Meet ystark! YP: Alex Hoce


Alex Hoce

Occupation/Title/Place of work

Career Captain and Paramedic with the Jackson Township Fire Department



Why are you interested in Stark County’s Young Professionals initiative?

Young people are the future of our community. They are learning from past and present leaders in business and the community. They are working to create current trends, solve issues, and develop new ways to grow our community into a great place to live, work, and play. By participating in the business community, local government, community activities and projects, they are working with others who want to build a successful environment for present and future generations to enjoy.

What would you share to encourage other people to join?

If you want to meet and learn from a group of active, energetic, and forward-thinking leaders who will build on past and present successes to help our community continue to grow, this is the place for you. Collaboration is key when it comes to building a diverse and progressive community. You will find all those elements within this group of young professionals.

Did you grow up in Stark? If so, where? If not, where did you move from and why?

Yes, I have called Plain Twp. home for 36 years. Plain is a very tight-knit community that provides quality schools, top notch safety forces, as well as quality roads and parks for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Why do you stay in Stark County, from both a personal and professional point of view?

I stay in Stark County because of family and the opportunities I have been afforded personally and professionally. As a young adult, I had the ability to obtain a quality education and to get involved with the community through school, church, and volunteer organizations. These experiences enabled me to meet many great people in a variety of professional and volunteer fields who helped steer me in a positive direction. I have also had the opportunity to work for several organizations and communities throughout my young career, and they have all helped me grow personally and professionally. I am who I am today because of my family, friends, mentors, and coworkers. These factors combined with the opportunities that Stark County and surrounding areas offer, makes this a great place to call home.

What do you like MOST about Stark County?

Stark County is a great place to live and work. The area is an affordable place to live, it is close to major cities, enables travel (road or air), and allows you to experience a lot of different things without draining your energy or bank account. Also, the residents are friendly, involved in their communities, and they work hard to generate new ideas, technology, and industry innovation which keeps the area moving in a positive direction.

What would you change about Stark County if you could?

Growing up in Stark County I was often frustrated with the lack of activities for young adults. My friends and I could go to school functions, out to eat, to the movies or the mall, but there weren’t a lot of places or events that encouraged teenagers to participate. I think this lack of activity is what drives some people away from our area, because it causes boredom and disinterest. We need to engage our youth to help them build a positive outlook and create incentive to stay in the area once they graduate.

What do you see as valuable opportunities for YPs in Stark County when it comes to career opportunities, cultural access, leadership or community involvement opportunities?

Young professionals have an opportunity to get involved in many ways in our area. There are a variety of jobs currently available, and we are moving towards a more technological, financial, and healthcare community instead of a factory town. This change is occurring slowly, but the future and opportunities are bright for anyone just starting out, or who has some experience in any of these fields. Our area also offers cultural access through the Art’s Community Downtown, and entertainment at the Canton Player’s Guild, Ballet, Palace Theater, and the Canton Symphony. We also have a variety of movie theaters, small entertainment venues, affordable events throughout the year, and plenty of places to eat. Leadership and community involvement is at your fingertips in Stark County. We have several great non-profit organizations, an abundance of churches, and local programs that are constantly looking for new participants, ideas, and leadership. If you have the time and desire, there is something for you in our area.

What would attract more YPs to Stark County?

I feel more young professionals would be attracted to our area if we can continue to grow the career fields they are interested in. If we can keep moving away from an industrial community, and build our technological, financial, healthcare, and marketing capacities, we will have more job opportunities for college graduates and seasoned veterans. A diverse job market coupled with an affordable cost of living, quality schools, entertainment opportunities, and community involvement options will make our area a favorable destination for professionals of all ages.

What do you do in the evenings or on the weekends for fun in Stark County or NE Ohio?

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends dining out, going to events, playing golf, and exercising (indoors and outdoors). You will not go hungry in Stark County, because we have a WIDE variety of locations and cuisine to choose from. We have several golf courses inside our boundaries and within reasonable driving distances for all skill levels. Also, our park systems and recreational opportunities are impressive. Stark Parks and several communities offer beautiful areas to play, relax, hike, bike, and exercise. It doesn’t matter if you prefer a treadmill or a trail, you will find it here.

Could you see yourself spending your lifetime in Stark County and if not, what would cause you to leave?

I could see myself spending a lifetime in Stark County. I have called this community home for almost 37 years, and I am doing all I can to become a more involved member. At this point in my life, the only thing that would take me away would be a FANTASTIC job opportunity in a comparable area, or a retirement opportunity in a warmer climate.