Cohear is a community engagement and strategy company that connects leaders to the everyday experts – the people who live the issues – in the communities they serve. In partnership with WIC, Cohear has organized and facilitated five community conversations with employees in a range of industries, as well as people struggling to find employment – both before and since the start of the pandemic. These meetings have focused on a range of topics, including childcare, unemployment, upward mobility for entry level positions, and various new challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In these discussions, the everyday experts discussed their experiences in the workplace and brainstorm solutions to the inequities they’ve experienced. Some highlights include:

“I think that something that might be helpful would be training within fields that would be applicable for the [pandemic economy]. So putting in money to train people on the technical aspects [of work]. Whether it be IT or any other technical aspect.” 

“I need to be able to keep the businesses that I create alive through [the pandemic]. For me personally, it’s Cincinnati and Ohio and the nation getting through this. That is the most important thing to me right now… I want Cincinnati to be making responsible decisions so we can get to the other side of this.” 

“When complaints or issues are first brought up, they [management] start to listen but don’t take any action. If there was a way for us to understand each other that would be great. A lot of the time the leadership of these organizations just don’t pay attention. Treating us like equals is important.” 

“Employers need to listen. They need to meet with employees once a month and learn how to accommodate them. They need to ask what would make us want to come to work.” 

Cohear is an Ohio-based community engagement and strategy company. Cohear partners with public and institutional leaders to help drive better decision making by strategically organizing, facilitating, and lifting up the voices of everyday experts. Learn more here.