Good News Wednesday

I heard a couple of statistics today that are worth celebrating.

First, we hit a 96 percent timeliness rate with new food assistance applications. That is an all-time high for us. It is also our fourth month in a row over the 90 percent mark, which continues to be a record for Ohio’s metropolitan counties.

You may remember that we had some trouble meeting processing deadlines last fall. Through the hard work and dedication of our employees, we have not only reversed that, but we are doing better than ever.  Most importantly, the people of our community who need help are getting it in a timely manner.

Secondly, I found out we are on a record pace with establishing child support cases. This is again due to the  great work of our empoyees. As with food assistance, children who need help are getting it because of the work of our agency.

It is always good when the statistics prove what I already know: I am blessed to work with great employees who will do everything the can to help the residents of this community.

Quite a Transformation in Five Years

Five years ago this month, I became the director at Hamilton County Job and Family Services.

It has been a very challenging five years. Budget cuts reduced our operating budget in half, forcing us to reduce, cut or transition positions, contracts and services. I was prepared for the normal challenges of leadership and the tough decisions, but no one predicted the severe budget cuts that would completely transform this agency.

We have not only survived, we have put this agency in a position to thrive in an era with reduced tax revenue. It has been an incredible transformation, but we continue to be a model for other JFS organizations in this state in many of our core areas. I am very proud of the way our employees responded to this challenge.

If you would like to read more about the past five years, please check out the Q&A interview I did in this month’s Update newsletter. You can find it here:

http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/UpdateNew2012/July/Cover.htm

Simply put, I could not have survived five years without the incredible support of our employees, our partners, the Board of County Commissioners and many other people in this community.

Thank you.

SuperJobs Center Humming Along

 

Cincinnati Firefighters are recruiting at SuperJobs. Firefighter Brendon Arrick is helping spreading the word.

After a short break, the SuperJobs Center has reopened and is back to helping match local employers with skilled workers who want employment.

On July 1, JFS staff officially took over operation of the SuperJobs one-stop employment center from a private vendor. The center was closed for a week as we made changes and got up to speed, but it is now business as normal.

The SuperJobs Center, 1916 Central Parkway, is a valuable local service that brings together services for job seekers and employers under one roof. It is a one-stop center where job seekers receive job training, career coaching and job leads, while employers can post jobs, have applicants screened and obtain funds to train potential new employees. More than 25,000 job seekers were served in 2011.

JFS, which has always had a really close relationship with SuperJobs, was chosen by the Southwest Ohio Regional Workforce Investment Board to operate the center with an eye toward cutting $500,000 in administrative costs.

Many local residents are unaware of the role the center plays in the area’s economy. Some employers, such as Children’s Hospital Medical Center, rely heavily on SuperJobs to help fill key vacancies. And when a company such as Avon or Jim Beam must shut down part or all of its operations, SuperJobs helps transition, re-train and find employment for dislocated workers.

Our plan is to make the center even more of a go-to source for area employers looking for trained workers. We intend to play a key role in getting this community’s economy rolling again. We will reinvest saved administrative dollars into tangible services such as funding for training and education.