Feb 20, 2013

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.