Workforce Innovation Center Newsletter | December 2023


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Workforce Innovation Center

On December 14, I celebrated five years as the Executive Director of the Workforce Innovation Center at the Cincinnati Regional Chamber. When I look back over this period, it seems both short and long, especially because of the pandemic and economic conditions of the last few years. During this time, we have built the Workforce Innovation Center from an idea of business leaders to help employers adopt more inclusive workplace practices into fruition with a growing employer consulting practice, new sources of funding, a more connected ecosystem of providers, and new opportunities to advance our work throughout our community and beyond in 2024.


I am really proud of what we have learned and accomplished in these five years, especially related to having real impact on employers’ needs within their workplaces and the lives of the people they employ. Our clients have made many positive changes, including increasing wages, becoming designated as recovery-friendly (now more than 50 employers!), and implementing new training initiatives with clearer pathways to promotion. As a result, their employees have increased their earnings, gotten access to resources if they are struggling with a substance use disorder, and pursued new opportunities to advance within their organizations. As one of many examples, see what Dennis Purcell, CHRO at Skidmore Enterprises, has to say about the changes they've made and what the results have meant for their team.


In addition to our engagement with employers, I’m equally proud of our work and partnership with the vast array of amazing organizations who support individuals and employers to improve our region through things like skills training, coaching, barrier removal, and access to resources. Through our partnership with the Talent Collaborative and thanks to ARPA funding from Hamilton County Commissioners, we will be able to further connect and engage in that work to improve our community.


All of this success and progress is possible because of the great people who support our work: our Advisory Board, the Cincinnati Chamber leadership and Board of Directors, committed employers, dedicated funders, and supportive colleagues. I am grateful for all of them every day and especially at this time of year as we work collaboratively to improve our community for all.


As we move into 2024, I hope you will consider how you might connect with our work:

  • Explore the new levels of our service offerings to better meet your needs to listen to your employees and examine your policies (with special pricing through January!)
  • Examine racial equity within your workplace through CEI’s Racial Equity Dividends Index as part of our involvement with the Regional Inclusive Growth Network through the Brookings Institution
  • Engage with our workforce/talent community through hosting employer tours and/or consider engaging with our strategic partners focused on employment of different groups such as youth, those with a connection to the criminal justice system, and immigrants and refugees, to name a few


Join us to build stronger businesses and communities together in 2024. Happy Holidays!

Audrey Treasure

Audrey Treasure

Executive Director, Workforce Innovation Center


Skidmore Enterprises

We have the privilege of working with employers across the region to support their workforce and talent priorities. This month, we are excited to feature Skidmore Enterprises’ successes from engaging with us, but don't take it from us. Check out this brief video to hear from their CHRO, Dennis Purcell, about how the Workforce Innovation Center helped the company increase its retention rate from 60 to 95%.

Watch Dennis' Testimonial

Women of Color in Tech | Accepting Applications on a Rolling Basis

Two weeks ago, we celebrated the kickoff of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio's first Black Women in Tech cohort. This program aligns with the work we're doing through our Women of Color in Tech program, which is striving to get 500 women trained in Google Career Certificates thanks to a grant from JP Morgan Chase and support from our partners – the Urban League, Brighton Center, Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency, and the Gaskins Foundation. You can learn more, register to participate, or get involved as an employer on the Cincinnati Regional Chamber website.

Learn More

2024 Annual Dinner – Legacy & Promise: A Celebration of Leadership | February 29, 5 to 8:30 p.m.

The 2024 Annual Dinner - Legacy & Promise: A Celebration of Leadership, the Cincinnati Chamber's premier business event presented by PNC Bank, is highlighted by the induction of the newest class of Great Living Cincinnatians Cincinnatians, celebration of Making Black History honorees, and the changing-of-the-guard of the Chamber’s key volunteer leaders.

Our annual event is special every year and in 2024, the Workforce Innovation Center is pleased that two recipients have been direct supporters of our work. Sister Sally Duffy was one of the original members of the Child Poverty Collaborative, from which the Workforce Innovation Center was formed. Throughout the preceding years and since the establishment of the Center, Sally has been a champion and a guide to further our work with employers and partners. We are also grateful to John Barrett and the Western and Southern Financial Fund for the support and investment as one of our early, multi-year funders to enable our work to achieve our mission and vision.

Congratulations to Sally and John, and also to Delores and Donna, for their years of support and betterment of the Cincinnati community! We hope to see you at the celebration honoring their achievements on February 29, 2024!

Register Now

Save 35% on a Policy and Practice Review

As your teams prepare for 2024, consider engaging with us on a Policy and Practice Review. With this service, you'll get actionable insights on making your policies more inclusive and equitable with improved language and accessibility for your employees to better understand and value all that you offer them. This service helps to modernize your workplace’s Employee Handbook and is a great way to start the new year.

If your company signs on before the end of January 2024, you will receive a 35% discount on the Basic package of our Policy and Practice Review. Contact Audrey for more details and pricing.

Contact Audrey


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