Clark has numerous accountability as job and household companies director

LANCASTER — Fairfield County Job and Family Services Director Corey Clark certainly deals with a lot of pressure on his job.

“It has its moments,” he said. “It definitely has its days. But it has a lot of rewards, and those definitely outweigh the stress and the challenges that come along with it. I would say it’s good stress because you know that you can make a real impact on the children and families in the community.”

JFS consists of the Ohio Means Jobs center, child support enforcement, community services, or public assistance, and child and adult protective services. Clark is responsible for it all.

Clark has held his current position for about a year. But he’s been with JFS for 24 years.

“I’ve lived in Lancaster and Fairfield County my whole life,” he said. “I care a lot about the community. So it was kind of a natural fit for me when I got out of college (Ohio University). I majored in sociology and criminology. So I saw this as a balance between those things. Kind of a social work law enforcement kind of a combination.”

Clark started his JFS career in the child support department.

Clark’s family owned the defunct Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips fast food restaurant on Memorial Drive. He started working there at 13 before going off to college. He then managed the family business for about a year before moving to JFS.

“I had an interest in working in the public sector,” Clark said. “I had an interest in government. I took a lot of political science classes and minored in political science in college. So I was really interested in how government works and how laws are passed and how the different entities and agencies play a role in that .”

After becoming a child support supervisor, Clark moved on to the JFS workforce development department before returning to the child support as that department’s deputy director. He later became the JFS deputy director before being promoted to his current position.

Clark has seen some tough things over the years in dealing with people in trouble or in need.

“Definitely,” he said. “Both sides of the spectrum. Some things that are very challenging that you like to believe don’t really happen in the community that do in terms of especially abuse and neglect of children and the elderly.

“We definitely work with customers who are sometimes at their very worst or are having the hardest time of their life. So our programs and services are to try and help them out of those times and try to get them back on their feet and get them to where they’re able to be self reliant and talk care of themselves and families.”

Away from work, food is a big part of Clark’s life. He likes to eat and cook, especially cooking on the grill. He also enjoys visiting various central Ohio restaurants and local restaurants.

“I kind of consider myself to be a self-appointed food critic,” Clark said. “Pizza is one of my favorites.”

He’s also a big sports fan who has supported his two children’s sporting activities.

Clark met his wife, Jen, when they were in the seventh grade.

“We were very good friends through junior high and high school,” he said. “We didn’t start dating until the end of college. But once we did we knew pretty quickly that we were meant to be. We’ve been married 25 years.”

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Twitter: @JeffDBarron

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