The Hire Local partnership, developed by The Centers’ El Barrio Workforce program encourages cohesive local workforce development by facilitating a connection between local merchants and job candidates who live in the surrounding community.
“When our Gordon Square Arts District businesses have job openings, Hire Local gives them access to a pool of prepared and trained candidates that live right here in the neighborhood,” said Jenny Spencer, managing director of Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. “Local residents also have proximity to the workplace, reducing a potential transportation burden.”
The Centers operates an integrated, full-service facility in the heart of Gordon Square at 5209 Detroit Avenue offering early learning, health and wellness, and workforce development. El Barrio placed more than 500 residents in jobs in the Greater Cleveland community in 2016. The El Barrio program goes beyond job placement to help put people on a path within an industry, where they can advance, grow their skills and truly pursue a career.
“We recognize that if an individual is going to thrive, a number of needs must be addressed simultaneously including early learning for children, primary care, health and wellness, not to mention job readiness training…it’s all connected,” said Elizabeth Newman, president and CEO of The Centers. “A life-changing solution happens when an individual is able to excel at a job because he or she has the integrated support that’s needed.”
A key component of The Centers’ El Barrio Workforce program is follow-up and continued reinforcement after a client is placed into a job. Retention services increase the chances of a successful outcome for both the newly employed individual and the employer.
As a part of the announcement, Gordon Square merchants including Astoria, Sweet Moses, Local West, Grace Brothers, Stockyard Meats, Toast and Luxe will sign the pledge. Hire Local has the potential to be rolled out across Northeast Ohio. Midtown Development Corporation and Ohio City Incorporated have already expressed interest in implementing the program.
According to a 2015 report by the Brookings Institution, “proximity to jobs can affect the employment outcomes of residents. People who live closer to jobs are more likely to work. They also face shorter job searches and spells of joblessness…In order to grow economies in ways that promote opportunity and upward mobility for all residents, findings point to the need for more integrated and collaborative regional strategies around economic development, housing, transportation, and workforce decisions that take job proximity into account.”
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