About SOD

The Dean Hansell Training Scholarship will provide education funding to expand the employment opportunities for Salem High School graduates of any age who have been accepted into an accredited vocational, technical or credential program.

The selected candidate may attend a vocational school, trade school, technical school, certification training program, or credential program.  Eligible fields of study include, but are not limited to, advanced manufacturing, automotive technology, computer technology, construction, cosmetology, culinary arts, electrical, HVAC, health care, industrial maintenance, machining, plumbing, or welding.

All applicants must be a graduate of Salem High School.

Award selection is made by Sustainable Opportunity Development “SOD” Center, Inc. with preference given to applicants who:

  • Are currently unemployed or at risk.
  • Wish to remain in the Salem, Ohio Area.
  • Demonstrate a financial need.
  • Would like to expand their current skills.
  • Needs to retrain for today’s in demand careers


All applicants must provide a completed application by the determined deadlines.

  • Fall Application deadline: July 15, 2021
  • Spring Application deadline: December 15th, 2021

Funds will be awarded based on availability.

Applicants must agree that all application information will be reviewed by a scholarship committee and all award decisions are made by the SOD Center whose decisions shall be deemed final.


Customer Service Assessment and Workshop

This 1.5-hour workshop will help both employees and managers examine their attitudes about customer service in five critical areas:

  • Having a positive attitude toward customers
  • Encouraging customer feedback
  • Responding to customer problems
  • Developing repeat relationships
  • Seeking to exceed customer expectations

The assessment can be used to measure individual performance, build a service team, or identify changes needed in policies or operating procedures. This assessment and workshop is appropriate for anyone who has contact with customers by helping:

  • Create a profile of individual customer service strengths and weaknesses
  • Recognize the opportunities to improve customer service and retention
  • Identify an individual action plan to enhance service in the five key areas

Basic Math for Manufacturing

Would you like to work in manufacturing, but your math skills are a little lacking? Do you need to refresh basic math functions and skills? Set up one-on-one or small group tutoring of basic math concepts needed in manufacturing including: 

  • Arithmetic, Fractions and Decimals
  • Measurements - metric/imperial systems and conversions, area and volume, mass, temperature
  • Dimensions and Tolerances
  • Proportions, Ratios and Percent
  • Basic Algebra
  • Practical Geometry and Solid Figures
  • Angles and Triangles
  • Sines, Cosines and Tangents

Team Building Series

Improve your team's ability to make effective decisions! Simulations demonstrate the importance of group process skills, such as making decisions under pressure, and then help them acquire those skills. It starts with an imaginary adventure. But the group has barely gotten settled in before something goes awry. Now they're faced with a life-threatening crisis that requires them to work as a team with limited resources and only each other to count on. The Team Adventure Series works through a process of decision making to assess how well your team makes decisions together and offers opportunity for discussion about how to improve. The team building simulations:

  • Illustrate the concept of team synergy
  • “Break the ice” among new or conflicted teams
  • Give teams a nonthreatening opportunity to work together to solve problems
  • Help teams practice consensus decision making
  • Improve active listening, probing and confronting behaviors in a realistic setting

Adventures available:

CAVE WITHOUT A NAME – It starts innocently enough. A group of tourists descends deep into the unexplored territory of a cave near the Guadalupe River in Texas. But suddenly, they hear a loud "shoof!" sound and before they can react, the caverns are consumed by a rush of water that fills the cave. The lights go dark and now the group huddles in terror as they realize they’re trapped with no obvious way out. Cave Without a Name introduces the concept of synergy and helps team members to develop vital group-process skills such as decision making and interpersonal communication.

Expansion of SOD Training Center

May 03, 2021

The Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc. (The SOD Center) announces the expansion of The SOD Training Center. The SOD Training Center offers a location in Salem, Ohio to help meet the training needs of area businesses. The expansion of s

Circle K Invests in Salem

February 28, 2021

Salem, Ohio’s resilience proves a welcome commodity as Circle K opens their third store. The worldwide chain retailer’s slogan boasts, “From humble beginnings to world-class business;” therefore, Circle K and Salem are a perfect match. With i

Chipotle Opens in Salem Ohio

January 18, 2021

CHIPOTLE—MADE JUST FOR YOU! A Chipotle Restaurant is the newest addition to Salem, Ohio’s growing business community. Located at 2203 E. State St. and open 7 days per week from 10:45 AM - 10:00 PM, they are now hiring all positions. According to

2021-2026 Economic Development Plan

October 29, 2020

For the City of Salem, Ohio Ignite Salem – Forging Our Future Together DOWNLOAD 2021-2026 PLAN (7 MB PDF) > The Economic Development Plan for the City of Salem is meant as a guide toward improving and growing our community. The purpose of this

This April - Ohio’s Largest Small Business to Government Contracting Event

February 19, 2020

2020 Ohio Business Matchmaker Ohio’s Largest Small Business to Government Contracting Event!! For a more than a decade, the Ohio Business Matchmaker has connected small businesses to government contracting opportunities. As one of the largest busi

City of Salem Incentives, Growing Salem:

December 16, 2019

In 1981 the City of Salem established a Community Reinvestment Area to assist in encouraging Economic and Community Development and housing maintenance.  Over the years Salem has made updates to the original “CRA”, most recently in 2017, to incl

From the Desk of the Executive Director, Winter 2019-2020

December 16, 2019

As we embrace the winter season and closeout a successful year at the SOD Center, we anticipate a new year with new growth and possibilities for The SOD Center, the City of Salem and surrounding areas.  I would like to take the opportunity to thank

SOD Training Center – Looking Back and Looking Ahead

December 16, 2019

The SOD Training Center celebrated 1 year of operation on November 1st! It’s been a year of trial and error as we figure out what training is most needed, while balancing what needs we are able to meet well. We appreciate your support and willingne

Economic Development Plan for the City of Salem

December 16, 2019

In April of 2019 the SOD Center proposed developing an Economic Development Plan for the City of Salem.  With support of the City Council Economic Development committee, development of the plan began immediately with the release of a Community Surve
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Start Growing In Salem.

We support your business growth through site selection, retention, expansion, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, workforce development and quality of life. No wonder, businesses are Growing In Salem.

How SOD Center Does Work for You.

"We support all businesses, small and large, to attract, retain, expand and develop. We help build entrepreneurship, provide training facilities and connect you with the right resources – while collaborating with regional, state and national resources. We are all Growing in Salem." - Julie Needs, Executive Director, SOD Center