May 7, 2013

Customer Service Job Fair -- May 15, 2013

If you are looking for a rewarding career in the customer service industry, then the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati invites you to attend a Customer Service Job Fair which will be held from 3-7 p.m., Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at the Urban League building located at 3458 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45229.  Learn about training and job opportunities and consider upgrading your skills by attending the Accelerated Call Center Education Program (ACE).

For more information contact Rocky Shabazz at 513-487-6516 or

May 6, 2013

A Leap of Faith: How Cheriese Lindsey Went From a Low-Wage Job to a Career

This story originally appeared on the Black Entertainment Television (BET) website on May 2, 2013.  It was written by Joyce Jones.  For a complete copy of the article click on the link below to go to the BET website.

Just a few years ago, as millions of Americans struggled to hold onto their jobs, Cincinnati, Ohio, resident Cheriese Lindsey walked away from hers as a hotel housekeeper.

"It was a really crappy job," she said. "So I decided to take a leap of faith so I could build a career."
Initially Lindsey relied on government assistance for housing, food and health care, and took what she described as "odds and ends" work with temporary jobs firms to provide for herself and her young son.

"I wasn't skilled enough to get a job that paid enough to get off of assistance. Nobody was hiring or those that were weren't offering enough hours to make it worth taking the job," Lindsey said.

Click on the link below for the full story.

Apr 16, 2013

OGS  Telecom  Credits  the  African  American  Business  Development Program at the Urban  League  of  Greater  Cincinnati  for  Business  Growth  

This article is reprinted from the National Urban League March newsletter--In the Black

The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati devotes a segment of its Annual Meeting to highlight League programs  and  participants.  The past two years, graduates from the Economic Empowerment Center’s  African American Business Development  Program  (AABDP) has been featured speakers during  the  event.  
AABDP is a highly selective six-month program designed for African Americans business owners who want to build sustainable companies that help to create employment opportuniies for  the community.  The  representative from the Alumni Group this year was Osford Ogis, President  & CEO of OCG Telecom. His comments to a  audience of 625 individuals and companies are as follows:

OCG  Telecom  sells  IT  and  Telecom  Equipment  and  Software  like  Cisco,  HP,  Dell,  and Microsoft  to  Federal,  State  and  Local  government  customers.  In  November  2009,  OCG Telecom  entered  the  Urban  League’s  African  American  Business  Development Program (AABDP)  as  a  start-­‐up  with  less  than  one  (1)  year  in  business  and  annual  revenues  of  less than  $5,000.  Since  participation  in  the  Program,  annual  sales  have  increased  to  $  141,000  in 2010,  $  441,000  in 2011  and  $  920,000  in  2012.

The  Urban  League  has  been  critical  to  our  success.    I  started  the  business  with  12  years management experience  at  a  Fortune  100  company  but  no  experience  managing  a  startup.   The  AABDP  program provided  me  with  very  practical  training  on  every  aspect  of  running  a  small  business  from,  marketing and  operations  to  accounting  and  finance.
After  graduating  from  the  AABDP,  we  worked  with  our  SBDC  business  coach  Sheila  Mixon to  develop  a  Strategic  Plan,  a  Business  Plan,  and  to  refine  the  marketing  materials  for  our business.    Moreover,  we meet  with  Ms.  Mixon  monthly  to  ensure  that  we  are  on  track  to meet  our  goals.  Ms.  Mixon  has  also given  me  the  opportunity  to  present  my  company  to  the Minority  Business  Accelerator  (MBA)  with hopes  of  becoming  part  of  the  MBA  Portfolio.  
As  we  grew  and  identified  the  need  for  an  additional  employee,  Ms.  Mixon  suggested  we interview  a graduate  of  the  Urban  League’s  ACE  program.  We  hired  the  Urban  League ACE program  graduate  and she  has  been  a  great  addition  to  our  staff,  generating  significant  new business  for  the  company  within months  of  being  hired.  When  we  hire  again,  the  Urban League  will  be  the  first  place  we  look.  
Ms.  Mixon  has  helped  promote  our  company  by  nominating  us  for  posting  on  the  Ohio Secretary  of  State  Business  profile  web  site  and  nomination  for  the  African  American Chamber  Small  Business  Award.  This  promotion  has  helped  with  our  rapid  growth.  Finally, we  attend  a  monthly  AABDP  alumni  meeting  where  we  continue  to  learn  from  experienced
successful  businessmen  like  Steve  Hightower  and  Greg  Battle  to  name  a  few.    In  additionwe share  ideas, give  advice  and  provide  moral  support  to  our  fellow  AABDP  Alumni.  

Apr 13, 2013

Cincinnati League Aims to Change the Game with Data Training

Staff leaders at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati (ULGC) are using the latest techniques such as mapping for data gathering and analysis, to prepare senior level staff so they can make important programmatic decisions and better communicate the impact of their work. This game-changing action plan is the result of a unique, web-based interactive professional development session, created by Dr. Rea N. Waldon, ULGC’s Chief Operating Officer.

Read more about this topic by visiting the link below to the full article on the National Urban League website.

Apr 10, 2013

Kauffman FastTrac--Start Up Your Idea Series Offered by Urban League SBDC

The Ohio Small Business Development Council at the Urban League is pleased to offer the acclaimed Kauffman FastTrac--Start Up Your Idea program as part of its Business Development Series. 

FastTrack will begin May 4 and run for eight weeks offering information on topics such as:

·                     Structure Your Business
·                     Define your Product/Service
·                     How to market your company
·                     Build a good Financial Structure
·                     Access to Capital and “What is Next?”
·                     Q&A with panel of Advisors/Graduation

The cost of attending the FastTrac series is $575. Advanced registration and seating is VERY limited.  Confirmation you reservations to Trinise Stowers 513-487-1155 or at
Visit for additional information contact Thomas Dillingham Jr. at 513-487-1233




Apr 1, 2013

Small Business Development Series

The Ohio Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), the Columbus District Office of the SBA, SCORE, The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, Ohio Dept. of Development Minority Business Enterprise Division and US Bank is offering this FREEsix month Resource Training Seminar Series. Each individual seminar is designed to enhance the setup and/or growth of your small business concern. Mark your calendar and plan to attend these informative and very exciting small business seminars.You Owe Your Business, Every Opportunity For Its Success.”

Sessions Include:

The Resource Network
(Small Business Resource Partners)
Starting Right and Beyond
(Legal, Accounting, Insurance)
Access to Capital
(Building Banking Relationships)
Credit Report/Credit Score
(How to Improve/Better Money Mgmt.)
Small Business Marketing
(Media and E-Commerce)
Small Business Procurement

The Small Business Development Center Program of Ohio is a funded program of the Ohio Department of Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given through such funding does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of any co-sponsor(s) opinions products or services. The program is provided on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least 2 weeks in advance.

If you would like to register for the program please visit the following webpage:

For more information contact: The Ohio SBDC at The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati Business Development & Entrepreneurship , 440 E. McMillan Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45206 - or call Phone: 513-487-1155.

This is a FREE program but you MUST register ahead of time!

Mar 27, 2013

Fifth Third Bank Annual Report-ORV~WBC Story

The Ohio River Valley~Women's Busines Council (ORV~WBC ) is featured in the 2012 Fifth Third Bank Annual Report..  Fifth Third Bank through its Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Trust provided the ORV~WBC with a $25,000 gift last year in support of the certification process of women owned businesses. View 24 &25 of the report for the story.

ORV~WBC is an organization for women business owners interested in promoting, developing and maintaining business relationships with other women business owners, major corporations and governmental agencies. It is a non-profit organization with a mission to certify bona fide women-owned businesses and to promote the activities directed at the development, establishment, expansion and encouragement of businesses owned by women. ORV~WBC is a certifying partner organization in the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Through our partnership with WBENC, our WBE certification process is a nationally recognized and accepted certification. WBE certification is required by numerous private-sector companies and governmental agencies. ORV-WBC includes numerous WBEs and corporate partners located in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. For more information about ORV~WBC and its services, follow this link to visit the ORV-WBC website.

Mar 22, 2013

Summer Youth Jobs Program

Cincinnati – Mayor Mark Mallory and Council Member Yvette Simpson announced today that the City has selected the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati to administer the City’s Summer Youth Jobs Program.  The program will hire 277 local youth between the ages of 14 and 18 to participate in the 8 week program that will place them in local businesses or non-profits.

“The Urban League's partnership with 4 other agencies will is going to strengthen the City’s youth employment program.  This will be a great opportunity for hundreds of local youth to gain valuable on-the-job experience and career preparation,” Mayor Mark Mallory said.  “Youth employment has been one of my top priorities as Mayor.  Employment experience at an early age is crucial in giving young folks the best opportunity for success as an adult.”

”I am excited about this year’s partnership,” stated Council Member Simpson, “The Administration and I have worked hard since last summer to improve the program’s training and assessment tools, and this coalition will help implement these changes and enhance the experience for our young people.” 

Informational flyers explaining how to apply for the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program will be available at the Mayor’s Youth Job Fair on Thursday, March 28, at the Duke Energy Convention Center from 2 pm to 6 pm.

The City’s Summer Youth Employment Program pays the youth employees over $1,200 for the eight week employment program, which includes one week of training, and seven weeks working at the partner businesses or non-profits.  As part of the program the youth will receive financial literacy training, college preparation and exploration, on the job experience, and participate in service learning projects. This year, the Urban League partners with the Cincinnati Hamilton County Community Action Agency, Cincinnati State College, Easter Seals, and the Urban Appalachian Council to place the youth into jobs.

The City is also hiring young people to work for the Cincinnati Parks Department, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, ArtWorks Mural Program, and a few other City Departments such as Health, Law and Enterprise Technology Solutions. 

Secretary of Labor Visits the Urban League

Great article by WCPO's Casey Weldon on the visit to the Urban League to discuss increasing the minimum wage.  Below is Ms. Weldon's article at WCPO Digital and a link to their website for a great video piece on the Secretary's visit.

By: Casey Weldon, WCPO Digital
CINCINNATI – Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris was joined by Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory at a roundtable discussion Wednesday to discuss President Barack Obama’s proposal to raise the national minimum wage.
The meeting at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati on Reading Road allowed low-wage workers and advocates to share their thoughts about how a minimum wage increase would benefit them, their families and their communities.
The minimum wage rate in Ohio is currently $7.85 an hour or about $16,000 a year for a full-time worker. The rate is $7.25 an hour for those employers grossing $283,000 or less.
In Kentucky and Indiana the rate is $7.25.
“A lot of times things go unpaid because you have to eat, have to make sure you get to work and get your kid to school,” said Heather Quick, a mother who earns minimum wage and is trying to provide for her 5-year-old son, Gage.
Quick works part time at a local store but says the business has made recent cutbacks which have cut into her hours even more.
President Obama wants the national rate to be $9 an hour by 2015 to help ensure that hard work leads to a decent living, according to Sec. Harris. The White House said last month that raising the minimum wage would boost earnings for 15 million workers by the end of 2015.
“The president said it's an outrage that people are working full time and still living in poverty,” said Sec. Harris. “I think a large majority of Americans agree with that and they'd like to see minimum wage increase.”
Quick says she doesn't want the wage increase to help her get ahead. She just wants to stay afloat.
“I would have more money to do things that are a necessity. Not things that I want, but things that I need and that my son needs.”
Many small business owners worry that a hike in the minimum wage rate could affect their profits, which would cause them to raise prices for the services and goods they provide.
The proposal to change the rate is still pending. It still needs to be approved by Congress.
You can join the conversation on Twitter by following the United States Department of Labor (@USDOL) and Sec. Harris (@ActingSecHarris).

9 On Your Side reporter Mekialaya White contributed to this report.

Mar 20, 2013

Corman visits Urban League of Greater Cincinnati

Keith Corman, Regional Liaison, Region 8 of the Ohio Secretary of State Office (Jon Husted) was in Cincinnati March 20, at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s Customer Contact Center  to recognize four staff members of Total Outsourced Systems that were promoted Feb. 20.

To read more about this article and see a photo follow this link:

Mar 13, 2013

Catch the Wave 2013

Catch the Wave 2013--Navigating the River of Success is a two-day conference in Charleston, West Virginia dedicated to helping women-owned businesses in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Join your fellow business owners and ORV~WBC Corporate Sponsors for networking, business building seminars, and corporated round tables all designed to help your bussiness grow.  Jump start your business Spring 2013!

Where: Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center - Downtown Charleston, West Virginia
When:  April 22-23, 2013
Info:    Marjorie Solomon at 513-487-6537  ot

Mar 1, 2013

Uptown Residents Get Job Training

This article orginally appeared Friday, March 1, 2013, in the Cincinnati Enquirer and online at their website.  Follow the link below to read the entire story. 

Written by the Enquirer's Mark Curnutte

AVONDALE — The Uptown Consortium knows how to do brick-and-mortar development.

Marking its 10th anniversary, the nonprofit community development corporation is largely responsible for $400 million in improvements and new construction – such as the Hampton Inn Hotel and garage in Corryville and the Cincinnati Herald Building and Burnet Avenue parking garage in Avondale – in Cincinnati’s five Uptown communities...
To read the entire article and see a short video follow the link below.

Feb 20, 2013

Concert to Benefit Urban League's Suit Yourself Gentlemen's Closet

The Urban League Guild of Greater Cincinnati will be collaborating with the Cincinnati Alumni Chapter of Kentucky State University to host the award winning Kentucky State University Concert Choir on Friday March 1st at Tryed Stone New Beginnings Church at 7 p.m.. The choir truly has something for everyone, musically speaking, because of the wide variety of musical genres they cover so well.

This is a fundraising event where proceeds go to scholarships for Kentucky State University students. Ticket prices are only $10. The Guild will receive 50% of every ticket that we sell which will benefit the Urban League’s Suit Yourself Gentlemen’s Closet. Tickets will be available at the Guild Meeting on 2/12/13. Please contact Tywauna Hardy at for more information.  

Uptown SOAR Off to a Great Start

The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati is beginning the second week of the Uptown SOAR Program.  The program has exceeded all goals regarding recruitment and enrollment, and is on pace to exceed the goal for program completion.

Uptown SOAR recruited 53 Uptown residents and enrolled a class of 25 on Monday, February 11, 2013. As of the start of Week 2, there are still 24 individuals participating. in the program. During the first week students discussed conflict resolution, thought processes for success, a stand and deliver public speaking exercise, and a module on decision making. Students were also provided with a legal clinic offered by Ohio Justice and Policy Center, and received professional business attire provided by Dress 4 Success and the Urban League’s Suit Yourself Clothing Closet. Attached are a few pictures of the class from this morning. This class will graduate on February 28th at 12 noon at the Urban League and we would love for you to attend. Below are pictures from Week 1.

Customer Contact Center Promotes Four!!!

Total Outsourced Systems (TOS)  and the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati (ULGC) are pleased and excited to announce the promotion of four team members at the ULGC's Customer Contact Center (CCC). Employees receiving promotions include:

Kijia Lovette:  Promoted to Team Manager.  Her new role will be to manage the team and work closely with CCC Senior Account Manager Debra Millage to continue her growth by learning how and when to communicate with Kroger and increase her management knowledge and skills.  This will help prepare her for a Supervisor position in the future.

Terrill Coleman:  Promoted to Queue Specialist.  Terrill will be responsible for the Special Request and Shipping Notification queue.  He will also be responsible for providing feedback to agents when he finds opportunities for improvement in the cases he handles.  This will help prepare him for a Team Lead position in the future.

Kathryn Chapel:  Promoting to Queue Specialist.  Kathryn will be responsible for the In Progress queue and other queues as needed and will also provide feedback to the agents.  This will help prepare her for a Team Lead position in the future.

Denisha Shemwell:  Promoted to Queue Specialist.  Denisha will be responsible for the Kroger email box where shipping notifications are sent.  She will place those notifications in the case and call the store and the customer with updates.  Denisha will also help in the other queues as needed.  This will help prepare her for a Team Lead position in the future.

The CCC currently employes 16 indivuduals from the Avondale community. All the employees of TOS  at the CCC are working on a contract with The Kroger Company.  The ULGC and TOS plan on expanding the number of employees working at the CCC to over 100 jobs in the next 18 months.

Uptown Consortium Partners with the Urban League to Promote Job Growth

Uptown Consortium, an organization dedicated to building up and revitalizing the neighborhoods of uptown Cincinnati, currently has about $700 million worth of development that has been completed, is underway or will be completed in the next 12 months, says Beth Robinson, president and CEO of the nonprofit.

“We were looking for a way we could reach out to the residents and make sure they’re participating in the economic and development boom here in Uptown,” Robinson says.

So the organization partnered with the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati to sponsor and modify sections of its SOAR Program and Construction Connections apprenticeship.

Robinson says the Urban League’s programs are a perfect fit because they have high job-placement rates for their graduates and are also located in Uptown.

“A few years ago, we did some work in this area and did a session with HR representatives from the big institutions up here—an informational session—and from that, we learned job readiness is something that our residents here who are out of work could really benefit from," she says.

To help address that issue, SOAR, which is a three-week program that provides training in areas like resume writing, interviewing and employer expectations, will help to prepare Uptown residents and then help them gain employment.

Once participants complete SOAR, they are encouraged to take part in the Construction Connections program if they show an interest in the trade. Through the eight-week program, participants learn the basic skills needed to secure employment. “Urban League is great because they have working relationships for job placement with all the big construction companies in town,” Robinson says.

Uptown Consortium is looking at its sponsorship of the two programs as a pilot project, but Robinson says she’s confident that it will be successful. If all goes as planned, about 25 Uptown residents will go from unemployed to employed in the coming months, with 15 of those residents working on the construction and developments in their community that will improve livability and promote place-making.

“We’re really excited,” Robinson says. “We feel like it really adds value for Uptown residents.”

Do Good: 

• Learn more about SOAR and similar programs by visiting the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati's website.

• Keep up with all the news from Uptown Cincinnati by liking its page on Facebook.

• Be a part of community building in Uptown by checking out the events happening in the area.

By Brittany York

Brittany York is a professor of English composition at the University of Cincinnati and a teacher at the Regional Institute of Torah and Secular Studies. She also edits the For Good section of SoapboxMedia. 

Jan 10, 2013

Urban League Announces its 2013 Lions

The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati is proud to announce its 19th class of Lions.  This year's honorees include Susan Upton Farley, Rev. H.L. Harvey, Barbara Smitherman and Kitty Strauss.  A short biography and photo will be available next week.

Each year the Urban League holds it "Glorifying the Lions Presentation" as part of its annual meeting luncheon.  The annual meeting will be held, from 11:30-1:30 p.m., Friday, February 8, 2013, at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Lions may be nominated by any individual, company or organization in the Greater Cincinnati area.  To be considered for the award, individuals must have demonstrated a commitment to serving families and individuals in the community.  This includes distinguished leaders who have changed the face of Cincinnati by their words, actions and deeds.  It also includes lesser know people outside of the "usual achievers" who readily come to mind. Nominiees include a next-door-neighbor, a church member, or former classmate, all who have made a difference in the lives of families and individuals in the community.

Tickets for the event can be purchased by visiting the Urban League website at