Wired for the Future

We are relentlessly pursuing opportunities for clients to have a path to a better future.

Over the past 5 years we have seen how technical or industry training can open the doors to a truly different trajectory for a clients’ career options, so we are working to offer more of those options.

New career pathways come to fruition as a combination of providence, evaluation, partnership, and timing…as is the case with our latest pilot, Cable Technician Training….which we will launch with PerScholas November 26th. In just 4 weeks, students will learn the necessary skills to work in homes and businesses to install and repair telecommunications cables. This could include phone lines, internet cables, or cable television… and this is just the beginning!

A friend of the center (from one of our church partners), Jeff, first mentioned a cable tech career pathway about a year ago.  He explained about how individuals could learn how to wire buildings and offices, then enter a field with high demand and great wages.  A study conducted by a Fidelity team, managed by Common Impact, evaluated over 30 career pathways and Cable Technician Track made it through the rigorous vetting process.

Our existing IT Training provider, PerScholas, excitedly agreed to pilot the program as an expansion of their portfolio and already have employer partners seeking these skill sets.  With a template for industry training created, our partners (CPS, CincinnatiWorks, and SmartMoney) quickly rallied to support the month-long pilot.

Working together we can see meaningful opportunities come to fruition for our neighbors and our community.

We are currently recruiting students for this program starting November 26th. Call CityLink at 513-357-2000 or visit perscholas.org/cincinnati to apply!

 

Just Add Students

The curriculum is finalized, our partners are ready, our first class is enlisted, and the kitchen is set.

Today, the first class of Findlay Culinary Training will bring to life an idea and a vision that was born a decade ago in New Orleans.  The culinary training program will provide a combination of life skills and industry skills for one month at CityLink and then students will progress to a 3 month internship at Social OTR.

We have benefited from tremendous guidance by Cafe Reconcile in New Orleans and Edwin’s in Cleveland Ohio, who graciously shared about their programs and helped guide our formation of Findlay Culinary Training.

The industry training track is the next level of our collaboration’s work together.  Through the culinary training program Cincinnati Public School’s Aspire program will provide culinary math, CincinnatiWorks will provide job readiness, SmartMoney will provide financial education, RedBike & Changing Gears will assist with transportation, and Center for Employment Opportunities which will coach students on talking about their past.  PerScholas helped advise us on the interview process and Children Inc will provide childcare for parents entering the program.

Findlay Market’s talented Culinary Training Director will instruct students over the next 4 weeks through curriculum which has been informed by an amazing group of restaurants on our advisory council.

Thank you to the Emery Foundation and Crossroads church for funding our kitchen updates to begin this program.

Our goal is to equip students to realize their talents and potential, and we look forward to them shaping Cincinnati’s culinary future.   Working together we can see meaningful pathways open for our neighbors.

Pati Payne

It’s with a heavy heart that we share the news that our friend Pati passed away last week. Pati was one of our dedicated volunteers serving over 400 hours on our hospitality team. Her warm smile and calm demeanor touched the lives of so many.

We’ll especially miss her signature “how’s you” greeting on Thursday afternoons. Pati, you will be deeply missed. Thank you for leaving a mark on so many of us here at CityLink Center.

Condolences may be shared with the family through, ThomasJustinMemorial.com.

Let’s Get Cooking

To prepare for the new culinary training program, the CityLink kitchen has gotten some upgrades.

A new hood, new range, new stove are in the process of getting installed.  Other equipment is being ordered.  The space will provide industry skills training 20-hours a week for the month-long training, while in-house partners will provide an additional 20-hours of life skills to set up the graduates for lasting success.  Once at full capacity, cohorts of 10 students will start each month, then graduate into the 3-month apprenticeship at Social OTR.  Thanks to Crossroads Church and the Emery Foundation for investing in these upgrades.

Help When I was at my Worst

Being a single Dad of a 4 year old starting preschool isn’t easy. Without the support Dustin received he tells us that his daughter would have experienced more trauma. This wasn’t the life he imagined for his daughter so he decided to do something about it. 

With an army of support, Dustin has landed a job to help provide for his daughter, Vivienne. And we couldn’t be more excited for him. After he rang the bell declaring his new employment, Dustin shares with how his CityLink Family has helped him along the way…

“Brian with Catholic Charities has been a big help with working through being a positive structured father to Vivienne. Amanda, Tamiko, Derrell, Belinda, Christina, Nina, Carol, basically everyone in Cincinnati Works have been pro team Dustin from the beginning. Everyone at Children, Inc. are awesome kind-hearted people. The volunteers at the front desk are always smiling when I walk into the building. The whole atmosphere and interactions with everyone at CityLink is positive and up lifting. Monica is my service coordinator, Rachel has been my number two.”  

After a Clothing Connection appointment on Tuesday, Dustin will be off to work equipped what he feels is a foundation for his daughter’s life, the mentality of taking each day as it comes, and resting in knowing that his faith and his support system will be there for him as he keeps working on his goals. He leaves us with the sentiment “I am very thankful to have help when was at my worst”. We can’t wait to see how the choices that you’ve made over the past couple months shape your future and Vivienne’s too. Well done Dustin, we’re so proud of you. 

Social OTR

CityLink continues expanding to support more of our neighbors on their journey to reaching their full potential.

Our latest partnership, a culinary training program partners life skills from CincinnatiWorks, SmartMoney, CPS, Catholic Charities with industry training from Findlay Market.  Student cooks will spend four weeks in our classroom kitchen at CityLink Center, followed by a 3 month apprenticeship in the kitchen of Social OTR.

“Social OTR is more than just the name of the restaurant, it’s tied to the philosophy of both the eatery and the program behind it, which will partner with CitLink to train up people who might otherwise experience high barriers to employment to work in Cincinnati’s kitchens.”

The goal is to have the restaurant up and running in a couple months at the 1819 Elm Street location. Read more about this exciting partnership in this article recently released by Cincinnati Business Courier.

You can get engaged in Social OTR through the kickstarter campaign which will provide meals for targeted community members and offer you some great perks too….then stay tuned for the program launch in October and restaurant launch in December.

Called to Serve

Julie had a clear calling from God when she first came to CityLink – she was meant to pursue a career in ministry; however, she felt like she was stuck in limbo. She knew she had a calling from the Lord, but wasn’t sure where to start. She came to the career fair at CityLink, which was hosted by Cincinnati Works in May, to figure out how to begin her career. After visiting many potential employers, Julie decided to become a client and engage in Cincinnati Works’ Jump Start class to brush up on her resume building, interview, and networking skills.

Julie says that the Jump Start class built up her self-confidence and taught her useful interview skills that she wouldn’t have otherwise known. She also enjoyed meeting and networking with everyone else in the class. She adds that the skills she learned from this class have been very helpful, and that she will definitely use them to present herself to future employers.

Outside of class, Julie engaged in a multitude of services. She attended women’s group and bible study, utilized the drop-in childcare services at VISIONS Early Learning Center, and was even able to make dental and optical appointments for her entire family. Her children received much-needed dental procedures, and her fiancé was even able to receive a new pair of glasses.

The client-centered model of CityLink has been incredibly helpful for Julie and her family, especially since they are limited to one vehicle. She says that it is a huge time saver to be able to bring her family to dental and optical appointments in the same building where she is already engaging in classes.

Now that Julie has graduated Jump Start, she plans to become ordained and begin her career in ministry. Her biggest goal, she says, is to give back to the community and help anyone who needs help. Once her career takes off, she has goals of eventually starting her own ministry.

Trust in God’s Provision

Imagine you’re back in grade school… You know that feeling on the last day right before summer break? You’re so excited for the adventures but there is a twinge of sadness to say goodbye to the teachers you’ve gotten to know so well? Well that’s exactly how we feel when a class of Per Scholas students graduate and move on into the wonderful world of IT. But man, when they come back to visit it is simply a blast to catch up.

2016 Per Scholas graduate David (left)  recently stopped down to say hello (and goodbye) right before his flight to New Mexico! That’s right- David has accepted a position at Fluent Health. He’s pumped not only to continue to thrive in his work life (not to mention the bump in pay) but also get out there and enjoy that Albuquerque scenery!   

The grind that Per Scholas students put in day in and day out for 10 weeks is inspiring to watch. We love watching the progression of each class. Every 10 weeks we watch individuals transform their thoughts and feelings of self doubt and stress into confidence and victory.

When we find ourselves trapped in the fog of life it is easy to focus on the negative. But when clients like David show up two years later, we are reminded of God’s provision. We are reminded that a 10 week class everyday isn’t easy and stress isn’t fun.  When we are in it, in the ‘muck’, it’s all we can see. Yet, He still says “Trust Me” and when we do, when we get through it, like David did, God smiles down as says “I told you” and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

Be the Change – Job Openings

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get into the critical work of serving our neighbors at CityLink Center?

Two of our partners have openings which could allow you to jump full force into our collective mission to transform lives and our community.  Check out the openings at Changing Gears and CEO, click here to learn more and potentially start a brand new career.

Good Luck, Doug!

Last Thursday, June 21st we celebrated Doug Green’s last day as Program Director of Center for Employment Opportunities’ (CEO) Cincinnati chapter. While Doug helped launch CEO, Cincinnati in March 2017, he’s been a part of the CityLink family since the doors opened in 2013, working previously at Cincinnati Works.

CEO is a national organization that offers comprehensive employment services exclusively for people with criminal records. CEO’s model is based on a highly structured program of life skill education, short-term paid transitional employment, full-time job placement and post-placement services.

 Doug joined CEO’s mission with a heart for serving returning citizens; a space he’s been passionate about for some time.  Thursday he shared that he began this work with the hope of starting something he could leave behind for his children and the next generation to continue. “I knew there were things that I could accomplish and things that I couldn’t,” Doug said, “Those things unaccomplished go on to my children to accomplish and create a legacy for themselves to pass on to their children.”

Doug leaves CEO to continue pursuing this passion by starting a construction company that will serve as a second-chance employer to those with a criminal background. 

We are beyond grateful for the time, energy, patience, and persistence Doug has poured into hundreds of clients lives. He has helped plant a seed of hope and grace in this city and we pray God will continue to bless his path.