October 2021
National Disability Employment
Awareness Month
Held annually during the month of October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is led by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate in NDEAM.

For specific ideas about how your organization can support National Disability Employment Awareness Month, visit Suggestions range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive workforce, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month.
Jobs That Rock! Career Fair:
Exuberant Employers
& Delighted Job Seekers
Adam Trent, a talent Acquisition Specialist from LSI Industries reported, upon leaving the career fair: “this is the best job fair we have been to in a very long time. We talked to at least 10 people who would be a good fit for our company”. In early September the Business Services team from OhioMeansJobs Cincinnati-Hamilton County (OMJ), the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board (SWORWIB) and REDI Cincinnati were approached to begin work on a multi-employer job fair at the Hard Rock Casino. 
Employer comments
Miller Valentine Group:
“This was really well done. I’d love to participate in
a job fair like this again.”
Kris Ropos, Talent Acquisition & Learning Development Mgr.
Amazingly enough, with three weeks to plan the event, 30 star-quality employers signed on to join the career fair. Even in the middle of the tightest employment market in recent history, over 80% of job seekers of the 150 who attended reported having met an employer they’d like to work for in the future. The story of what it takes to attract workers these days is not just about salary (although that speaks volumes). Being able to imagine a career path with that company is vitally important, as well.  

Employers overwhelmingly had high marks for the event with at least one H.R. rep stating that she met 75 people interested in her company’s jobs. Many employers asked when we’d “do something like this again”. Stay tuned!
Overall, this is one of the best career fairs I’ve participated in this year. OhioMeansJobs did a wonderful job with marketing the event and it showed in the turnout. The set up allowed for ease when communicating with candidates and the event venue was a great choice. We had a diverse group of candidates seeking professional and manufacturing roles with our company. Lastly, I have onboarded one of the candidates that attended the fair – a success!” 

Fifth Third Bank:
“I met so many great candidates”.
Amelia Derstine, Talent Acquisition Consultant
Get Involved with
National Apprenticeship Week
The 7th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) will take place November 15 - 21, 2021. NAW is a nationwide celebration where industry, labor, equity, workforce, education, and government leaders host events to showcase the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship for re-building our economy, advancing racial and gender equity, and supporting underserved communities. NAW is an opportunity to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship, a proven and industry-driven training model, provides a critical talent pipeline that can help to address some of our nation’s pressing workforce challenges such as responding to critical supply chain demands and supporting a clean energy workforce, modernizing our cybersecurity response, addressing public health issues, and rebuilding our country’s infrastructure.
Get involved by hosting or attending an event or signing and submitting a proclamation! Be creative: events may include a webinar or virtual convening, publishing a new apprenticeship-related resource or article, holding an apprentice graduation ceremony, etc.

In case you missed it, watch the full recording of the National Apprenticeship Week webinar. Learn from others how they are getting involved in the nationwide celebration. 
OMJ Operations Council Returns to
In-Person Meetings,
Staff and Partners Recognized for Accomplishments during COVID
A recent in-person gathering of the OhioMeansJobs (OMJ) Operations Council and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Partner Team took place on October 28. This in-person/virtual hybrid meeting was attended by workforce leaders from 15 partnering organizations, the vast majority gathered in-person. The team analyzed and reviewed key metrics from the last program year and mapped-out the priorities for the coming year to help address the area’s workforce challenges. SWORWIB Executive Director Jason Ashbrook co-facilitated the gathering, along with OMJ Director, Kevin Holt.  The team received a small gift from the SWORWIB as an expression of appreciation for their commitment to serving our community during unprecedented times. Ashbrook shared, “The critical work of this OMJ team of partners has literally impacted thousands of lives across Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Our community and workforce are stronger because of these dynamic partnerships.”  Holt stated, “We are in an opportunity-rich environment with many challenges facing our workforce, but thankfully, we have all the right ingredients in our partners to conquer those challenges.”  
New Loan Programs to Help Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted on October 6th announced two new loan programs to help minority- and women-owned businesses grow and boost the Ohio economy.

The new Women's Business Enterprise Loan Program and Ohio Micro-Enterprise Loan Program were both priority initiatives of the DeWine-Husted Administration included in the 2022-2023 operating budget, which was passed in June by the Ohio General Assembly. 
“Helping our minority-owned and women-owned businesses thrive helps Ohio’s economy," said Governor DeWine. "These businesses are vitally important to our success, and these new loan programs will provide capital infusion to help them get on their feet and build for the future.” 

“Ohio’s economy supports a broad landscape of opportunity in a variety of industry sectors,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “The loan programs announced today will give a boost to minority- and women-owned businesses, providing them resources to invest in their companies so they can grow and create jobs.”
  • Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program: These loans will be offered at or below market rate and currently are up to 3%. The minimum loan amount is $45,000 up to a maximum of $500,000. Loans will be repaid within 10 years for equipment and machinery and 15 years for owner-occupied real estate. Businesses must be 51% ownership and control by women or be certified as a Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE).

  • Ohio Micro-Enterprise Loan Program: These loans will have a 0% interest rate. The minimum loan is $10,000 up to a maximum of $45,000. Loans will be repaid within five years for permanent working capital and seven years for equipment. Businesses must be certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) or a Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE).

The loan programs will be administered by the Ohio Department of Development (Development) through the Minority Business Development Division. It joins four other capital programs offered by Development: the Ohio Minority Business Bonding Program, the Ohio Minority Business Direct Loan Program, the Collateral Enhancement Program, and the Ohio Capital Access Program.

“Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted have made clear since the start of their administration that everyone needs to share in Ohio’s success,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of Development. “These loans will provide a bridge to success for our many minority- and women-owned businesses across the state.”
Information about the loans, including program guidelines and fact sheets, can be found online at Minority.Ohio.Gov. Click on Access to Capital on the left side of the webpage to find a list of all of the Minority Division’s financial resources. For more information or to start the application process, email: MinorityBizFinance@Development.Ohio.Gov.

Businesses also can reach out to a Minority Business Assistance Center near them for help with the application process and assistance with business planning, access to capital, and state business certifications. For more information about the MBAC network, visit MBAC.Development.Ohio.Gov.