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WorkAdvance Nominated As Top Workforce Initiative

CLEVELAND--March 21, 2014--WorkAdvance, an innovative local workforce program that has helped 294 individuals enter promising careers and has engaged 305 companies to strengthen their talent pool, was nominated by manufacturing economic development organization WIRE-Net for Great Lakes Manufacturing Council’s Talented Workforce Initiative. The 30 nominees include programs in cities in seven states and two provinces, as well as four US and Canadian national programs. Only two workforce development programs in Ohio were nominated – WorkAdvance is one of them.

Great Lakes Manufacturing Council, a bi-national organization dedicated to the success of manufacturing in the Great Lakes Region, announced these 30 programs were nominated as benchmarks for its Talented Workforce Initiative, created to identify the most imaginative and effective solutions for building the region’s pool of manufacturing talent. All 30 will be recognized on June 12 in Detroit at The Big M event celebrating the resurgence of manufacturing and four will be presented with top awards.

WorkAdvance, sponsored by Cleveland based Towards Employment, is a collaboration of Northeast Ohio workforce organizations and employer partners designed to meet the needs of NEO businesses while preparing low-income, under- and unemployed individuals for careers in manufacturing and healthcare. WorkAdvance links social services, work readiness, academic remediation and technical training with employers and industry association representatives to provide a continuum of support that moves economically disadvantaged individuals onto career pathways in in-demand occupations. WorkAdvance partners with Compass Family and Community Services to implement the program in Youngstown.

WorkAdvance is a sub‐grantee of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a federal initiative from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) through The New York City Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Significant regional funding is provided by the Fund for Our Economic Future.

“It is a truly impressive list of nominees and proof that educators and trainers are striving to meet the demands of a manufacturing sector rapidly transforming into knowledge-based enterprises,” said Ed Wolking, Jr., President of the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council. Jill Rizika, Executive Director of Towards Employment is “honored to be one of so many top-notch regional initiatives included in this list and grateful that our partner and manufacturing advocate WIRE-Net nominated us.”

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