Growth and Opportunity

Growth & Opportunity in Northeast Ohio

With a workforce of two million strong, Northeast Ohio’s diverse talent pool is one of the region’s greatest assets. Home to more than 25 accredited colleges and universities, the region provides access to skilled talent in a number of diverse fields that support our regional economy.  As a skilled workforce is a necessary component to any healthy and growing economy, a number of regional initiatives have been started to ensure Northeast Ohio is able to align the needs of the business community with the right set of talent. In doing this, these initiatives aim to create opportunities for Northeast Ohio residents.

Growth & Opportunity

Helping to lead the charge in this area is the Fund for Our Economic Future – a non-profit organization that pools the philanthropic resources of its members in order to strengthen and sustain Northeast Ohio’s economy and increase access to opportunity for all people. Key to the Fund’s work is its Growth & Opportunity strategy. Growth & Opportunity looks at how job creation and economic growth must also be tied to opportunity for all – not just those at the top of the income ladder. As such, Growth & Opportunity focuses on three essential areas: job creation, job preparation and job access. In order for true economic growth to occur, these three factors must all be coordinated and addressed. To this end, a number of notable programs exist throughout Northeast Ohio that focus on various aspects of the Growth & Opportunity strategy.

Regional Workforce Initiatives

  • ConexusNEO: ConexusNEO partners with businesses to identify the skills they need to fill positions and build a talent pipeline. They work with educators, workforce programs, economic development organizations and the public sector to generate innovative solutions to workforce needs.
  • JobsNow Workforce Initiative: The JobsNow Workforce Initiative was created to help close the gap between the demand for skilled labor and the supply of workforce-ready employees in the Mahoning Valley.
  • WorkAdvance: WorkAdvance Northeast Ohio (WA) is a regional, sector specific career pathway program coordinated by Towards Employment. The program delivers a continuum of appropriately aligned services to meet business needs and move unemployed and low-income adults onto career pathways in the health care and manufacturing industries.

Ultimately, as Northeast Ohio looks to remain economically competitive, workforce programs like those highlighted above will continue to play an integral role in the region’s overall success.  Across all industry segments, Northeast Ohio expects to add nearly 123,000 jobs by 2025, representing a six percent increase in total employment. Areas like healthcare and manufacturing production top the list in terms of occupations with the greatest demand in the coming decade.