March 2022
OhioMeansJobs Represents at the
16th Annual Mayor’s Youth Career Expo
On Saturday, March 5, members of the business services team, Kathleen Busemeyer and Leah Winkler, joined student job seekers and employers for the 16th annual Mayor's Career Expo. The event, which also attracted the general public, was held at Duke Energy Convention Center. The event allowed employers to connect with young Cincinnati job seekers who were interested in learning more about summer jobs and career opportunities. The Career Expo, created by Cincinnati Recreation Commission's Youth to Work (Y2WK) program and the City of Cincinnati's Mayor's Office, annually attracts high school students from all over the
Greater Cincinnati area.
Thank you, Mayor Aftab Pureval!
SWORWIB Executive Director Jason Ashbrook and Board Chair-Elect Carol Sorenson-Williams met with Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval and team on March 8th to discuss workforce innovation and opportunity in Cincinnati.

Special thanks to Mayor Aftab, along with Keizayla Fambro (Chief of Staff) and Jon J. Harmon (Director of Policy and Legislation), for an energetic conversation! We appreciate having such an engaging and passionate mayor who is also committed to strengthening our workforce development system, promoting equity, removing obstacles to employment, preparing youth for long-term careers, and meeting employer needs in the community.
Photo: Jason Ashbrook (SWORWIB Executive Director), Mayor Aftab Pureval, and Carol Sorenson-Williams (SWORWIB Chair-Elect)
WIOA Reauthorization Update:
New Legislation Would Reform and Renew National Workforce Development Programs
Since 2014, WIOA has served as the primary funder and framework for our local workforce development system, known here in Cincinnati-Hamilton County as OhioMeansJobs (OMJ). When passed, WIOA received overwhelming bipartisan support.
The national efforts to reauthorize/ renew WIOA (with several improvements) has gained significant traction over the past month. Just today, the House Education and Labor (E&L) Committee introduced new legislation to reform and renew WIOA. Some highlights of the proposed reforms/updates in this legislation include the following:
  • Authorizes a significant increase in WIOA funding for Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth (however, budgets would still be subject to congressional appropriations for each program year)
  • Increases budget and decision-making authority for local workforce boards
  • Streamlines one-stop (OMJ) infrastructure cost-sharing provisions and provides dedicated funding for these costs
  • Removes the existing prohibition on national workforce database (AKA allowing a common data-sharing platform across states to help better track progress and analyze the impact of the workforce system)
  • Increases the allowable incumbent worker training cap from 25% to 30%
  • Increases the allowable transitional job training cap from 10% to 40%
  • Eliminates the federally mandated split of in-school/ out-of-school youth workforce funds
  • Increases access to high-quality education and training providers, including online programs
  • Expands usage of supportive services to address major barriers to employment (childcare, housing, transportation, hunger, technology, etc.)
During the past month, SWORWIB Executive Director Jason Ashbrook has participated in several conversations with key national workforce networks, such as the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB). Additionally, Ashbrook serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Urban Strategies (MUS), a network of workforce boards from metro areas in the Midwest. In addition to the newly proposed legislation, the SWORWIB team is actively participating in discussions and advocacy on improving WIOA by incorporating the following key enhancements into our national workforce system:
  • Building-in strategic programming to help address workforce disparities among race, gender, and age; with performance measures attached
  • Streamlining the “buckets” of funding streams (Adult, Dislocated Worker, etc.) to allow more flexibility for local workforce areas to better support their local workforce systems and swiftly respond to economic needs
  • Reducing the narrow and restrictive WIOA eligibility process to make the process more user-friendly for individuals and employers
  • Providing incentives for Youth/Young Adults pursuing high-demand careers
  • Strengthening partnerships with Labor/Unions and community colleges

For more information on the newly proposed WIOA legislation, feel free to visit any of the links below.
  • The House E&L Committee press release can be found here
  • The WIOA Reauthorization fact sheet can be found here
  • A section by section summary can be found here
  • The full text can be found here
Or visit our workforce advocacy partner,, for more details
SWORWIB Presents at AMIP Meeting
with Manufacturing Employers
Jason Ashbrook participated in the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partnership's (AMIP) 1st quarter meeting on March 24th. AMIP is a regional collaborative of advanced manufacturing employers, educators, and community agencies that works to ensure a robust pipeline of qualified workers. This panel of workforce investment boards of Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati-Hamilton County, and Butler/Clermont/Warren counties shared their wide range of resources and services available to manufacturing.
The Current Labor Market is Requiring Creativity
and Innovation for Successful Talent Recruitment
OMJ's Business Services Unit is Responding to the Call!
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) latest data estimates around five million more job openings than unemployed individuals in the U.S.. This reality requires many area employers to think outside the box and collaborate with workforce partners in in order to attract and retain talent. With that in mind, the OhioMeansJobs (OMJ) Business Services Unit (BSU) joined Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority’s (CMHA) recruiting team to create a recent two-part virtual hiring event. As result of past positive experiences with the BSU team, H.R. Director Lisa Thomas had reached out to BSU for assistance in recruiting and filling CMHA’s 30+ open positions. CMHA simply wasn't reaching enough qualified candidates using traditional recruiting methods. 

A collaborative brainstorming session resulted in creating an event that was intriguing enough to attract talent. A two-stage virtual hiring strategy was created to encompass the wide range of CMHA roles including finance, IT, maintenance, administrative, compliance, property management, grants management, and more. The resulting virtual hiring event was very successful, with 50% of applicants having received or are in the process of receiving a formal job offer! 
As part of the impressive project, CMHA’s marketing team lead, Leslie Wardlow, put together a virtual “Information Session” to educate job seekers about the CMHA organization. The second phase of the recruitment strategy was led by CMHA recruiter, Tyler Connally. She brought together the marketing and recruitment efforts to power the virtual “Interviewing Blitz”. During the “Interview Blitz,” job seekers had the unique opportunity to speak directly with someone on the CMHA management/hiring team. 

BSU helped produce success, aided by BSU team member, Leah Winkler, by targeting Southwest Ohio job seekers with skill sets needed by CHMA and matched appropriate resumes for CMHA’s benefit. Other BSU team members, Charles Walters, Kathleen Busemeyer, and Brandy Porter provided additional support by promoting the event among our workforce partners.

If you or your company are interested in partnering with the OMJ to help meet your workforce talent needs, email to get started!