Workforce Innovation Center Newsletter | November 2022
In this Issue: Second-Chance Hiring | HR Strategy | Diversity Leadership Symposium
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Talent management has been a significant struggle for employers in 2022. A recent snapshot from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shares that September 2022 data revealed 10.7M open jobs, as well as 4M employees leaving their current positions. In Cincinnati, we had 31,824 job openings, which was down from a peak of 39,560 in March of 2022 but higher than our pre-pandemic levels of around 25,000.

As employers near the end of the year and reflect on their talent management strategies, it will be critical to explore new possibilities to achieve their talent goals. Some employers are recruiting talent from the under-tapped pool of people with criminal histories. More than 80M Americans have some type of criminal record, and 1 in 3 Americas have some record that may be a barrier to employment, which is why groups like the Second Chance Business Coalition have formed.

In October, the Wall Street Journal reported what companies are doing to reach out to second-chance citizens to close their talent gap. Research from the SHRM Foundation found that 85% of human resources and 81% of business leaders report that individuals with criminal records perform the same or better than employees without one. Interestingly, people in the U.S. embrace the idea of second chances and many would be proud to work for an employer that hires citizens with a criminal record looking for a second chance.

Employers who have made second chances part of their talent strategy are reaping the benefits. Locally, we have several who are leveraging second-chance citizens to find the talent they need. Workforce Innovation Center companies including Nehemiah Manufacturing, Jostin Construction, and others have realized the benefits of hiring returning citizens and are committed to ensuring employees’ success as well as their own business. In a Harvard Business Review article, Fifth Third Bank's Jeffrey Korzenik explains more about how employers can set formerly incarcerated workers up for success.

At the Workforce Innovation Center, we are fortunate to partner with local organizations like the Center for Opportunities Cincinnati, Beacon of Hope Business Alliance at Cincinnati Works, and Hamilton County Office of Reentry, which support individuals impacted by the criminal justice system and can connect employers with great talent.

If your organization is considering second-chance hiring, read the links we’ve shared and reach out to us if you are interested in exploring this valuable talent pool. Local businesses that embrace the second chance model not only benefit themselves, but our region as well. These broader benefits include safer communities, stronger families, and better use of taxpayer funds. People deserve a second chance, and our region deserves to be a model for inclusion, opportunities, innovation, and exponential growth!



Executive Director

Workforce Innovation Center



Featured Partner – Brighton Center

Brighton Center is a leader in the workforce development space, providing opportunities for individuals to reach financial independence and have the best quality of life possible. They strive to bring innovative solutions to complex workforce challenges. Brighton Center consistently works towards bridging the gap between job seekers and employers. At the same time, increasing community understanding of the complexity of family’s lives, including what factors help or hinder their ability to have quality family-sustaining jobs. At Brighton Center, they strive to create an environment in which they are meeting the diverse workforce needs of today while preparing for tomorrow.

Learn More

Featured Employer – Michelman

As a specialty chemical manufacturer of performance-enhancing surface modifiers headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Michelman takes pride in Innovating a Sustainable Future. Whether contributing to the lightweighting of planes and cars, improving the performance of outdoor wooden decks, enhancing the grease and moisture resistance of takeout containers, or making surfaces more print receptive for amazing graphics, the work we do at Michelman improves many of the products we use in our daily lives.

Our organization is thriving and we have ongoing opportunities to add to our team. Please take a look at our career page if you would like to see current opportunities. The career page is frequently updated to reflect new openings and we encourage you to check it frequently!

Michelman is an early adopter of the Workforce Innovation Center's practices and is a company committed to the Center's mission of creating inclusive workplaces where people thrive.

Learn More

HR Strategy – Planning for 2023

As we approach the end of the year, many organizations are building strategies for 2023 to address continued challenges, like the economic crisis, talent shortage, and the great resignation/realization, which will continue to be impacted by globalization, technology advancements, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.

A decade from now, 30% of the workforce will be born after 1996, the baby boomer generation will be over sixty-five, and the digital transformation will lead to more workplace automation across all roles. To prepare for the future, talent retention and upskilling early talent with in-demand technical skills will be necessary for organizations to thrive. As we watch the workplace and workforce of the future take shape, many wonder how the future of work will look.

Lattice, the leading provider of “people success” software, shared their annual people strategy report this month, providing insight from over 800 HR leaders on the continued shift of HR and talent priorities. Key talent management takeaways include:

  • Pay transparency – Only 25% of employees know what the pay band is for their job level, 9% have access to the next level up, and more than half of the employees in the U.S. want pay transparency at all job levels and positions. What is your organization’s strategy to close the gap in pay equity?
  • The workspace – Employees will dictate how, when, and where they will work, and evidence shows that companies that have a remote workforce are just as happy and productive as companies with a 10% remote workforce. Organizations should consider understanding the motivators that will drive engagement and productivity with their future workforce.
  • Compensation and performance – Over 70% state that there is room for improvement and almost 30% share that significant changes are necessary. Reevaluating performance reviews will be a crucial driver for equity and inclusion.
  • Accountability around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) – The importance of DEIB has surged, with more than half of employees feeling there is bias in performance/compensation reviews, and a third sharing that their leaders aren’t doing anything to change this. Organizations will need to bring a high level of accountability at all levels for DEIB to stay relevant and competitive.

The events of the past couple years have launched us into the future much faster than we thought, requiring us to think of new ways of working that are incredibly diverse, global, and largely virtual. While this won’t happen overnight, working towards these new rules of engagement, and implementing the actions listed above, will enable organizations to thrive, compete, and grow in 2023.

As always, our consultants are here to help organizations with their talent management goals. To learn more about how we can help, email Sam Hashmi at

Fifth Third Bank Diversity Leadership Symposium

Join us at the Fifth Third Bank Diversity Leadership Symposium on December 14, 2022, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

This event is the largest convening in the Cincinnati region designed for business leaders to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within their workplaces. It features panel discussions, breakout sessions, and comments from leaders and experts from the Cincinnati region and around the country, bringing together more than 800 leaders to engage and act upon these critical topics.

Michelle MiJung Kim (she/her), the award winning author of "The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change," will be the keynote speaker.

Register Now

News of Interest

Harvard Business Review | How Employers can Set Formerly Incarcerated Workers Up for Success

The Wall Street Journal | Employers Rethink Need for College Degrees in Tight Labor Market

Workforce Innovation Center Blog | How to Recruit and Retain Veterans and Military Spouses to Fill Workforce Gaps

RecruitMilitary | What Makes an Employer Attractive to Veterans Looking for Jobs?

Forbes | Meet America's Best Employers for Veterans 2022


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