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VA Educational Workshop At Vista Springs Greenbriar On February 23

9.2 million Veterans may be eligible for a VA Pension, only 290,000 receiving. Learn if you or a loved one is eligible to receive $13,836 to $25,525 per year, tax-free. Vista Springs Greenbriar is hosting a free educational workshop about the VA Aid and Attendance benefit on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. This event is open to the public and will take place at the community, which is located at 8668 Day Drive, Parma, OH 44129.  Please call 440-340-4000 to register. 

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 4:05 PM, 02.21.2017

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2017 To Bring Recreation Updates And Innovations For Parma Heights

Ever since my first day in office, I have been committed to ensuring that the programs offered by our Recreation Department are numerous and varied and open the door to participation by residents of all ages. With that in mind, 2017 will see renovations to the Cultural Center building in the Greenbrier Commons along with recreation program updates including online registration and the addition of new activities.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

Parma State Of The City Address Set For Feb. 28

Mayor Tim DeGeeter will offer his 2017 State of the City address on Tuesday evening, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. Continuing the trend started when he entered office in 2012, the mayor will showcase a community partner by taking his address outside of City Hall. This year, the address will be delivered at the General Motors Parma Metal Center, 5400 Chevrolet Blvd. The Mayor chose this location to highlight GM’s recent $218 million investment in the facility.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

Funding To Parma And Seven Hills For Improved Water Quality

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Board of Trustees awarded $7.2 million to 12 communities - including Parma and Seven Hills - as part of the agency’s newly-launched Member Community Infrastructure Program (MCIP).

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:23 AM, 02.01.2017

Faith Community Directory

Christ the Saviour American Orthodox Church 10000 State Road N. Royalton, OH 440-237-9196

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

Enough Is Enough

Last November, Lee Kamps wrote a piece for the Observer titled We Are The United States Of America in which he said we're all Americans and so (he concluded in roundabout way) we should all get behind our newly elected president and other representatives. Obviously the piece was written before the election and anyone who has read just about anything Mister Kamps has written understands he wrote it because he believed his candidate, Clinton, would win. If you have any doubt of that, read some of his past Observer pieces. For example, last February, he wrote that Republicans, especially Trumps, are Xenophobic. In August, it was Republicans, especially Trump, are only pandering to our fears. My personal favorite came in October when he wrote that electing Trump would guarantee that we would have another Watergate.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

The Picasso Project: Art Classes Led By Parma Residents

A learning center that teaches art? Why not! College Colleagues opened its doors in October 2016. My college colleague, Joline Scott Roller, and I decided to offer learning programs such as tutoring, success coaching, and workshops to the local communities. 

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

Change for Change’s Sake Sometimes Is Not Good

The final number of the musical Hairspray is a rollicking number involving the entire cast titled “You Can’t Stop the Beat”. It is performed after the Corny Collins show, a teen dance show like American Bandstand, becomes integrated. The setting of this play is in Baltimore in 1962 when the civil rights movement was gaining strength. The song is about how no one can stop the movement of progress no matter how hard they try.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

Asset Corner #86

SHOW KIDS YOU CARE:  INTRODUCE THEM TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. February’s Asset Category: POSITIVE VALUES. You are what you believe

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

I Believe

A person who can laugh at himself or herself will never cease to be amused. All kids are gifted; some just open their packages earlier than others. Be willing to compromise but never compromise your principles. Character is much easier kept than recovered. EXPOSURE: Our character is molded by our surroundings. Few, if anyone, would disagree that our moral values are disintegrating. God can make a nobody somebody. God’s Word is true. People do not realize that sin (wrong behavior) always destroys. Good things happen when families eat their meals together. Great character is developed in the crucible. If people were angels no laws would be necessary. Meekness often means to go against the flow. One-on-one relationships are top priority with God. Our thoughts are triggered by our surroundings, our memories, and our imagination. Sin (wrong) destroys our will power. It saps our will to live righteously (right). The deeper we stoop to God, the deeper we stoop to serve others. The longer we wait, the closer we get to receive promises. There are many paths up the mountain of God. Unselfish love (agape) sacrifices its own interests for the needs of others. We are who we allow ourselves to become. We rarely think about the things we think about. When we accept responsibility for our weaknesses, we are less likely to blame and criticize other people. When we do our own thing, our own thing does us. Wherever we go, we take ourselves with us. Whether people believe it or not, the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Without kindness, life is like a suitcase with no handle. You never will know the worth of water until the well is dry. Self-reflection is always a good exercise. What I believe is a work in progress, not limited to these statements and subject to change. What do YOU believe?

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

The President's Corner

This month I am reporting to you on another of Parma’s many places of worship. In fact, in mid-January I had the honor of meeting with Fr. Robert Wisniewski, Jr., pastor of St. Bridget of Kildare Roman Catholic Church, located at 5620 Hauserman Road. Our meeting proved how important this parish is to the neighborhoods of Parma it serves, as well as to the community as a whole.

“I grew up in Willowick, which is ‘east side Parma,’" Fr. Wisniewski mentioned in our talk. He finds a lot of positive parallels between his hometown and his adopted home.  He added that Parma is “super-neighborly.” He illustrated by recalling when he was still a seminarian visiting one of Parma’s famous block parties with a friend. “You could tell that Parma residents looked out for each other and I still see it today,” he explained.

A Lake High School graduate, Fr. Wisniewski felt a vocation to the priesthood from a young age and, after a weekend program at Borromeo Seminary, he made his decision to actively discern this vocation. During his tenure at the seminary, he spent a year as an intern at St. Bridget. “I remember peering out the window of the rectory one day thinking, ‘I could serve here,’” he reminisced. After serving as an associate pastor at several area parishes, as fate would have it, Bishop Anthony Pilla appointed him pastor at St. Bridget’s on February 1, 2005. He is only the third pastor of the parish in its over 60 year history.

As has been a theme in this column, the growth of Parma’s faith community mirrored the burgeoning population of the 1950s and 1960s. St. Bridget Church was born during this time of incredible growth. In fact, the parish was founded in 1956 as a sister parish to Parma’s St. Charles Borromeo. Prior to that, the property had served as a landing strip for small aircraft. The founding pastor, Fr. Theodore Blair, was serving as an associate pastor at St. Charles at the time.

Founded as St. Bridget Parish, Fr. Wisniewski explained that there are two St. Bridgets in the Catholic Church, one from Ireland and another from Sweden. Early in his tenure, knowing the parish was named in honor of Bridget of Ireland, he successfully petitioned Bishop Richard Lennon to have the parish officially named "St. Bridget of Kildare Parish."

The parish offers many services and events to its parishioners and the community, at large, including its kindergarten through eighth grade school. “St. Bridget is very mindful of the poor,” Fr. Wisniewski mentioned. “I continue to be inspired by how generous the parishioners are when called to help others in need, in the spirit of their patroness,” he added. He added that there are several examples where someone in the Parish was in need and the community came together to help with their time and/or treasure. Further, the Good Samaritan Ministry collects thousands of dollars every year to assist needy in the area, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Parish groups also hold several food drives, take meals to the ill, offer tuition assistance when families are experiencing financial distress, among other programs.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

Holiday Lighting Contest Winners

Congratulations to winners Scott Macko, Joe Kovach and Brian Kwiatkowski, whose holiday lights brought joy to us all during the holiday season. The winners were honored at a recent City Council meeting by Mayor DeGeeter, Matt Orehek (representing the Young Professionals of Parma) and ward council Mark Casselberry and Larry Napoli. The winners received certificates of congratulations from City Council, Mayor DeGeeter, Treasurer Tom Mastroianni, Auditor Brian Day and Law Director Tim Dobeck. The winners also received certificates from the Young Professionals of Parma and gift certificates from local merchants Fast Eddies, Antonios and the Little Birdie Wine Nest, which were provided by Parma city officials. Thank you to the Young Professionals of Parma for partnering with the City of Parma on this event so that all could enjoy holiday lights.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

MyCom Youth Corner

While many people have a day off work to reflect on the life and impact of Martin Luther King Jr., MyCom youth know it is a day of service. For our MLK Day of service, eight Tri-City MyCom youth eagerly gathered at the Parma Animal Shelter to give of their time and energy. Students from Normandy, Parma Senior, Valley Forge High School and Shiloh Middle School cleaned walls and wiped down cabinets and doors, raked leaves, assisted with recycling and cut fabric to make “cat pierogis” - catnip-filled toys shaped like pierogis! We all enjoyed this day of service and many of the youth want to make it a regular habit!

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

Ice

What a wonderful act of nature, ice. What would it have been for iced tea, to have to go to the nearest mountain for the ice? Now, we take a short trip to the refrigerator, open the freezer and voila, instant ice. It is also quite convenient for those adult beverages. Ice has also been shown to benefit the medical community for assorted injuries when one slips on the ice of a walkway. In days gone by people took pride in their attention to their property. Maintaining the lawn, attention to the flower garden, clearing debris, including snow, was not only a reflection of their property but of themselves their family and their community and their nationality. Neighbors did notice attention to details.  Make the time to take a winter stroll around your neighborhood sometime and notice those who care for their property and those who are lax. Perhaps it has been influenced by the disintegration of the ethnic neighborhoods. No one of ethnicity wanted to be looked down upon for the lack of cleanliness or organization. To those of you who have the pride and consideration of clearing the snow from your public walkways, allow me to thank you on behalf of those who actually get out from behind a steering wheel and do this thing referred to as walking. You may or may not believe this, but that little bit of effort on your part is appreciated. Now to those of you who refrain from the activity of clearing public walkways, allow one question to be asked: what are your thoughts about those who don’t make life easier for you? 

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:22 AM, 02.01.2017

Parma Police Officer Indicted By Cuyahoga County Grand Jury

On February 2, 2017, the Parma Police Department was notified by prosecutors from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office that one of our officers was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges of Identity Fraud and Obstructing Justice.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 12:36 PM, 02.03.2017

Frosted

Would this be the day the weatherman’s prediction came true?  With no windows in our office, most of us ladies hoped the promise of a heavy snowfall was just another veiled threat to which we’ve become accustomed. A few break-time peeks only built up our confidence that we can handle any northeastern Ohio winter. But now at quitting time, our parking lot resembled a lumpy cake to which a thick, fluffy white frosting was applied. We got “dumped on.” 

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 9:23 AM, 02.01.2017

Civil Defense In The 1950's

Air raid drills. Conelrad. Bomb shelters. Duck and cover. All of these were familiar terms to Americans in the Cold War culture of the 1950's. The future looked uncertain in the new Atomic Age, and there was growing tension between America and the Soviet Union. People lived with the threat of nuclear war as part of their daily lives.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 9:23 AM, 02.01.2017

GM To Invest Over $200 Million At Parma Metal Center

Parma Plant Manager Lamar Rucker making the announcement before the Parma Team.

At 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2016, and before hundreds of Parma team members, Plant Manager Lamar Rucker made the most important announcement in Parma’s recent history. “So it is my honor, and I am humbled at this, to announce that General Motors is going to invest with Parma and UAW Local 1005 an amount totaling $218 million.” That announcement was met with a thunderous round of applause from the Parma Team. It’s is the second largest investment in Parma’s 68 year history. “This will help us retain and secure jobs,” added Lamar. “And puts us in one heckuva position for the future.”

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

The First Suburbs Consortium: Twenty Years Working For Us

Recently, the First Suburbs Consortium (FSC) celebrated its 20th anniversary as an advocate on behalf of our city and other older suburbs surrounding Cleveland. The mayors of Cuyahoga County’s inner ring communities formed the FSC to change federal, state and county policies that, as noted by the Brookings Institution, have been keeping inner ring suburbs in a “policy blind spot.” Parma, Parma Heights and the other sixteen cities that are members of the FSC Council of Governments populate 38% of the county. This is more than either the City of Cleveland or the county’s outer suburbs combined. Both of us proudly serve on the First Suburbs Executive Board. 

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

Parma Recognizes December's Citizen And Business Of The Month

Cuyahoga District 4 Councilman Charles Germana accepting his award for Parma Citizen of the Month, flanked by Parma Mayor Timothy J. DeGeeter, Ward 1 Parma City Councilman Vito Dipierro, and his successor in Cuyahoga Council District 4, Ward 8 Parma City Councilman Scott Tuma.

The Shoppes at Parma and retiring County Councilman Chuck Germana were honored as Business of the Month and Citizen of the Month for December. Germana was honored for his outstanding and tireless work for Parma over a number of years. He is retiring from his most recent public service as the District 4 Cuyahoga County Councilman (and will be replaced by Ward 8 Parma City Councilman Scott Tuma in January.) Despite his retirement from public service, Chuck, who has worked at Parma’s family-owned Four Star Insurance for 46 years, remains an important and respected community advocate. He is a product of Parma Senior High and Ohio University and attends St. Bridget parish. Chuck has led numerous community endeavors as their president, including Proud of Parma, Parma Jaycees, Boy Scout Troop 358 Committee, Valley Forge Boosters, Parma Area Chamber of Commerce, Parma City Council, Cuyahoga County Insurance Board and the Northeast Ohio City Council Association. Chuck and Anne have been married for 48 years and have four children and eight grandchildren.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

Introduction Of Plans For West Creek Quarry District

In December, Derek Schafer from West Creek Conservancy along with representatives from studioTECHNE architects appeared before Parma City Council and presented their plan for the West Creek Quarry District, part of the Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative. What they proposed is a plan to support and adopt complete street initiatives, create bike/pedestrian safe access and facilities, support economic development through place-based transportation and land use recommendations, and connect these proposals with existing assets and investments. They would further integrate principles of accessibility and environmental justice ensuring the benefits of growth and change are available to all members of the community, integrate and link recreation assets, and provide people with safe and reliable transportation choices that enhance their quality of life.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

Buy America Is The Right Thing To Do

“Buy American and hire American.” At a rally in Cincinnati this month, President-elect Trump used those words as he pledged to use American products and workers to carry out his infrastructure plan. Congress has encouraged this bipartisan idea for many years because it just makes sense. If we’re investing in our country’s infrastructure, why wouldn’t we also invest in our country’s workers and businesses? Buy America rules ensure that there’s work at plants in Coshocton, Cleveland, Marion and across our state – supporting Ohio jobs. But last week, Washington leadership abandoned that idea and turned its back on the many Ohioans who work in the iron and steel industry.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

First Glimpse Of Vista Springs

Christopher Milo entertains guests at Vista Springs Greenbriar on December 15.

On December 15 Vista Springs Greenbriar held a "soft opening event" that offered people from the area a much anticipated look at this modern living space that has grown from the ground up right before their eyes over the past year. Inside, the luxurious surroundings and furnishings speak for themselves. A warm, comfortable atmosphere with a building design that seems easy to navigate. 

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

The Year That Was 2016

September 11, 2016- Shoppes at Parma. A ceremony was held to permanently install a piece of the World Trade Towers from 9-11-01 in a prominent memorial.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

City Of Parma Scholarships Available

The Board of Trustees of the City of Parma Andrew Boyko Memorial Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are being accepted for the 2017 award season. In its tenth year, the Foundation will once again offer three to five scholarships with a minimum award of $1,500 each. One of these scholarships will be designated for an applicant exhibiting an exceptional commitment to community service. Applications are available on the City of Parma website at http://www.cityofparma-oh.gov. Applications may also be obtained at Parma City Hall, any of the Parma Cuyahoga County Public Library branches or any high school located within the Parma City School District. The Scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to high school seniors or equivalent who are residents of the City of Parma wishing to pursue post-secondary education during the 2017 – 2018 academic year. Financial need, work ethic, community service, and accomplishments are among the selection criteria for the scholarship. The application deadline is March 31, 2017. For more information or to donate to the Foundation, please contact Parma City Council President and Board of Trustees Member Sean Brennan at sbrennan@cityofparma-oh.gov or 440-885-8091.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

I Believe

A humble heart complains less. All of our decisions and undertakings should be compatible with Godly standards. Avoid “picky” word fights started by quarrelsome individuals. Be respectful of differences among people. Discover each other’s positive traits of goodness, friendship, and love. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

MyCom Youth Corner

The accomplishments of two area students are the focus of this month’s column. 

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

The President's Corner

This month I return to my continuing series on Parma’s places of worship by reporting on Holy Spirit Byzantine Catholic Church. I have visited Holy Spirit, located at 5500 West 54th Street, many times over the years and have developed a close friendship with Pastor Reverend Father James Batcha. I have to say that I always feel welcomed into this special Parma holy space. 

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:53 PM, 01.05.2017

The Holiday Season And Human "Kind"...

Another holiday season has once again made its way into our hearts and memories, and with the season came an ever inspiring spirit moved in us all to wish a warm and welcome time with family and friends, and thoughtful goodwill, empathy and understanding towards all upon the earth. 

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:52 PM, 01.05.2017

Asset Corner #85

SHOW KIDS YOU CARE:  BE CURIOUS WITH THEM. January’s Asset Category: POSITIVE IDENTITY.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:52 PM, 01.05.2017

Is There A Future For The ACA And Your Health Insurance?

With the election of Donald Trump as the next President and with the Republican party in control of congress beginning this month, is there a future for the ACA or Obamacare? While the Republican party has made a lot of noise about repealing this act, actually undoing it will be much more complicated and could have serious and unintended consequences.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:52 PM, 01.05.2017

Demonstrations

When people are dissatisfied with an outcome or ruling, usually of a political nature, they demonstrate. With the proper permits from the area that is of concern to make their point is not only a legal but also an impressive manner to make their voices heard. Without documentation, that is illegal assembly and the activists are subject to prosecution under the law. Kowtowing to those who do not follow this procedure is merely encouraging them not to follow the law, not only in this instance but other instances as well. Rules are made for a reason. The reasons are supposed to be for the public good and safety. The rules, at times, are not always valid, in which case they can work to change the laws governing them. While the rules exist, follow them and there will be no consequence; don’t and there are and should be consequences. It has become commonplace that demonstrations are often accompanied by violence and rioting. If this is done to emphasize a point this rationale should be rethought. 

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:52 PM, 01.05.2017

The Family Tank

Winter snowfalls remind me of the automobile “Year-end Clearance” sales years ago, when we hastily needed to replace our car. Our favorite choices had quickly sold out weeks earlier, but luckily we found a reasonable, higher-end replacement. We thought!  Our teenagers, hoping for a sporty, flashy model admitted they “wouldn’t want to be seen in that TANK.”  The name stuck. 

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:52 PM, 01.05.2017

Young 7-Eleven® Franchisee Committed To Parma – Purchases Second Store In Area

Adam Radogna acquired his first 7-Eleven franchise store at 7510 Broadview Road just last year at the age of 26. He just purchased his second store in Parma at 6858 Ridge Road.

Entrepreneur Adam Radogna has demonstrated his commitment to the Parma area with the purchase of a 7-Eleven® franchise store located at 6858 Ridge Road across from Parmatown Mall. The deal took place on December 5. This is Radogna’s second franchise store; he acquired his first store located at 7510 Broadview Road just last year at the age of 26.  

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:52 PM, 01.05.2017

How The Great Depression And World War II Affected Ohio

During the Depression, millions of American workers lost their jobs. In Ohio by 1933, more than 40% of factory workers and 67% of construction workers were unemployed. In 1932, Ohio’s unemployment rate for all residents reached 37.3%. Industrial workers who retained their jobs usually faced reduced hours and wages. These people had a difficult time supporting their families. Many of Ohio’s city workers moved to the countryside, where they could grow enough food to feed their families.  

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:52 PM, 01.05.2017