Cincinnati Works will partner with all willing and capable people living in poverty to assist them in advancing to economic self-sufficiency through employment.


We will lead the effort to eliminate poverty in our community.


We believe in the dignity of work and that every individual deserves the opportunity to earn that dignity. As a primarily privately funded organization, we serve all willing and capable job seekers who are eligible for our program.

  • Dignity of work
  • Personal stability
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Strengthening communities
  • Transforming lives

Impact Reports

Cincinnati Works operates by standard business principles and is a results-driven, research-oriented organization. To get an in-depth look at what we’ve accomplished over the last year, we invite you to download a copy of our annual report. If you would like more information, please contact us at 513.744.WORK (9675) or info@cincinnatiworks.org.

View Reports

Our Programs

Job Readiness is the core program at Cincinnati Works. It helps our Members take a step back, identify their strengths and skills, then move forward with specific goals and a strategy in mind.

For most Members, Job Readiness begins with a three-day JumpStart workshop, where they learn employer expectations, define their professional strengths, then practice presenting those strengths during mock interviews.

All Members are paired with an employment coach who serves as a guide during the job search, helping Members find leads and prepare for interviews. We also have a bank of computers available for Members to use at no cost when searching or applying for jobs, along with a staff member who will assist them with online applications.

Our Members often come to us carrying years of personal and professional baggage that makes it difficult to reach economic self-sufficiency. Some populations require additional services from uniquely qualified coaches.

Our Phoenix Program works with individuals in (or at risk of falling into) a life of crime and violence, and it offers them an alternative, including mentoring and leadership opportunities.

Our Next Step program offers specialized coaching for young adults who are transitioning from the foster-care system to independent living.

Financial literacy is often the missing link to establishing economic self-sufficiency. We have full-time financial coaches who provide a range of FREE financial services to our Members, including:

  • Budgeting
  • Understanding & Building Credit
  • Tax Preparation
  • Saving & Checking Accounts
  • Debt Resolution
  • Accessing Loans

For Members who have demonstrated a level of professional stability – most commonly by achieving one year of steady employment with the same employer – the Advance You program offers another step toward self-sufficiency.

Through Advance You, our coaches assist Members in pursuing additional skills training, attending college or developing specific interpersonal skills, which helps them advance in their careers and increase their pay.


Cincinnati Works began with the goal of eliminating poverty in our community. After retiring from a successful career as an accountant, consultant and business leader, Dave Phillips and his wife, Liane, began researching organizations across the country that addressed poverty through employment. They found that the most successful organizations focused on job retention and advancement rather than simply job placement. So they formed Cincinnati Works in 1996 on a model of one-on-one coaching.

More than 20 years later, coaching remains the backbone of the organization. Our staff works daily with our Members (clients) to identify their strengths and goals while honing the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. We partner with more than 75 employers who not only hire our Members but work with us to help them forge careers. We also partner with other non-profit agencies who help our Members address a range of challenges that might otherwise hinder them. We have served more than 8,000 of our neighbors, and more than 70 percent of the Members who earn a job are able to hold it for a year or more.

In recent years, Dave Phillips has worked with community leaders across the country to replicate the Cincinnati Works Business Model in other cities. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Works staff continues to fine-tune and adapt our programs to meet the ever-changing needs of our neighbors in poverty.


The Board of Trustees provides the fiduciary and directional oversight of Cincinnati Works. It assists in the public relations of the organization by spreading the word about Cincinnati Works in the community and by contributing individual skills to support the staff.

The Young Professionals Board plays an important role in advocating and fundraising for Cincinnati Works, ensuring that the organization has the means to fulfill its mission of eliminating poverty through employment. If you are interested in learning more, please contact cincinnatiworksypgroup@gmail.com.

David Herche, Enerfab – Chairman
Thomas Gilman, Gilman Partners – Lead Director
Teresa Haught, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati – Treasurer
Gerron McKnight, The Christ Hospital Health Network – Secretary
Frank Albi, Business Information Solutions
Donald Calvin, Ernst & Young LLP
Brian Carley, Clubessential LLC
Dana Glasgo, Cincinnati Career Coach
Tom Hardy, Unity Financial Life Insurance
Danyele Harris-Thompson, Kao Corporation
Richard Kaglic, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Richard Kuertz, retired
Eric Lanter, JP Morgan Chase
Robert Loftus, consultant & retired CPA
Kate Oglesbee, Procter & Gamble
Liane Phillips, Cincinnati Works co-founder
Chris Powell, Talmetrix
Greg Purdon, Grote Enterprises LLC
Kevin Rice, Merrill Lynch
Kim Satzger, Gilbraltar
Norma Skoog, Retired, Xavier University
Lee Stautberg, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
James Strayhorn, Bright Star Community Church
Carol Walker, Hillenbrand Corporation
Peggy Zink, Cincinnati Works

Jamar Brantley
Jesse Brooks, Talbert House
Cory Bultema, Procter & Gamble
Anna-Marie Brown, The Christ Hospital Health Network
Britney Hamberg, River Cities Capital Funds
Spencer Liechty, Xavier University
Kate Oglesbee, Procter & Gamble
Ian Owens, Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel
Paul Robinson, USI Insurance Services
Brett Santoferraro, Amend Consulting
Eric Spencer, Ernst & Young

Team Members

President & CEO


Peggy Zink brings more than 20 years of consulting experience to Cincinnati Works, where she has served as President since 2009. She has been intimately involved in the Greater Cincinnati community since 1993 when she helped lead the strategic planning efforts of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

She currently sits on the board of several community organizations that focus on economic empowerment, education, and poverty alleviation. These include The Athenaeum of Ohio, Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Human Services Chamber, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, and Flywheel. Past board service has included CSR Academy, Employers Resource Association, Leadership Council of Human Service Executives, and Saint Ursula Academy.

Peggy is a graduate of The Athenaeum of Ohio where she received her master’s degree in pastoral ministry. She completed her undergraduate studies in engineering sciences at Dartmouth College.


External Relations

Workforce Connection

Member Services