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We Are Strengthening Stark

Strengthening Stark is a community-wide movement of residents, businesses, government, nonprofits and philanthropy who share a vision for a vibrant, growing county.

Our goal is to make Stark a great place to:

Start and grow a business

Develop one’s talent and pursue a career

Live and raise a family

Together, partners in Strengthening Stark:

Nurture Business Growth

  • More Stark businesses are getting help from the state to invest and add employees.
  • Stark Business 911 is an online tool to connect businesses to the resources they need to grow.
  • Entrepreneurs have access to specific resources to launch and sustain new ventures.

Develop Our Talent

  • Stark Jobs Platform provides job seekers, students, parents and others with information about current and future job market in Stark County.
  • Neighborhood groups, companies, educators and non-profits are working together to connect residents to the job market.
  • Educators, businesses and others are working together to make sure our youngest residents are prepared to succeed in school so that they are more likely to have prosperous careers.

Create Quality Places

  • Government and nonprofit leaders are using a new on-line tool to identify areas of need and opportunities for investment in their community.
  • Partners are working together to attract investments within targeted locations in Stark.

The Strengthening Stark partners have retained a small staff to bring the right people to the discussion, build support for existing efforts and catalyze new initiatives. Staff works with a Governance Committee that oversees all Strengthening Stark activity. Strengthening Stark is built on the belief that we are stronger when we come together to solve the complex challenges facing our community. Working together we reduce duplication of services, improve outcomes and increase accountability.

Our Funding

Several partners have contributed financial and in-kind resources to support the convening and coordinating work of Strengthening Stark. Contributors include:

Our Roots

Partners formed the Strengthening Stark movement early in 2018 in response to a report issued by an informal group of leaders from across Stark County that spent more than a year developing a deeper understanding of the economic trends, opportunities and challenges in Stark County.

Our Roots

We are strengthening Stark—and you can too

Movements require people with a desire and passion for change and the resources to achieve that change.

We’re committed to making Stark County a better place to start and grow a business, develop one’s talent and pursue a career, and live and raise a family and you’re invite to join us!
  • Get invested in Stark County - learn what is happening and talk about issues that exist
  • Engage your friends and family, your professional circles, and your social circles in addressing issues in your backyard!
  • Be courageous and lead change
  • Support local businesses and source locally whenever possible
  • Take pride in your home and common areas
  • Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media


2021 Middle School Stark Tank Winners

 Stark Tank: Middle School Edition brings our entrepreneurial contest to Stark County middle schools, encouraging students to develop creative ideas for the community and empower participants to develop meaningful life skills. The program is developed and implemented by TodTod Ideas, Stark...

My Stark Story: John McLaughlin

Name: John McLaughlin Title and Employer/Organization: VP of Business Development How would you describe your day job to a child? I think the most succinct distillation of what I do in the Stark Economic Development Board is that I try to attract, expand, and ...

Canton Student Loan Foundation Highlight

For almost 100 years, the Canton Student Loan Foundation has put Stark County students first when it comes to helping with school expenses.  Our loan is local, has no fees and does not accrue interest while the student is in school.  That is a BIG deal since most loans start to accrue ...

March 18, 2021 Job Fair Results

The following article was published in The Source, the monthly newsletter available from one of Strengthening Stark's community partners: OhioMeansJobs Stark and Tuscarawas Counties.  OhioMeansJobs Stark County and Strengthening Stark once again ventured into the world of virtual car...

Virtual Job Fair March 18

 OhioMeansJobs Stark County and Strengthening Stark To Host Virtual Career FairJob seekers will have the opportunity to connect virtually with area employers from the comfort of their home, smartphone or computer at the Stark County OHZone Virtual Career Fair on Thursday, March 18th, from 1...
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