The employees are trying to stop the scheduled closing of that facility in September, which would put more than 300 people out of work.
“It’s sort of an informal group,” Johnson said. “They want to sit down and get an update on where we are and what we thing, and what we have nailed down so far. That should be a great meeting.”
One union representative from ORV, Daryl Wynn, will testify before the House Finance Committee.
“We will be trying to find out what he learns or what happens with his experience as well,” Johnson said.
Employees were informed March 15 of the closing by representatives from the Department of Youth Services.
“The DYS budget for the next biennium will be reduced by nine percent or approximately $41 million if you’re looking at our general revenue funds excluding debt service,” said Andrea Kruse, public information officer with the Ohio DYS. “So we intend to close the Ohio River Valley facility, due to the reduction in funding, coupled with the continued decline of the DYS facility population.”
Kruse said the Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility currently houses 119 youth offenders, which reflects a 50 percent reduction since 2007.
Since that announcement, several government agencies have protested because ORV is the state’s newest, most efficient and most secure facility.
A rally protesting the closing brought about 600 people out on a Saturday afternoon to hear several speakers including Johnson.
Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners Tom Reiser said he believes the state should, instead of closing the Franklin Furnace center, be bringing more youthful offenders to that location.