First, the Economic Opportunity Planning Association (EOPA) held a celebration for its workers, local officials, and clients to announce the community action agency will now be known as “Pathway.” The new name is part of a broader rebranding strategy and, to some degree, a change in mission.
EOPA lost its Head Start funding when the federal government hired a private entity to run the preschool program while it launched a competitive process for future funding. Those funds represented the anti-poverty organization’s largest source of money.
“Pathway” will continue to be housed in the Hamilton Building, 505 Hamilton St., but will focus more of its mission on job training and home energy assistance programs, which now make up the lion’s share of its current $7 million budget.
To that end, the former EOPA is now running the Lucas County Empowerment Program (LCEP), which is using $2.4 million in funds from Lucas County Commissioners to run a summer youth employment program for income-eligible young adults ages 16-24. Clients will make $8 per hour for eight weeks and will receive a week-long training program, which includes career-oriented training such as dressing for success, resume writing, and possible career pathways.
The program will place about 700 teens and young adults in the local workforce at both private employers and public agencies between now and late September. EOPA officials have identified about 100 potential employers to accept program participants. 250 young adults learned where they will be working at last Friday’s celebration. The ultimate hope is that many of the participants end up with fulltime employment after the program ends.
The celebration included a performance by the Scott High School marching band and tours of classrooms where the training program take place.
Next, The Source in downtown Toledo quietly became known as OhioMeansJobs-Lucas County several weeks ago. According to state government officials, local workforce services will continue to be delivered by a partnership of OhioMeansJobs working with county agencies and other partners to deliver a variety of employment and training services to businesses and individuals, whether someone is looking for a first job or a Fortune 500 company is opening a new office.
Specific services at an OhioMeansJobs Center are designed to meet local needs but may not be available in all locations.
The name change is designed to increase awareness and the accessibility of Ohio’s one-stop employment system. State officials believe the new identity at every county jobs center will position Ohio's system to become more effective in advancing job placement and talent development by allowing the workforce system to coordinate and align workforce policies, programs, and resources across state government.
The one-stop system with the OhioMeansJobs name will make it easier for individuals and businesses to find employment services. A single common name also will ensure that clients will receive the same high-quality services from any OhioMeansJobs location. OhioMeansJobs-Lucas County, like the state’s other employment centers, will provide continuity across Ohio’s workforce system and enables businesses and individuals to easily identify and connect with Ohio’s workforce entities.
OhioMeansJobs-Lucas County will continue to define its core customers as employers and job-seekers, providing a single location where employers can access a pool of qualified, job-ready workers. In addition, job-seekers can access employment information, training programs and other services needed for employment and career development.
OhioMeansJobs-Lucas County remains in the same location, 1301 Monroe Street, and can be reached by calling 419.213.JOBS (5627).