Column: COVID-19 causes $554M in lost wages, county takes action


Commentary by Mark Heirbrandt

In Hamilton County alone, COVID-19 has caused an estimated $554 million, and counting, in lost wages. I was heartbroken over the stories of family restaurants struggling to pay rent, new businesses forced to shut their doors or delay opening and citizens at a loss for work. But through it all, we remained hopeful.

In an effort to combat rising unemployment and address the significant financial burden caused by COVID-19, our county created the Hamilton County Workforce Recovery Task Force and the Hamilton County Stabilization Fund.

These key projects are ways for our county to combat the negative effects of COVID-19. Helping to support working community members, attracting quality jobs and maintaining a fiscally responsible budget are our top priorities, and we have some of the best and brightest from Hamilton County dedicated to seeing a full recovery of our local economy. 

The task force consists of the following business professionals: Bob DuBois, president and CEO of the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce; Jack Russell, president of OneZone Commerce; Nick Verhoff, president of the Westfield Chamber of Commerce; county commissioner Mark Heirbrandt; county councilor Amy Massillamany; Dan Clark, president of Ivy Tech Noblesville; Chuck Haberman, workforce consultant; Rob Kneberg, executive director of Hamilton County Workforce Innovation Network; Ed Miller, Work One; Angela Acrey, VP of human resources at Helmer Scientific; and Carol Sergi, director of workforce strategy at the Hamilton County Economic Development Corp.

Just a few of the things we are doing to keep Hamilton County as the best place in the country include:

Task force initiatives in progress

  • Creating a virtual job fair for county residents scheduled for early July.
  • Providing mentoring to residents in need of computer skills and resume help to apply for jobs.
  • Identifying additional grant and funding opportunities for community members.

Stabilization fund

  • 210 applications from local businesses.
  • Distributed $750,000 in support to community members.

I look forward to the innovation and opportunities that arise from this hardship. To learn more about job openings and workforce recovery resources, visit Thank you, and stay healthy!

Mark Heirbrandt is a Hamilton County commissioner and Westfield resident.


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