VAN WERT -- Van Wert County Economic Development Director Sarah K. Smith is a matchmaker.

But instead of connecting people looking for love, Smith is working on putting together people looking for jobs with businesses who need good employees. That’s where VanWertWorks.com, a web-based employment service, comes into play.

The web site, to launch this summer, will feature area employers. It will provide a way to post job openings as well as data about company news and announcements, events, and information about their business. The county economic development initiative is modeled on a very successful program in Mercer County called Hometown Opportunity which focuses efforts on Mercer, Auglaize, and Darke counties and will be linked to Van Wert Works.

Van Wert County teamed up with an area small business to build the site.

"Natural Design and Graphics is excited to be partnering with Van Wert County to launch the new Van Wert Works website. We look forward to the opportunities for employers and members of the community this site will offer,” said owner Kelly Goyings.

“We want to leave no stone unturned in helping people find good jobs, and likewise to help businesses find good employees,” Smith said. “It’s also important to show kids that we do have opportunity waiting for them to stay home for after high school or come home to after college.”

Smith will be visiting local employers to set up profiles and information. The site also has potential of a future application tied with our local schools to provide career path development and possibility building resume’, a result of the Beyond the Classroom portion on the recently awarded Straight A grant made to several local area schools. The possible application will be fine-tuned throughout the summer and ready for release with the start of the 2014-15 school year.

“I’ve found that a lot of people from Van Wert don’t even realize the amazing advantages our county has to offer," Smith added. We have a talented workforce with a dedicated ag-based work ethic. And we also have jobs and opportunities available that a lot of homegrown talent misses or overlooks. VanWertWorks.com will hopefully help to close that gap and get the right people connected.”

Employers can contact Smith at (419) 238-6159 for more information.