The SOD Training Center Receives Association of Ohio Commodores Foundation Grant

The SOD Training Center Receives Association of Ohio Commodores Foundation Grant

The SOD Training Center is among five programs across Ohio receiving a workforce development grant from the Association of Ohio Commodores Foundation Fund.

The Association awarded the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc., aka SOD Center, Inc., $20,000.00 to support the continuation of the SOD Training Center’s workforce development training model that has trained nearly 1200 local employees. Robert Sebo, a member of the Commodores, nominated the SOD Training Center for this grant award.

Since launching in November of 2018, The SOD Training Center has facilitated 75 courses and workshops supporting workforce development in the Salem region. Julie Needs, Executive Director of the SOD Center, commented that “The pandemic had a significant impact on our ability to provide training by shuttering our center for nearly 12 months. This generous award by the Ohio Commodores Foundation will support the revival of the SOD Training Centers efforts to meet the needs of local and regional employers by addressing important issues of workforce development such as, skills gap, employee retention, skills growth, company retention & growth, economic development, and a workforce pipeline for current and future industry in the region.”

This project will assist in developing and up-skilling a ready and able workforce to succeed and excel in careers with local and regional employers. Local and regional employers site workforce as a top challenge to growing their businesses. Providing dedicated specialized training that addresses the employers’ needs as well as the skills employees need to obtain and follow a career pathway is necessary for overall economic growth in the region. Needs stated “We are honored and grateful to be one of the 5 organizations selected by the Ohio Commodores Foundation to support workforce development in the State of Ohio.

The Association of Ohio Commodores awarded grants totaling $80,000 as the Association celebrated its 55th anniversary with this inaugural grant round during its 2021 Winter Meeting. Grants support training, professional development, and other community activities that create and develop a strong Ohio workforce.

The Association of Ohio Commodores Foundation Fund was established in partnership with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO), a regional community foundation
serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. FAO creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit To learn more about the Association of Ohio Commodores Foundation Fund, visit

For more information regarding the SOD Training Center, visit

About SOD Center, Inc

The SOD Center is a 501 (c)(3) organization facilitating growth to advance economic vitality and improve
the quality of life for Salem residents.

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"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