioners, said that the temporary office space likely to be leased at Riverside may eventually be the site of other social-service agencies.

Riverside operates as an in-patient and out-patient hospital, but is scheduled to shut down most hospital services when its owner, Mercy Health Partners, opens a full-service hospital on Secor Road.

Mrs. Isenberg said the search for a permanent center will continue, but noted that Riverside, on Summit Street, is in an area where a number of people needing services live and that it is easily accessible by car and is on a bus route.

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