Fairfield County economic development officials and business leaders want to learn more about the wages and benefits offered by area employers.

Fairfield County economic development officials and business leaders want to learn more about the wages and benefits offered by area employers.

For the third consecutive year, the Fairfield County Economic Development Department is recruiting businesses and school districts to take part in its Fairfield County Wage and Benefit Survey.

This year, the survey is sponsored by the Fairfield 33 Development Alliance, a consortium of public and private entities established in 2000 to assist business development along U.S. Route 33 in Fairfield County.

As in past years, the survey is being billed as a measuring stick for local employers to compare how their wage, benefit and insurance packages compare to those at businesses operating in the county. Information from the survey also will be used by county officials as an economic development tool to show prospective companies local market and industry rates.

"It's open to all businesses and public school districts in Fairfield County" said Linda Kauffman, Fairfield County interim economic development director. "We're looking to garner salary information, benefits information and insurance information.

"It's studying the information, just seeing where particular (types of) companies are," she said.

To participate in the survey, companies can go online to www.businesscounty.com and click on the "breaking news" segment. The deadline for participating is Oct. 9.

A new completion feature this year allows respondents to complete each section independently rather than having to complete the entire survey at one sitting. A PDF version will also be available to preview the questions. This will enable data-gathering and preparation in advance of survey completion.

A company may also mail a completed copy of the survey to the county economic development department.

"Some general summary information will be available to the public, but the full survey is available to participants," Kauffman said. "The companies are given codes so they can see where they are on the survey and similar companies are grouped in segments, but otherwise the survey is confidential and companies aren't identified.

"A company can see where they measure in the scheme of things locally," she said. "It's also valuable to us in that businesses that hope to relocate to the area can see what they need to offer to be competitive."

JK Evans & Associates, a Zanesville, Ohio-based human resources consulting firm, will coordinate the survey and produce the final report. The Fairfield 33 Development Alliance will fund the $2,500 survey, Kauffman said.

"Our goal is to create a survey report which will be useful to the diverse industries and businesses operating in Fairfield County," said Travis Markwood, 33 Development Alliance treasurer. "Local wage and benefit data is often requested by companies considering future business in Fairfield County."

Additional information about the survey can be obtained by calling the Fairfield County Economic Development Department at (740) 654-1509.