January 2021 NewsWIB
SWORWIB Names New Leadership Team
Jason Ashbrook, Lamont Taylor
will serve as Workforce Board
Executive Director, Deputy Director
President Sherry Kelley Marshall oversaw the national and regional recruitment and interviewing process with meaningful and helpful assistance by Heather Whalen and Nick Milazzo both from 5/3rd Bank. Officers of the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board (SWORWIB) selected Jason Ashbrook as SWORWIB Executive Director and Lamont Taylor as Deputy Director effective February 2, 2021.
Ashbrook and Taylor will fill the leadership role of SWORWIB President & CEO Sherry Kelley Marshall, who announced her retirement December 31, 2020. Marshall, who served in this role for two decades, will continue to serve in orientation and training and consultative capacity through June 2021, with consultative services under contract as needed.
“Upon Sherry Kelley Marshall’s decision to retire, we knew we had some tall shoes to fill,” offers SWORWIB Chair Laurence Jones, President & CEO of RiskVersity. “We excitedly landed the ‘Dream Team’ of Jason Ashbrook and Lamont Taylor. Ashbrook brings workforce management experience, and Taylor’s extensive human resource expertise will help us build on the strong foundation Marshall put in place to serve the residents and businesses of this region.” 
Jason Ashbrook has nearly 20 years’ experience in workforce development, grant management, and brokering successful public-private partnerships. Prior to this role, Ashbrook served as the Deputy Director of the Workforce Board of Butler, Clermont and Warren counties (WIBBCW) where he helped oversee strategy and operations for the One-Stop Center and Career Services Provider for the 820,000-resident region. Ashbrook also helps manage the Memorandum of Understanding/Infrastructure Funding Agreements for the three local OhioMeansJobs (OMJ) Centers - Ohio Area #12 and works with WIBBCW Board and committees members to train for and meet current workforce demands.

Ashbrook previously served as Director for the Kentucky Career Center, the second largest and most comprehensive career center in Kentucky. He oversaw the operations of the workforce system’s five career centers, 80 staff, and 13 partner organizations that served 65,000 job seekers and 1,300 employers annually. Prior to this, Ashbrook was employed at Brighton Center and served in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility, including managing the agency's workforce programs.
His professional affiliations include the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-NKY Chapter). Ashbrook has served as SHRM President, Vice President and Workforce Readiness Chair. These roles involved leading, planning, coordinating, and facilitating programs and initiatives to promote optimal practices in Workforce Development and Human Resources.  

A native Cincinnatian, Ashbrook lived with his maternal grandparents in Florida during his adolescence. After high school graduation, he returned to the region and began working full time at an ARC-affiliated chapter for Northern Kentucky that helps disabled residents find jobs. Ashbrook attended evening classes at Thomas More University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Management.
Ashbrook offers, “Having a skilled, quality workforce is the #1 issue for employers. And when we partner with the private sector, the collective impact brings solutions. That’s exactly what Sherry Kelley Marshall has done with the SWORWIB, and I’m excited to continue to build upon the solid foundation she’s established.” 
He continues, “We are living through a health and economic crisis, and it’s our job to make sure that the services and resources we’re entrusted with are delivered to jobseekers and employers seamlessly. Workforce development is in my DNA. I am committed to leading SWORWIB in its mission to create successful outcomes and a stronger region by minimizing red tape and optimizing resources for our team, jobseekers and businesses.” 
Lamont Taylor will support SWORWIB and Ashbrook as Deputy Director. A passionate leader recognized for developing cohesive, high performance teams. Taylor brings two decades’ experience to the newly-created SWORWIB role. 
Taylor comes to SWORWIB by way of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority where, as Division Manager, he oversaw a 300-member team. Prior to this role, Taylor was the Director of Human Resources & Customer Service for Transdev, a transportation operations management firm headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. While at Transdev, Taylor developed a recruiting plan that improved staffing and enabled more efficient project bidding. Before Transdev, Taylor ran human resource information, compensation and technology projects for the Kettering Health Network and its nine campus-network. Taylor also worked as a Talent Development & Community Engagement Consultant for the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency.
Taylor began his professional career with Frisch’s, Inc. He served in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility during his 16-year tenure, first as a regional recruiter for the then family-owned restaurant chain, next as Employee Relations Manager and in 2009, as the Regional HR Manager of Distribution Center and Restaurants in the Tristate, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He holds a B.A. in Human Resources and a master’s degree in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. A resident of Kennedy Heights, Taylor received the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Commission Award for Economic Opportunity, was named a Cincinnati Business Courier “40 under 40” award recipient and the Hamilton County Community Action Agency Bridge Builder award.
Taylor offers, “With each professional role I’ve held throughout my career – be it food service, healthcare, community organizations and transportation – I’ve witnessed what happens when organizations partner: people, businesses and the region overall wins. I’m honored to have the opportunity to bring my career full-circle here in Greater Cincinnati and to support Jason Ashbrook, SWORWIB and the legacy that Sherry Kelley Marshall has created.”
Welcome New SWORWIB Board Members
New board member orientation took place on Thursday January 21, 2021 at the OMJ Center. We had two socially distanced groups lead by President & CEO, Sherry Kelley Marshall and OMJ Director, Kevin Holt to take a tour of the OMJ Center after brief introductions. This talented team then was given a brief overview about the organization and their roles as SWORWIB board members.
Margaret (Peg) Albert
American Legion Post 644

Markiea Carter
City of Cincinnati
David Cook
Jesse Grissom
Myron Hughes
Blue Rose Supply
Deval Motka
Rocket Data at Quicken Loans
Rhema Nwaneri
Wright-Patt Credit Union
Alicia Reece
Hamilton County Commissioner
Also in attendance were Jason Ashbrook, SWORWIB Executive Director, Lamont Taylor, SWORWIB Deputy Director and Karen Saterfield, SWORWIB Administrative Assistant. David Cook and Alicia Reece were unable to attend the training but have received their training material. These new board members will be inducted at the Annual SWORWIB meeting held on February 11, 2021
Spotlight on the OhioMeansJob Center
The Virtual Career Fair Effect:
Happy Employers & Job Seekers
This past Wednesday, January 27th, the inaugural OH•Zone Virtual Career Fair took place with 50 enthusiastic Greater Cincinnati job seekers and 20 employers. The event allowed attendees the opportunity to have live conversations with recruiters from companies such as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Kroger Cincinnati Fresh, First Student, Ohio Valley Goodwill and others. Job seekers throughout the Cincinnati area were invited using social media ads on Facebook, Linked In, emails to individuals who have received Unemployment Insurance benefits recently and sharing via our list of 300+ community partners. One very pleased job hunter told us that she had a great experience and had a chance to speak with her desired employer about a job that was of great interest. Check out some employer comments below: 
Hayley Whalen, H.R. Manager for Professional Cabling Solutions: “I found the platform easy to use, excellent support was provided for booth set-up and the chat feature was especially helpful. I definitely reached some candidates that have good potential to be hired.”
Allison DeGraff, H.R. Manager for Givaudan Flavors: The ( “tool was easy to set up and made connecting with candidates simple. We met a few good candidates; would happily participate again.”
Shawn Walker, H.R. Recruiting & Branding Specialist for Kroger Delivery: Kathleen (OhioMeansJobs Cincinnati-Hamilton County representative) and Greg (HireBoom! Consultant) went above and beyond to help get our booth set up. We really appreciated that!”  
The virtual event came about as representatives from OhioMeansJobs Cincinnati Hamilton-County, the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board (SWORWIB), ODJFS Office of Workforce Development and REDI Cincinnati came together earlier in the year to brainstorm about ways to meet the need of business and job seekers as COVID-19 stymied business the economy. Representatives from JobsOhio and HireBoom! joined the team to create the first of multiple events planned for 2021. As Adam Jones, of REDI Cincinnati has stated, “our goal is to connect area businesses with active jobseekers in a safe online environment that allows for live personal interaction and help employers build a qualified, motivated workforce”.

This recent event emphasized Ohio-based employers in the essential work sectors of supply chain, logistics and transportation. Potential events are in the works for other sectors like advanced manufacturing, biohealth, IT, financial services, construction and healthcare, so stay tuned!
OhioMeansJobs Center
Operations Update
The COVID pandemic has challenged state and local resources as well as operations for OhioMeansJobs (OMJ) Centers and unemployment services throughout the state. As Governor DeWine continues the stay-at-home orders for state workers, schools, events and other activities, the SWORWIB and OMJ Center would like customers to know that they can reach out to the OMJ Staff as directed below to seek help with your workforce needs. Please use the information below for your first contact for help and/or services. Please contact Sherry Kelley Marshall, SWORWIB President & CEO if you are unable to connect with our largely home-based team members.
Important Contact Information
OhioMeansJobs Center Services 
For general information: (513) 946-7200
For Prevention, Retention
and Contingency (PRC)
The PRC plan for Hamilton County is to facilitate programs by the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (HCJFS) or through contracts with other public entities and/or local community service providers.

and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
WIOA is designed to help Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.
Charles Walters: Phone number: (513) 946-7242
For One on One Job Search Assistance
 Tim Scott: Phone number: (513) 946-7214

Website for Job Search and Online Training

Important Contact
Information Regarding
The Ohio Unemployment Office

For ‘PIN’ reset call: 1-866-962-4064
Main phone number: Toll free: 1-877-644-6562
Hearing impaired TTY Service dial
Toll Free: 1-888-642-8203

** Please note: There are no local or physical
Ohio Unemployment offices. **
Reemployment Services and
Eligibility Assessment (RESEA)
coming soon to the OhioMeansJob Center
Area #13 will soon provide Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA), an integrated unemployment assessment and reemployment program that is critical in coordinating state unemployment insurance (UI) and workforce development systems to help millions of dislocated workers currently receiving unemployment compensation effectively return to work and spur economic recovery. RESEA can assist with the reemployment of millions of dislocated workers currently receiving unemployment insurance and provide a critical tool in COVID-19 recovery efforts.
While state participation in RESEA is voluntary Ohio will use the RESEA program to provide reemployment services to customers in a declining industry via online and in-person activities. Participants will be provided:
  • An online orientation to OhioMeansJobs center services and expectations of the RESEA program
  • One-on-one reemployment appointment with an Employment Professional
  • Local labor market and career information
  • Registration with
  • An in-person orientation to local OMJ Center services
  • A customized, individualized reemployment plan that includes work search activities, access to services provided through an OhioMeansJob Center and/or access self-service tools
  • A follow-up to the individualized reemployment plan

The OhioMeansJob Center in Cincinnati-Hamilton County will be providing these services and is currently recruiting staff.
What is RESEA?
The Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment program is administered in states by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) through state unemployment insurance agencies to provide early-intervention job search assistance and career counseling to UI claimants that are likely to exhaust their benefits; detect and prevent fraudulent access to UI benefit payments; and improve coordination and alignment across public workforce system partners. It replaced the UI Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) program in 2015 and received permanent authorization through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123 2018). This codification of RESEA included a gradual increase of funding from around $117 million annually in 2018 to a projected $750 million by 2027.
Spotlight on Eligible Training Providers
Harold Benson one of The Kable Group's cyber security students accepted at job with Cincinnati Bell for $40k+ just three weeks after becoming Cyber Security Certified and graduation. Harold's received both WIOA and Cares Act funding to achieve his training success and employment goal.
SWORWIB Partners Corner
Library Update
Career 101: Free Virtual Classes
·        Dressing Professionally on a Budget | 2/2/21 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
·        Rise of the New-Collar Workforce | 2/23/21 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
·        Spelling & Grammar Brush-Up | 3/1 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
New Online Tool for Career Development
Access O'Reilly's trusted online learning content and tools on the topics of technology, business, and more. Includes unlimited access to 50K+ titles (including O’Reilly books in early release), 30K+ hours of video, case studies from top companies, learning paths, expert playlists, and more—with nearly 1,000 topics in a range of content formats tailored to all levels.

Vaccine Information
This web page is updated regularly with news and resources from the city, county and state to provide you with a one-stop, trusted source for information about the COVID-19 vaccine. 
Spotlight on Youth
In-School Youth
Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates (JCG)
The JCG program at Robert A Taft
Partners to Promote Trade Careers
Covid-19 has changed many things over the past year. Some events resulted in tragedy, while others birthed innovation that, otherwise, would not have been sparked.  One change that we have had to navigate globally was the transition to virtual learning for our students, and the challenge of restructuring for businesses. Businesses large and small had to re-think how to deliver quality services, and how the changes would impact future employees, our in-school and out of school youth. 
The Leadership Turner group of Turner Construction, Allied Construction Industries (A.C.I) and Robert A. Taft Information Technology (IT) High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, began partnering in the fall of 2019. With the new FCC Stadium construction happening directly behind the school, forming a partnership was an opportunity to introduce students to the construction trades and other in-demand careers to educate them about future career options. After surveying student interest, and bringing guest speakers from ACI into the JCG Classroom, a three day long career exploration, break-out sessions, and guided FCC Stadium site tours were planned for graduating seniors in May of 2020, but due to school closings, the plans were placed on hold. 
Despite the adversity that came with the global pandemic, through rigorous planning, thirty-five Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates (JCG) students at Robert A. Taft IT High school were able to greatly benefit from the power of community and employer collaborations. Students participated in a four-week, Virtual Introduction to Careers in Construction Conversation surrounding the following topics: Trade Exploration, Site Tours and Career Expectations.
Below are questions from students that were submitted to the Leadership Turner group during the various sessions:

Trade Exploration Day: Q & A with ACI & Turner Construction

  • Was there ever a time when you wanted to quit in the beginning, or felt that it was too hard?
  • Did you have to take any tests or pass any exams to get your first job as an apprentice?
  • Do you have to go to college?
  • Can you get a college degree through construction?
  • Are there many minorities that work in the trades? What does the diversity look like?
  • Do you have to travel if working on the job?
  • Can you travel across the country working as an electrician for the same company?
  • Do you have to take a physical exam to be eligible for a job in construction?
  • Is there a certain weight that you have to be able to lift?
  • How much money do you make an hour?
  • What happens if you mess up on the job? Like with measurements?
  • Do you just learn one trade or all of them together?
  • What if I want to flip houses? Could I learn construction and then use those skills for my own business in home construction?
  • Are there internships available?
  • Do construction sites ever close for the weather? Are you laid off during winter?
  • What is a typical schedule for an apprentice? Work shift times?
  • Do you work 7 days a week?
  • Could you switch trades during the process if you see it is not the one for you?
  • How long does it take to learn a certain skill for the job you're in before you start?
  • How do you prepare for a construction interview?
  • How much would you be making coming straight out of high school?
  • How flexible are the schedules of apprenticeship employees?
  • How many years have you been doing the trade you have picked?
  • Do you love doing construction? Is this always what you wanted to do? What is the best part about the construction job?
  • Is welding a good job for felons who can’t get other jobs?
  • Can you grow to better positions?
  • Do construction jobs help you with your future even if you did not plan to make construction an occupation?
  • Is this what you always wanted to do? Or did you become interested in this somehow?
Site Tours Day: Q & A with Turner Construction at the FCC Stadium
  • Do you need a degree to be a safety trainer?
  • Is there a safety class while completing the trade? Are there safety tests that have to be passed before you can work in certain areas?
  • How many injuries/accidents happen every year while working?
  • Do any trade workers become Turner employees?
  • What is the difference between Turner employees and trade workers?
  • If you fail a drug screen at any time, can you be hired at Turner in the future?
  • How many construction workers do they have on one site?
  • How many different trade workers can work on the same project at once? Like a hospital room.
Career Expectations Day: Q & A with ACI and Turner Construction
  • Can you do well in your career even though you did not do well in high school?
  • What experience do you have to have upon coming out of high school? If you have no work experience, could you still be hired?
  • Does it matter if you have any type of working experience or not?
  • Why is transportation so important working in the construction industry?
  • Are women respected in this career?
  • Is there any advice on trying to find the right employer? How do you know if the employer is supportive or not?
As a result of the virtual event, nine students are now considering careers in construction and the success of the event has sparked plans for future events for cross collaboration of JCG programs, job shadows, student internships, and guest speakers in middle school programs. The Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates program wishes to express our gratitude to Turner Construction and ACI for providing insight into future opportunities for our students. 

Out-of-School Youth
Returning the Favor and Caring for
Those Who Cared for Us
Motivated by a passion for caring for those who cared for him, Fredrick Bradbury is on a career path, making leaps and bounds along the way!

Contacting EQUUS Workforce Solutions with a plan to get necessary assistance with employment, Fredrick has achieved significantly more than that. He began his initial journey in an undecided direction, looking for something that he found pleasure in doing while getting ahead financially. With no occupation in mind, Fredrick was open to trying anything. From construction supply sales to manufacturing, he was still undecided. Life brought him an eye-opening conclusion once his family needed a caregiver. He quickly came to their aid and began caring for his Grandmother full time. Realizing the importance of healthcare, he discovered his passion, and it began to grow. With his desire to gain more knowledge in this field, he has since obtained a full-time position at a local greater Cincinnati area retirement home. Since he began caring for his Grandmother approximately a year ago, he has earned several certifications, including Home Health Aide, Patient Care Aide, STNA, and Phlebotomy. He is currently continuing his growth in the healthcare field with the plan of attending college to receive his nursing degree.

“My experience is going extremely well. It’s been a total 180 turn in my life. Before joining EQUUS Workforce Solutions, I really didn’t have any direction where I wanted to go with my life. I was going from temp agency to temp agency, just one temporary job to the next—nothing I honestly liked or saw myself doing long term or for the rest of my life. At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I did know I wanted a career I loved, not just a job. So, I talked to my friends and came to find out one was in the Equus program. She told me how they helped her find a career she likes and helped her get her life on a path to success. That’s exactly what I wanted and needed. Upon joining the program, I was paired with Ethan Arguello. He has been by far the best support person/mentor I’ve had. Ethan and the program allowed me to find a career I love and has set me on the road to greatness. When I told him what I wanted, he stayed on me until I achieved them. And was always there to congratulate me when I did. Ethan and this program not only helped me find a career I love, but they helped me continue my education within the career field I chose. They have given me all the tools I need to be the best I could be. I couldn’t be more grateful for the position that I’m in now. It has truly been a journey. I can honestly say if you are a young person and want to find a career that you love, join this program. The people and the program go above and beyond to get you where you need to be. I’m talking about if you need help with finding a job, transportation, education, or even if you just need a good support system behind you to support you. They can help with all that and more. Trust me, a couple years ago, I was working a bunch of odd jobs, barely getting by. After joining, I’ve been working in Healthcare and have obtained several certifications within the field. With hard work and, in my case, the support of Ethan and the people in this program and the resources they have available, anything is possible.”
From STNA to LPN and Still Climbing