The first group of 25 men and women who graduated from the EDGE Program were honored last week. EDGE is an intensive, five-month program to help individuals with justice involvement overcome barriers to skilled employment opportunities.
Columbus Mayor Ginther spoke to graduates, telling them, "EDGE allows for second chances. I believe that your hard work and dedication to this program will give you the second chance you need."
EDGE is provided with the support of the City of Columbus and the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio. The program started with a big kickoff luncheon in January attended by Mayor Ginther, other city and county officials, agency representatives, all the participants, program partners, and many others. Everyone was full of optimism and the economy was very strong.
Just a couple of months into the program, the coronavirus changed everything. In response, the EDGE staff pivoted into action and created a highly individualized program that tapped into technology for education and certification training. The outcomes were impressive:·Twenty-one of the 25 graduates are employed; 16 earned hard skills credentials; four are in a credentialing program; two earned their GEDs; and one just enrolled in online bachelor’s degree program.
Alvis President and CEO Denise M. Robinson said, "It's not how you start, it's how you finish - and wow - what a finish you had! Congratulations!"