• Overview

    Since 2007, the Ohio Workforce Coalition brings together leaders from education and training institutions, economic and workforce development organizations, business and industry, labor, and human service providers. The Coalition promotes public policies that build the skills of adult workers, meet employer skill needs, and strengthen the workforce system to ensure opportunity and prosperity for Ohio families.
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OBOR Diplomas to Career Pathways Report

Ohio Workforce Coalition (OWC) Leadership Council members have reviewed the Diplomas to Career Pathways report and are pleased the state is continuing to recognize adult education as a crucial link to career pathways, as noted in the Ohio Workforce Coalition’s policy platform recommendations.

OWC applauds the intentional approach and state leadership the report recommends. The plan calls for a state intra-agency partnership. This replaces the current silo-based referral system with an integrated and blended-funding service delivery model with career pathway measurements as its core outcome. The report cites great initiatives like I-BEST and LaGuardia’s Bridge Program that require blended funding. The programs have multiple partners with common measures. However, to implement these program models statewide, the state would need to provide funding directly for partnerships. The reasons these models are successful is the clearly defined career pathway measures, incentives are provided for the students, and unrestrictive funding. OWC recommends the state consider all the components of these successful programs. It is encouraging that TANF recipients were mentioned specifically. This is a great opportunity for Ohio to look at best practices for blending GED and work experience programs, as well as, contextualized GED/ABLE curriculum with vocational training.

Another strategy detailed in the report is the outreach campaign targeting Ohioans without a GED. One suggestion, if the goal is to prepare individuals for better employment and to meet the needs of employers, it may be worth emphasizing the employment goal rather than the GED. In addition, the report states there is capacity to serve 7,200 students. What is the state’s plan if the campaign is successful and exceeds the current capacity? It has been noted one million Ohioans need assistance. The concern arises since this population has been turned off by education in the past. Individuals may become discouraged with a wait list or overcrowded classrooms. There should be a thoughtful plan in place to increase funding and expand capacity quickly.

Click here to review the full Diplomas to Career Pathways report.

Ohio Delegation set for 2015 NSC Skills Summit

Several Ohio workforce development practitioners have been selected to join colleagues from across the country to connect, learn and advocate at the National Skills Coalition’s 2015 Skills Summit. Participants will learn about key funding and policy issues like the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act implementation, new job-driven training investments, and pending higher education and career & technical education reauthorizations; new changes to the federal SNAP Employment and Training program; sector partnerships; state-based policy efforts; and effective communication and advocacy tactics. The Summit runs from Feb. 8 through Feb. 10 and includes a full day of meetings with policymakers and staff on Capitol Hill. These meetings will be particularly timely with a new Congress and gives the Ohio delegation a chance to educate elected officials about workforce development efforts and best practices occurring in Ohio.

Individuals from Ohio include:
* Kerrie Carte, WSOS CAC/Ohio Workforce Coalition
* Cheryl Hay, Columbus State Community College/ Ohio Board of Regents
* Margaret Hulbert, United Way of Greater Cincinnati
* Sherry Kelley Marshall, SWORWIB
* Rebecca Kusner, Towards Employment
* Robert Paponetti, The Literacy Cooperative
* Liza Smitherman, Jostin Construction, Inc.
* Chikere Uchegbu, United Way of Greater Cincinnati
* Janice Urbanik, Partners for a Competitive Workforce

To learn more about the National Skills Collation please visit www.nationalskillscoalition.org

OWC adds Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland rep and appoints new committee chairs

On Nov. 24 and 25, the Ohio Workforce Coalition Leadership Council members gathered in Columbus for their annual planning retreat. Discussion included formulating specific action steps that will continue to advance OWC’s effectiveness in promoting public policies that build the skills of adult workers, meet the needs of business, and strengthen the workforce system.

In addition, new committee chairs were appointed along with the seating of Kyle Fee to the Leadership Council. Kyle Fee is a senior policy analyst in the Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. His work focuses on the intersection of labor markets and economic development, urban economics, and economic geography. Mr. Fee has a BS in economics and business administration from John Carroll University and a master’s in urban studies: economic development from Loyola University. He is currently pursuing his doctorate at Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.

The following committees were formed and chairs appointed:

Legislative Committee
Chair: Valerie Ridgeway, United Way of Central Ohio

Statewide Coalition/Workforce Development Convening
Chair: Rebecca Kusner, Towards Employment

OWC Guiding Principles
Chair: Kelly Kupcak, WANTO

Outreach and Marketing
Chair: Kerrie Carte, WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc.

America’s Social Contract: 80 Years of Social Security

The 80th Anniversary of the Social Security Act is next year. As a polarized Congress prepares to consider major changes in economic, social and health policy, Cleveland’s Center for Community Solutions invites you to reflect on the meaning and importance of those two words – “social security” – as you watch their new video, “America’s Social Contract: 80 Years of Social Security.”

OEDA Annual Excellence Awards – Call for Nominations

The Ohio Economic Development Association’s annual excellence awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations in Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development. Submit your nominations today and have excellence in your community recognized state-wide!

A panel of OEDA members will assess the nominations, determine finalists, and select an overall winner. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony during the OEDA Annual Summit to be held October 22 -24, 2014 at the Columbus Marriott Northwest, 5605 Blazer Pkwy. Dublin, OH 43017. Award finalists will be notified prior to the Annual Summit.

Winners and finalists will be promoted on OEDA’s website and in an OEDA e-newsletter. This information may also be published by winners and finalists in the media and used for promotional purposes.

Award Categories – Click Here for the Category Descriptions.

1. Best Project

2. Excellence in Economic Development Marketing

3. Excellence in Economic Development Innovation

4. Excellence in Workforce Development Innovation

5. Excellence in Volunteerism

6. Rookie of the Year

Eligibility Criteria – Nominees in all categories must be individuals or organizations that operate within Ohio and may be a community-based or non-government organization, a government agency, or a private for profit organization. Please note that an entry may be deemed inapplicable if the judging committee feels that the entry does not fit the category selected by the nominator or follows the required guidelines.

Nomination procedure – To nominate an individual or an organization for an award, please complete the appropriate nomination form(s) and submit with the requested information for each no later than July 31, 2014. Self-nominations are encouraged.

Nominations are free for current OEDA members. The nomination fee for non-members is $50 per entry (nominator and/or nominee must be an OEDA member to qualify for no entry fee). The deadline for nominations is July 31, 2014. Non-members will be invoiced for the $50 fee per entry. Payment is due July 31, 2014.

Please submit your nomination(s) by July 31, 2014 via mail, fax, or email to:
Ohio Economic Development Association
17 High Street, Suite 200, Columbus, OH 43215
FAX: 614/221-1989 or EMAIL: OEDA@AssnOffices.com
Questions? Please contact the OEDA offices at 614-221-1900

OWC Response to Governor Kasich’s Proposed Mid-Biennium Review

Within Governor Kasich’s proposed mid-biennium review bill, three important workforce transformation reforms are being introduced to better align and coordinate Ohio’s Workforce Development System.

  • One Integrated State Workforce Plan
  • Workforce Success Measures
  • Inventory of Education Programs

A skilled workforce is crucial for Ohio’s economic recovery: to strengthen businesses, create and retain jobs, and ensure productivity and prosperity for families. For that reason, the Ohio Workforce Coalition promotes public policies that build the skills of Ohio’s workers and job seekers. The Coalition has long advocated for improving alignment among agencies and programs within the Ohio Workforce Development System. The proposals offered today in the Governor’s mid-biennium review bill, are a step in the right direction.

Ohio leaders have taken steps to improve and coordinate state workforce development systems by establishing policies and shifting programs between state agencies. However, workforce development programs and resources are still dispersed across many state agencies, and a complex network of interagency agreements, funds transfers, and policy committees governs their use. The fragmentation of Ohio’s system makes it difficult to establish consistent policy, complicates efforts to move Ohio’s workforce agenda forward at the national level, and creates incompatible performance targets. It also creates a ripple effect at the local level, producing complexity and inconsistency in local workforce services throughout Ohio. Creating a unified state workforce plan, consistent cross-agency metrics, and an inventory of education and training programs will help employers, workers, and students better navigate this system.

The Ohio Workforce Coalition looks forward to working with the Governor and state policy makers in developing programs that grow Ohio’s economy by building a skilled workforce prepared to meet the present and future needs of industry.

NSC Spotlights OWC leadship and Ohio

*Leadership Spotlight: Kerrie Carte*

Kerrie Carte is a planning and development specialist for WSOS Community Action and leads the Ohio Workforce Coalition. She has been involved with National Skills Coalition since 2008 and became a member of the NSC Leadership Council in 2012.

She is a tireless advocate at the state and federal level, working regularly to cultivate workforce champions among Ohio’s congressional delegation and the state legislature, including organizing an Ohio Workforce Coalition lobby day at the state capital this year. She brings over 20 years of experience in community action and workforce development. Learn more about the path that led Kerrie to her leadership role with NSC, how her involvement has advanced advocacy efforts on the state and federal levels, and why others should join her in her efforts.

*Ohio Takes First Step Towards Sector Strategies with the Release of Toolkit *

In December, Ohio Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT) took a first step towards implementing a statewide industry sector partnership strategy with the release of its Sector Partnership Online Toolkit. The toolkit provides an overview of industry sector partnerships, a sample invitation to employers, a sample agenda, industry sector partnerships suggested qualifications, and data on jobs, supply and performance metrics.

This follows the announcement last summer by OWT that they would begin identifying and supporting priority sector partnerships in in-demand industries by engaging the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board (GWIB) members in industry outreach, providing convening support through partner state agencies, providing access to detailed labor market data and creating industry-specific Sector Partnership Toolkits as well as labor market data and a basic toolkit for sector partnerships in all other industries not deemed “priority”.

The Ohio Workforce Coalition (OWC), which NSC helped to initially convene, has long worked to elevate sector strategies in workforce policy and funding discussions. NSC will continue working with OWC as they partner with the Administration to implement industry sector partnerships strategies in the state.

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