Agency Hires New Youth Coordinator

posted 11/21/20 -- LCCAA’s new Youth Services Coordinator made his move to mission-based work when his job was impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Josh Smith, a native of Grafton, was working at Humanetics’ crash test dummy manufacturing facility in Huron when the plant was shut down due to COVID-19. He followed his boss to volunteer at the Elyria Bicycle Education Center where Ed Stewart connected him with Bobby Taylor.

“I enjoyed working with bikes and the youth,” Smith said. “And I loved that feeling that I was actually doing something to help others.”

Smith started work Nov. 16 under Taylor, who has been promoted to Deputy Planning and Community Services Director. Taylor will take over as Planning and Community Services Director after Frank Prihoda retires Dec. 31.

Smith attended Lorain County Community College completing his degree in biology and chemistry after transferring to Bowling Green State University. Including Humanetics, he worked at several industrial jobs doing lab and testing work. He had considered teaching after finding the lab work tedious, he said. Teaching others seems to come naturally to Smith, who has often found himself in a mentorship role with co-workers or members of his large family.

“I like teaching, training and sharing information with others,” he said.

LCCAA’s youth have already impressed him with their knowledge and work ethic in partnership with Second Harvest Foodbank. At a distribution last week at Elyria High School, Smith said the youth knew exactly what to do and were also very friendly. He looks forward to a post-COVID-19 environment where college tours and other community service work can resume for the Youth Services Program.

“I’m excited to work on bikes with the youth and turn them loose on a bike,” he said. “I’m excited to see what we do and have a positive impact.”