The HITS program for existing business strong in its 2nd year

 HITS Logo 3 Cropped

Last updated on 11/2/2009 with HITS numbers. 

On target for 2009

Launched in 2008 by a team of public/non-profit business resource professionals, the HITS program had the ambitious goal of reaching out one-on-one to 1,000 businesses in the Springfield Ohio MSA (Clark County).  It accomplished that, reaching 1,039 businesses, hearing from 705 on their growth plans and helping 305 directly.  Prior to that in 2000/2001, the number of businesses reached was 70. 

For 2009, the team pushed the reach objective out to 1,100 and is focusing on even increasing the number of companies who are relaying their plans to over 1,000.  So far, we are pretty much on target.  Here are the current numbers:  

Reach+: 970
Companies to whom we’ve reached out one-on-one this calendar year, they may have responded or not

Respond+: 654
Companies who have responded back with their hiring, investment, training, and space plans

Assist: 275
Companies we have assisted this year or whom we are assisting still

Value: $576,726
Value of assistance tracked so far.  This is very low; much hasn’t been put in yet.

The Program

HITS is the initiative in Clark County to reach out to businesses and help them identify and obtain resources that help them grow.  The program is a collaborative team effort that leverages existing business relationships to increase the resources that businesses use.  Members of the core + associated teams reach out one-on-one to businesses located in the Springfield Ohio MSA (aka Clark County, Ohio) and ask the HITS questions about their plans to hire, invest, train or find new space.  The questions are described in more detail here –

The Team

The core team consists of non-profit resource partners who meet monthly to discuss resources and new projects.  The associate team consists of volunteers who assist in making HITS calls or entering data into the system.  Both are critical for our success.  The core team is listed below. The associate team consists of over 20 professionals + volunteers working with the organization to make the contacts.

Core Team    
Steve Anzur Exec. Director SBDC
Nancy Bridgman Exec. Director NET Incubator
Kimberly Jones City Manager New Carlisle City
Amy Donahoe Dir. of Hiring + Employer Services Chamber/CIC
Jim Franks Exec. Dir. + Dean, Corp. + Public Svc. Clark State CC
Maureen Fagans Exec. Director Center City
Shane Farnsworth Planning Director Clark County
Tom Franzen Econ. Dev. Administrator Springfield City
Duane Hodge Prog. Mgr., Bus. + Industry Training Clark State CC
Gary Kuhn Contract Training Facilitator Clark State CC
Maria Goeser Workforce Representative ODOD
Lehan Peters Director, Workforce Development Clark Co. JFS
Pat Richards Deputy Econ. Dev. Administrator Springfield City
Josh Rice Village Manager S. Charleston
Bill Salyers Chair, Econ. Dev. Committee Clark Co. TRIAD
Geoff Steele Deputy Director Clark Co. JFS
David Zak VP, Economic Development Chamber/CIC

Awards + Press

The HITS Business Retention + Expansion program was nominated for both the OEDA Best Innovation in Economic Development Award (was a finalist) in 2008 as well as the BREI Best Program award.  In 2009, it won an OSAE (Ohio Society of Association Executives) Achievement Award.

>> Here is the application, which provides a full history, philosophy, results + press coverage of the program in its first full year –
>> News-Sun article (7/6/2008) –
>> DBJ article (3/3/2008) –


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