Central Ohio Works!
The latest news from the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation
October 2013
Columbus- Franklin County
Training for the future
Franklin County Green Corps participants at work at Franklin Park Conservatory.
Franklin County Green Corps: Cultivating Skills for a Growing Industry
If you've enjoyed the grounds of the Franklin Park Conservatory lately, you may have noticed the good work of the newest members of the Franklin County Green Corps. The 32-week, paid training program teaches young adults ages 18-24 the trade of landscaping and horticulture. 
Currently, seven students are gaining the skills needed to make them competitive job seekers in the green industry. The program includes classroom training to prepare the students to test for certifications and licenses that will make them more marketable. Trainees also receive hands-on training completing landscaping duties on the Conservatory grounds and learning about the plants and their origins.  

Franklin County Green Corps is funded by the Franklin County Department of Economic Development and Planning and the Workforce Investment Act, the primary funding source of COWIC/OMJ- Columbus-Franklin County. OMJ -Columbus-Franklin County staff recruit young adults from all over the county to participate in the program and also assist the students with supportive services such as the purchase of uniforms and other weather-appropriate work clothing. The ultimate goal is to connect trainees with companies that are looking for skilled talent so that each graduate may obtain permanent, self-sustaining employment.
Graduates have landed positions at Franklin Park Conservatory, at local landscaping companies, at suburban parks and recreation departments, and even in veterinary medicine or other areas. Some were inspired to go back to school to complete or further their education.
Franklin County Green Corps participants receive a $10 per hour stipend for the duration of the program. The next session starts in July, 2014. For more information, contact Career Consultant Lawrence Jackson at ljackson@cowic.org.
Participants with instructor Barb Arnold.
Franklin County One-Stop shows strong performance 


The Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation (COWIC) has met or exceeded every performance measure for the 2012 Program Year! The measures, which are released annually by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, track performance in areas such as job placements, job retention, average earnings, and youth literacy and numeracy for all Ohio's workforce areas. Check out the results for COWIC/OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County for the period of July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013, below. 


O.N.E.-STOP partnership prepares inmates for post-release employment


Inmates at the Pickaway Correctional Institution are getting a boost toward employment before they are released. The Offender Network for Employment to STOP Recidivism (O.N.E.-STOP) work readiness program is a partnership between local workforce areas like COWIC/OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County and the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services where incarcerated individuals participate in day-long training sessions to prepare them for their job search once released.


"The partnerships in the O.N.E.-STOPs with our community agencies has been instrumental in making the pilot sites viable and a great resource for soon to be released offenders," said Tom Hutter, Project Manager for the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. "Many inmates have commented on how much the workshops put on by the community partners have made a difference for them in understanding what it will take to find and get a job. There wouldn't be O.N.E.-STOPs without this support."   


Once a month, OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County staff meet with inmates at PCI to provide instruction on interview techniques, filling out online applications, resume development and other important tools needed to successfully find employment. Participants also receive assistance on identifying their transferrable skills and developing a inset that is defined not by their criminal background, but by their desire to move beyond their pasts toward a more positive future.


"Our entire presentation is geared around the mindset of not letting their background and past be who they are in the future," Career Consultant Lawrence Jackson says. "We discuss the importance of being up front about their backgrounds, but not letting it define them as they meet a potential new employer."


An important element of the O.N.E.-STOP training session is a section on entrepreneurship and the great potential for becoming small business owners when traditional employment seems out of reach. Beyond this, participants are directly connected with the job-search assistance and resources they will need once they return home. 


The monthly training sessions started in April of this year and some of the first group of participants have now reached their release dates and an opportunity to use their new skills. For many, OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County will be one of their first stops and because of this program they have a familiar face to turn to in the staff they met while still incarcerated. The O.N.E.-STOP project is in the pilot stage now, but the state hopes to track the success and expand the program in other facilities across the state.


Customer Spotlight: Retooling for Success

Brandy Holly knows that sometimes it's not the destination, but the journey that means the most. When Holly, 34, first registered for services with COWIC/ OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County, she hadn't been on an interview in more than 10 years. She was struggling with confidence and searching for a meaningful career.


Brandy says the help she received from Career Consultant Tori Darden was just what she needed. Tori encouraged her to take OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County's Resume Development and Interviewing Techniques courses.


"The course touched on how you need to have confidence in yourself," Brandy said. 


The Interview Techniques class helps individuals to identify their strengths and unique talents. Participants also receive advice on how to more fluently answer questions and participate in mock interview sessions.


Brandy is currently working with our Business Solutions Team to help her find that right career, but along the way she discovered that it was time to retool and increase her skills.  She is pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashland University. Brandy credits the customer service and follow-up from the Business Solutions team and Tori Darden with helping her to further her education and pursue not just a job, but a career.


"One of the things I have learned through my experience with COWIC is that you do not have to settle for anything less," Brandy said. "If you settle for less, you won't find your career."


The Resume Development class is offered on Mondays and Interviewing Techniques is offered on Tuesdays. Both classes are from 9am-4pm. For more information on both classes, please visit our website at www.cowic.org

Employer Focus: American Girl comes to Columbus
When American Girl dolls Addy and Caroline came to Columbus in June, they brought more than 200 new jobs with them. The company came to OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County for help to fill those positions. The retail industry is a strong player in our local market and our Business Solutions team often works with companies like American Girl to meet the need for talent. American Girl participated in the 2013 S.O.A.R.hire! Summer Jobs Program hiring young adults ages 18-24 through our Casting Call series. Our young job seekers were excited for the chance to work at American Girl. The result was more than 100 young adults hired at an average wage of $10 per hour. Many of the positions were permanent, lasting beyond the summer. American Girl continues to work with our Business Solutions staff to fill positions, particularly as the holiday season is approaching.
COWIC/OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County staff at the American Girl Grand Opening at Easton Town Center with American Girl General Manager Jason Gaile.
What's coming up?

JobsMobile, Job Expos, and
Other Events
October 24,2013 :
Southside Job Expo.
COWIC/OhioMeansJobs - Columbus-Franklin County joins the Southern Gateway Initiative to deliver employment services to the people of the south side of Columbus. On Thursday, October 24th, we will host a mini job expo feature south side employers including Nationwide Children's Hospital and Teleperformance. Job seekers will have a chance to meet directly with employers and show their new skills. The expo will be held at Community Development for All People, 946 Parsons Ave, from 9am-5pm. To register, south side residents should call the jobs hotline at 614-236-JOBS and press 4. Interested employers should email Jo Youngs at jayoungs@cowic.org.
October 24, 2013:
Reeb-Hosack Neighborhood Pride Community Night.
Learn more about the services provided at COWIC/OMJ - Columbus-Franklin County at the Neighborhood Pride night in the Reeb-Hosack neighborhood. Mayor Michael B. Coleman and the directors of the various city departments will be in attendance to answer questions and address resident concerns about happenings in the area. Look for the COWIC/OMJ table from 6pm-8pm at 258 Reeb Avenue, Columbus, OH 43207.
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Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corp. | 614-559-5052 |  info@cowic.org | http://www.cowic.org
1111 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43205
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