The material below originally appeared in Crain’s Cleveland Business on December 6, 2020.
When we launched Ohio To Work in the greater Cleveland area in mid-September, the pilot initiative brought Ohioans together in a true partnership with the goal of helping workers, displaced by the pandemic, reskill and restart their careers.
The partnership is extraordinary in the way it coordinates the energy of employers, nonprofits, training providers, the latest artificial intelligence tools, and the support of government. The idea is to help someone who is out of work identify a new career opportunity, train for it, and then be placed with an employer. We are now about midway through the pilot, so let’s review how we got here, how it’s going so far, and what we hope is coming next.
Earlier this year, faced with record-level unemployment caused by COVID-19, Governor DeWine asked JobsOhio, the state’s private nonprofit economic development corporation, as well as the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, to come together with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Development Services Agency, with a mandate to do something bold to put people back to work. And do it quickly. While it was outside the traditional scope of economic development, JobsOhio embraced the opportunity because, at a critical time like this, there is nothing more important than leveraging every resource Ohio has to help Ohioans, support Ohio businesses, and grow the economy.
When he announced the launch of Ohio To Work in September, the Governor acknowledged how it can be a challenge to find a job now, but he added what we all know to be true, that Ohio’s economy is diverse and resilient. We also know that, despite the pandemic, many of Ohio’s employers are hiring, particularly in healthcare, technology, and advanced manufacturing. And these employers need skilled talent. Answering the Governor’s call, the idea of Ohio To Work is to help Ohioans become equipped to get through the door and begin new, sustainable careers.
To read the full thought leadership piece, CLICK HERE.