Workforce Eco System | Deaconess Foundation
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Workforce Eco System


Building, nurturing and sustaining a successful workforce eco system relies on two things – partnership and collaboration. In Cuyahoga County, top leaders in private and public sectors are dedicated to working together to address employers’ workforce needs, establish reliable talent pipelines, reduce barriers to employment and create career advancement opportunities for workers and job seekers, all in an effort to strengthen Northeast Ohio’s workforce.


The following graphic illustrates the organizations and leaders with whom Deaconess Foundation currently works most closely. Click the graphic and sections below to learn more. 

    • Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group

      Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group works to create coordinated, well-functioning workforce systems for the County.

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      The Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group includes top leadership from the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio Means Jobs, Team NEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland Foundation, Gund Foundation, Deaconess Foundation, United Way and the Fund for Our Economic Future.

      Together, these leaders created an Action Plan to develop a coordinated, well-functioning workforce system for the County. The plan included a Sector Partnerships and Intermediaries Task Force that was charged with developing recommendations for establishing new or strengthening existing sector partnerships and intermediaries in specific growth industry sectors and occupations. This effort has recently been branded as Workforce Connect. 



    • Workforce Funders Learning Collaborative

      The Workforce Funders Learning Collaborative brings together philanthropic and government funders and teaches them about workplace development challenges affecting the community.

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      The Workforce Funders Learning Collaborative works to help philanthropy and other funders be more informed about workforce development issues so that the community might benefit from a more strategic and effective allocation of resources.


    • OhioMeansJobs | Cleveland – Cuyahoga County

      OhioMeansJobs | Cleveland – Cuyahoga County (OMJ | CC) is a public workforce system of the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County that helps local employers meet employment needs and assists job seekers in finding success.

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      Governed by the Workforce Development Board of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, the system includes several programs and services such as job-match and -search assistance, education, occupational training and employment-related youth programs.

      OMJ | CC partners with the United Labor Agency to operate local One-Stop career centers, which help job seekers plan, research and find job and career opportunities. OMJ | CC also works with training providers and supports employers in offering on-the-job training for incumbent workers. About 35,000 job seekers contact OMJ | CC annually and 5,000 are placed into jobs.




    • SkillUp

      SkillUp helps businesses identify skills gaps, develop talent roadmaps and implement training programs to match employers with skilled workers.

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      SkillUp, housed in Cuyahoga County’s Office of Workforce Transformation, launched in early 2017 and helps businesses produce highly skilled workers. The service aims to help employers grow and compete, help residents advance in their careers and create a workforce that is a competitive advantage for Northeast Ohio.

      To help match employers with skilled workers for jobs, SkillUp identifies business’s needs, provides information and referrals to organizations and creates customized talent and training roadmaps. SkillUp also assists in executing the training roadmap and offering ongoing guidance and support for employers and employees. They also provide incentives such as training cost reimbursements, which are tied to wage increases for workers in accordance with skill increases.


    • Team NEO

      Team NEO is a private-sector, regional collaboration of Northeast Ohio’s major businesses, foundations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and a network partner to JobsOhio. Team NEO works to advance a regional economic competitiveness strategy designed to accelerate job and economic growth and provide opportunities…

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      Team NEO is a private-sector, regional collaboration of Northeast Ohio’s major businesses, foundations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and a network partner to JobsOhio. Team NEO works to advance a regional economic competitiveness strategy designed to accelerate job and economic growth and provide opportunities for all segments of Northeast Ohio’s population. The organization conducts its work through network strategy and coordination, workforce and talent initiatives, site preparation and availability, and advancement of innovation clusters. The focus on talent is organized to drive business development outcomes through workforce solutions, including building talent expertise through efforts like the Aligning Opportunities in Northeast Ohio report, building talent pools by influencing initiatives to share industry insights and best practices, like Workforce Connect, and supporting businesses.


    • BioEnterprise

      BioEnterprise partners with health and wellbeing entrepreneurs to nurture their creative ideas, connect them with the right resources and ultimately grow the region’s biomedical cluster and health IT workforce.

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      BioEnterprise partners with biomedical innovators and entrepreneurs to grow the region’s biomedical cluster, which consists of the medical device, pharma and health IT & services. The growth of this unique sector will help generate greater economic opportunity for all Northeast Ohio residents. BioEnterprise helps identify promising innovations and companies, nurture their creative ideas and technologies, connect them with critical resources and position them for growth.

      In addition to their individual work, BioEnterprise leads the biomedical sector partnership, HIT in the CLE, which is aimed at expanding, diversifying and improving the quality of the local talent pipeline. The group’s work is focused on Cuyahoga County, with particular emphasis placed on Cleveland Metropolitan School District and inner-ring suburban high school students as well as first-generation community college and undergraduate students.



    • Economic Growth Foundation

      Economic Growth Foundation (EGF) works to help shrink Greater Cleveland’s talent gap by supporting and driving the creation of employment-focused resources.

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      The Economic Growth Foundation (EGF), a nonprofit affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, aims to promote and encourage the civic, economic and cultural growth of the region. EGF helps showcase and advance Greater Cleveland as a place for people to live, work and conduct business.

      EGF works to shrink the talent gap by supporting navigation for employers to existing workforce solutions and driving the creation of resources to more aggressively address the community’s employment needs.


    • JumpStart Inc.

      Jumpstart Inc. supports entrepreneurs and encourages new employment opportunities in Northeast Ohio while building the talent pipeline to match the needs created by those job opportunities.

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      JumpStart Inc. is a unique public-private partnership dedicated to creating economic transformation in Northeast Ohio thought the growth of entrepreneurs. This is done by working with entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, encouraging new career opportunities for unemployed residents, conducting activities that supplement economic and job development programs and providing education and information about the development and operation of small businesses.

      JumpStart’s Emerging Talent Pipeline program matches Cleveland Metropolitan School District students from eight participating high schools to small- and medium-sized companies, building a strong internship talent pipeline. The program is planned to run for four summers, delivering a minimum of 250 internships over four years. JumpStart hopes that these internships will lead to the placement of these individuals in full-time roles at the same or a similar company.

      Total Revenues in organizational budget: about $12 million annually

      Total revenues for workplace activities: $500,000


    • MAGNET

      The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) helps train and bring talent into the manufacturing industry in Northeast Ohio.

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      The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) is an organization dedicated to strengthening Northeast Ohio’s economy by helping manufacturers grow and solving their biggest employment growth barriers. The organization’s goal is to transform our regional economy into a powerful, global player.

      MAGNET has extended efforts throughout the region to help train and bring talent into the local manufacturing industry. The program has placed manufacturing interns from career technical high schools and created boot camps with Cuyahoga Community College that provide fast-track training to help adults build manufacturing careers. MAGNET also created Early College, Early Career, a first-of-its-kind high school apprenticeship program to help connect disadvantaged students from non-career technology schools to manufacturing careers.

      Total Revenues in organizational budget: $8 million

      Total revenues for workplace activities: $1.15 million


    • Manufacturing Works

      WIRE-Net helps manufacturers understand and adapt to fast-changing trends to fuel economic growth in the Greater Cleveland area.

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      Manufacturing Works (formerly WIRE-net) focuses on improving revenues and operating capabilities for manufacturing firms through a number of youth and adult workforce programs. The organization has over 350 members employing more than 20,000 people in the Greater Cleveland area. Manufacturing Works was a pioneer in the use of sectoral employment strategies, focusing on metalworking and particularly the emerging technologies driving the evolution of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

      Manufacturing Works offers adult workforce solutions that help identify, develop and promote skilled workers, including the Apprenticeship Consortium and WorkAdvance. The organization also partners with high schools and internship programs to provide students with hands-on experience in areas such as welding, machining and computer-aided design (CADD).

      Total revenues in organizational budget: $1.93 million

      Total revenues for workplace activities in current budget: $755,000

      Government: $109,750

      Corporate: $42,000

      Foundations: $308,000

      Individuals: $32,500

      Fee for Service: $195,000


    • Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland

      The Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland’s Workforce Development program offers career readiness to children and teenagers through career exploration, work experiences, skills development and job opportunities.

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      The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland aims to inspire and support young people in reaching their full potential as productive, responsible, caring citizens. To support this mission, the organization offers out-of-school programming for 6- to 18-year-olds that focuses on academic success, healthy lifestyles, character and citizenship.

      The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland’s Workforce Development program introduces teen participants to career pathways, ultimately leading to potential job placement and ongoing mentorship for graduating seniors. The program includes career exploration, skills development, workplace shadowing, internships and job placement after high school.





    • The Centers for Families and Children

      The Centers for Families and Children (The Centers) helps those in need build a better future through program offerings in early learning, health and wellness, workforce development and family services.

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      The Centers for Families and Children (The Centers) is a nonprofit organization that believes that lasting change starts with access to opportunities. To support this belief, the organization works to bridge the opportunity gap by connecting people in Greater Cleveland with effective health, education and essential human services including early learning, health and wellness, workforce development and family services.

      The Centers’ workforce brand, El Barrio, empowers unemployed and underemployed individuals to work toward self-sufficiency. This is done through the organization’s industry-certified job training programs and support services. Through its two program sites, El Barrio delivers job-readiness training in English and Spanish, industry-recognized certifications and career support and retention services. The Centers also partner with some of the largest and most successful companies in the region to match them with qualified workers.



    • College Now

      College Now is developing a database, Mapping Advancement Programs (MAP), of post-secondary training and education programs that prepare people for the area’s most in-demand occupations

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      College Now helps students and adult learners achieve their dreams of going to and succeeding in certificate, two-year and four-year degree programs. The organization strives to increase postsecondary educational attainment through college- and career-access advising, financial aid counseling and scholarship and retention services. College Now serves more than 27,000 annually in Northeast Ohio.

      College Now is piloting the use of GetWorkerFit, a comprehensive career exploration tool that matches participants’ interests, values and abilities with local in-demand positions. Once developed, MAP will be available for use by College Now advisors and coaches, advisors and case managers working with a network of community partners.


    • Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

      Legal Aid Society of Cleveland provides legal advice and services to help low-income Northeast Ohio residents remove barriers to employment and get the full benefit of their work.

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      Legal Aid Society of Cleveland helps nearly 20,000 people annually, with legal advice, direct representation, and community outreach on civic legal issues related to housing, consumer, domestic relations, health and public benefits, education, employment and immigration law.

      The organization’s economic security and employment law practice helps individuals remove barriers to employment and get the full benefit of their work. Legal Aid provides direct legal representation in administrative hearings, negotiations and litigation. It conducts community legal education in partnership with a wide array of client-serving organizations and institutions, as well as advocacy for systemic solutions to problems affecting the low-income population and low-wage workers.




    • OhioGuidestone

      OhioGuidestone’s Workforce 360° program helps youth and adults succeed in the workplace by providing a variety of employment supports and opportunities.

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      OhioGuidestone, a large human services organization operating in 20 Ohio counties looks to position individuals for growth and success through a variety of community-based services including behavioral health, residential treatment, parenting and family skill-building and workforce development. OhioGuidestone also operates a charter school, Stepstone Academy, located in the Cleveland Central Neighborhood.

      OhioGuidestone’s Workforce 360° program looks to help youth and adults succeed in the workplace. Students in each of the Workforce 360° programs finish with third-party certifications, setting them up for success and allowing them to quickly enter the workforce. In addition, OhioGuidestone is piloting a career advancement program for those who are employed but seek career advancement.


    • Open Doors Academy

      Open Doors Academy’s Pathways to Independence program addresses college and career readiness within a comprehensive youth development framework.

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      Open Doors Academy (ODA) is an out-of-school education enrichment non-profit that looks to protect, inspire, nurture and challenge adolescents to reach their full potential. It operates year-round, project-based programming that serves students from fifth grade through high school graduation and beyond.

      ODA’s high school program, Pathways to Independence, offers a college- and career-readiness track for enrolled students. The program includes career pathways counseling, post-secondary opportunities, exploration field trips, internships and career development seminars, in addition to academic support services.



    • The Salvation Army

      The Salvation Army’s Community Corrections program offers two tracks to employment – immediate placement and Pathways to Work – and connects individuals with training programs for in-need industries in Northeast Ohio.

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      The Salvation Army aims to preach the gospel and to meet human needs without discrimination. The organization offers a variety of social services that address challenges like food, shelter, early childhood education and out-of-school enrichment.

      The Salvation Army’s Community Corrections program offers two tracks to employment – immediate placement and Pathways to Work. Within the Pathways program, clients who are completing their incarceration within the community are connected to programming at Towards Employment designed to prepare them for the workforce and career pathways. When possible, Pathways clients are connected to credential training in industries that are looking for qualified workers such as machining, welding, construction or food-handling. Between 650 and 785 people participate in workforce programming through Community Corrections with 150 of these people beginning work with Towards Employment.


    • Towards Employment

      With a mission to empower individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment, Towards Employment connects people to careers. The organization helps people prepare for a job, get a job, keep a job and advance in a career.

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      Towards Employment provides employment programming and supportive services for individuals; sourcing and retention services for employers; and leadership on initiatives dedicated to promoting a better aligned workforce system as part of an inclusive economic strategy for NE Ohio. It runs the Young Adult Resource Center for OhioMeansJobs in partnership with Youth Opportunities Unlimited. TE serves over 3,000 individuals a year, partnering with more than 300 employers to provide a source of reliable talent.







    • University Hospitals

      University Hospitals’ workforce development initiative strives to enable people to develop careers and help UH meet its workforce needs.

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      University Hospitals (UH) is Northeast Ohio’s second-largest employer and operates 18 hospitals and 40 health centers and outpatient physician offices across the region.

      Programs offered through this initiative include Step Up, which prepares people from targeted neighborhoods or populations for work at UH. Pathways, which prepares incumbent workers for in-demand advancement opportunities, and GED preparation and college access. DF has funded a Pathways Coach, who offers career coaching for non-degreed, non-credentialed workers at the low end of the wage scale.



    • Youth Opportunities Unlimited

      Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) provides teens and young adults with educational and workforce opportunities, skills development and access to career pathways.

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      Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) is a non-profit workforce development organization that offers school- and community-based services to teens and young adults ages 14 to 24 in Cuyahoga, Lorain and Lake County. The organization’s programs are focused on preparing individuals for economic self-sufficiency.

      Y.O.U. oversees several workforce development projects, including Young Adult Workforce Consortium, a Cleveland summer jobs program, credential training for career pathways and Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates (JOG), a program designed to prepare Cleveland Metropolitan School District and inner-ring suburban high school students for the workforce. In addition to these programs, Y.O.U also partners with Towards Employment to run OhioMeansJobs’ Young Adult Resource Center.



    • The Cleveland Foundation

      The Cleveland Foundation aims to enhance the lives of Greater Cleveland residents by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking and providing leadership on key community issues.

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      The Cleveland Foundation works to develop new ways to educate the talent pipeline, create jobs and wealth, and solve key community issues. The Foundation supports five areas of impact – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture and economic development.

      The Foundation strives to bring awareness, readiness and access to careers with family-sustaining wages for Cleveland residents. It has supported the launch of Pathway Partners, an initiative of the Greater Cleveland Partnership focusing on college and career readiness for students. Currently, the Foundation is funding a two-year program, Talent NEO, to pilot a skills-based hiring initiative to create access to jobs and eliminate traditional credential barriers.



    • Fund for Our Economic Future

      The Fund for Our Economic Future (FFEF) is a collaboration of funders dedicated to advancing economic growth, equal access to opportunity and job readiness.

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      The Fund for Our Economic Future (FFEF) is a collaboration of funders dedicated to advancing economic growth and equal access to opportunity in Northeast Ohio through research, civic engagement and grantmaking. The organization, founded in 2004, works with private and public sector leaders to help improve job creation, job preparation and job access.

      FFEF’s preparation strategy relies on alignment of services, business leadership and workforce demand to deliver on three key priorities – growing skills, improving job quality and decreasing barriers to employment access. Through this strategy, the organization seeks to connect people to jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and for the talent supply to fuel regional business growth.



    • JPMorgan Chase & Co.

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. strives to enable more people to contribute to and share in the rewards of a growing economy.

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      With a changing global economy and rise of technology, the skills needed to fill jobs in the workforce have drastically changed. JPMorgan Chase sector partnerships between the industry and workforce training providers, better aligning workforce training providers with regional employers’ talent needs.

      Through the New Skills at Work initiative, JPMorgan Chase leverages its resources, reach and expertise to help inform and accelerate efforts to support demand-driven skills training for adults. The company also launched a program New Skills for Youth to expand career-focused education programs and help lead young people and workers to well-paying jobs and long-term careers.

      Total workforce grants in calendar year 2017: about $1.2 million


    • KeyBank Foundation

      KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization funded by KeyCorp that supports programs aimed at preparing individuals for successful futures through grant and scholarship opportunities.

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      KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization funded by KeyCorp that focuses on supporting individuals through three funding priorities – neighbors, workforce and education. The Foundation hopes to make dreams a reality by providing a number of grants and scholarships.

      To help support and improve the region’s workforce, KeyBank Foundation provides grants that assist with financial education, employment and graduation. The contributions help adults achieve the skills, education and capabilities needed to succeed in the current and future workforce.

      Total workforce grants in the calendar year 2017: 12 grants totaling $335,500 were made in Cuyahoga County in 2017


    • Cuyahoga Community College

      Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) provides a wide variety of educational courses and programs and also offers workforce training and preparation in a number of industries.

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      Tri-C currently serves a diverse population of more than 55,000 credit and non-credit students each year and offers more than 140 career and technical programs and arts and sciences coursework. It provides high quality, accessible and affordable educational opportunities and more than 85% of graduates continue to live and work in Northeast Ohio, supporting our regional economy.

      Tri-C’s Workforce, Community and Economic Development Division (WCED) offers training and preparation for individuals to work in the industries identified by the State as Critical for Ohio growth. To prepare people for career paths in high-skill, high-wage jobs Tri-C has created several Centers Of Excellence that will work directly with companies to recruit new workers and provide “skills-upgrades” for incumbent workers.

      Total revenues in organizational budget: $329,159,650

      Total revenues for workforce activities in current budget: $14,140,000

      Government: $4,490,000

      Corporate: $2,750,000

      Individuals: $5,170,000

      Fee for Service: $1,730,000