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'Ohio To Work' initiative launches first in Cuyahoga County to help job seekers develop new careers

Each job seeker will be paired with a career coach
Ohio To Work.jpg
Posted at 3:02 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 23:10:21-04

CLEVELAND — On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new initiative to help Ohioans looking for work have a better chance to gain employment during the pandemic by providing job seekers with a career coach and, ultimately, with an employer.

This new initiative, called "Ohio to Work," will launch first in Cuyahoga County, where the unemployment rate is 12.9%—the highest in the state. Approximately 30 area employers have already signed on with the initiative to help Ohioans find a job.

JobsOhio has created a partnership with the Urban League and Goodwill to ensure inclusion remains a top priority because 40% of those unemployed in Cuyahoga County are Black compared to 20% statewide.

"We believe for Ohio’s recovery to be sustainable, it must be inclusive of all Ohioans," said JP Nauseef, president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio.

Marsha Mockabee, Presidents and CEO with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland told News 5 she has seen expanded need in Cuyahoga County in 2020, and the program will provide a high-quality career-building experience.

“We’ve served as many people in one quarter as we traditionally serve all year,” Mockabee said.

“When an unemployed person contacts us, within a 24-hour turnaround or so, they’re going to get a live person who’s going to connect with them.”

“What our coaches can do is give that one-on-one.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish told News 5 the county discovered the highest number of local job openings are in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and technology.

“Food, clothing, shelter, health care, medical care, a job fixes a lot of that,” Budish said

“We are focused on helping minorities get connected to good jobs, and that’s part of what this program will do.”

DeWine said he hopes to expand the program to more areas in the state. "Ohio To Work" will help someone who is out of work to identify a new career opportunity, train for it, and then be placed with an employer.

“We know it can be a challenge to find a job right now, but we also know employers are hiring in industries like healthcare, technology, and advanced manufacturing,” DeWine said.

JobsOhio wants to use its existing statewide network of partners to optimize the current workforce.

“Technology is going to play a vital role as well. Ohio to Work partners are making use of the best tools available in the marketplace today, including artificial intelligence to help point people on a path, not only to an open job but to a sustainable higher-paying new career. That means it’s not just a one-size-fits-all approach, and that’s what makes it so exciting," Nauseef told DeWine during the briefing.

There will be virtual carer fairs as early as October to help employers and workers make connections. Ohioans interested in participating in the program can learn more here.

This story is part of The Rebound: Northeast Ohio, News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

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