We are more than a job-placement agency. Our mission is bigger than simply getting jobs for our Members. We want to help them get stable.
Kevin Williams first walked through our door 12 years ago. He got a job at Great American Insurance a few months later and has worked there ever since. He has walked past our office numerous times since then and has thought often of the help he received from his coach prior to applying for the job, so he donates to Cincinnati Works every year through his employer’s United Way campaign.
On a recent sunny afternoon, he decided to stop in and thank the staff in person.
“It feels good because I see the things you do in the community, not just helping people get jobs but out in the streets, too,” Williams said. “When you can feed yourself, take care of your business and have something left to give back, it makes you feel even better. It keeps your universe in balance.”
Williams is one of a handful of Members who recently celebrated work anniversaries. Their stability is our goal. It is why we offer our services free to our Members for as long as they need them. The path out of poverty is rarely straight and there are frequent detours, so our coaches and resources are available any time.
Tim Smith took advantage of them twice – leaning on Cincinnati Works counselor Jacque Edmerson in 2007 when he was suffering from depression, then utilizing lessons from then-coach Laura Hartung in 2010 to earn a needed raise.
Smith has since earned multiple raises and promotions, and his salary has risen from $9.25 per hour to $30 per hour. He recently celebrated 12 consecutive years at Schwan’s Company.
“I realized I’ve come a long way,” he said. “I did it all by following simple steps.”
For Ed Patterson, Cincinnati Works was the first step toward a new life. He spent 41 years in prison over three separate stints; just days after being released last year, he enrolled in the JumpStart workshop at Cincinnati Works. He got a job with Spectra Food Service soon thereafter, and he recently marked one year on the job.
“My worst day out here is way better than my best day in there,” Patterson said. “It’s a great feeling to have your feet on the sidewalk, knowing you can come and go whenever you want.”