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Workforce Development Pilot Program kicked off in Milo-Grogan

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Contact: Marty Homan, Franklin County, 614-525-5273, martyhoman@franklincountyohio.gov
Cynthia Rickman, City of Columbus, 614-645-8795, cjrickman@columbus.gov
Currecia Gamble, Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, 614-559-6051, cgamble@wdbco.org
Fran Robinson, CareSource, 937-531-2374, Francine.Robinson@caresource.com

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the City of Columbus, the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio and CareSource announced a two-year workforce initiative in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood. The program was kicked off today with a career fair at the Milo-Grogan Recreation Center. Franklin County and the City of Columbus each contributed $50,000 toward the initiative.
 
The goal of the program is to work with the Milo-Grogan community to help residents become job ready, find high quality employment opportunities, and advance within in their careers. The program will focus on helping residents pursue career goals with local employers. Another goal of this pilot program is that participants will be able to secure employment located within the neighborhood.  
 
“We’re excited about the prospects for this pilot initiative in Milo-Grogan with our partners at the City of Columbus, the Workforce Development Board and CareSource,” said Franklin County Board of Commissioners President John O’Grady. “Training and connecting residents to jobs in their own neighborhoods is both good policy and better for individuals, especially when it comes to managing transportation, child care and other factors. It is my hope we see positive outcomes that can be replicated elsewhere in the county.”
 
Revitalization of Milo-Grogan has been a major focus of the City of Columbus over the past several years.  Several businesses have located in the neighborhood, including Rouge Fitness, which has constructed a 600,000 square foot corporate headquarters, manufacturing and distribution center, and several other businesses are expanding within the neighborhood.
 
"This event demonstrates the impact that public/ private partnerships can have on our communities," said President Pro Tem Priscilla Tyson. "Helping people to get jobs strengthens families and our city."
 
In addition, the City, along with its partners, has just completed an infrastructure overhaul of the Fifth Avenue corridor, west of I-71 to Grant Avenue that included approximately $7.7 million in roadwork improvements, new sidewalks, street resurfacing, and the redesign of Fifth and Cleveland avenues intersection. With this investment, Rogue, Rumpke, G&J Pepsi and others are reinvesting in the neighborhood creating employment opportunities for local residents.
 
“We are excited to partner with CareSource and the residents of Milo Grogan on this initiative to assist residents with getting the support and skills they need to secure well paid jobs that sustain their families,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, president and CEO of Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio.
 
Despite the increase in the number of employment opportunities available in Milo-Grogan, many residents of the neighborhood have trouble accessing services that can help them become qualified for these employment opportunities.
 
CareSource will work with residents that are unemployed, underemployed, or seeking advancement opportunities by matching them with a Life Coach that will walk along side of the resident to overcome barriers to employment and help connect them with employment opportunities. These opportunities will be a part of helping residents move toward self-sufficiency.
 
“We look forward to the opportunity to help Franklin County residents find employment through the Milo Grogan partnership. This is a great collaboration between nonprofits and the business community coupled with CareSource’s Life Services JobConnect program. The project will provide coaching, training, support and job placements for those who need it most,” said Steve Ringel, president Ohio Market CareSource.
 
Several local employers participated in the event that was held at the Milo-Grogan Recreation Center at 862 East 2nd Avenue. Employers who participated in the career fair included: Rumpke, Rogue Fitness, Giant Eagle, VSP/Volt, Adecco, American Signature, United Parcel Service, Jiffy Lube, Engineered Profiles LLC, Staffing Leadership Group, COTA, PerScholas.
 
More job fairs are planned throughout 2018.

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