United, We Can

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January 8, 2021

Cincinnati (July 31, 2020) — A successful Cincinnati workforce development program will be replicated with a rural flair in southeast Indiana thanks to a partnership between United Way of Greater Cincinnati Southeast Indiana and River Valley Resources.

Rural Works is a poverty-to-self-sufficiency program based on the nationally recognized Cincinnati Works program. Cincinnati Works is a job-readiness program with career coaching as its backbone. Those coaches, along with Cincinnati Works’ staff, help program participants define their professional strengths and learn employer expectations. Participants receive help developing workforce skills, creating resumes, searching and applying for jobs, preparing for interviews and other skills to help attain and keep jobs.

River Valley Resources developed a partnership with Cincinnati Works, allowing the organization to use the program’s intellectual property and methods while adapting it to southeast Indiana’s rural population. River Valley Resources’ 30 years of experience in rural workforce development ensures Rural Works provides clients and employers with problem-solving solutions to barriers unique to rural areas.

“This could not have come at a better time; COVID-19 has decimated our local job market,” said Karen Snyder, director of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s southeast Indiana area center. “This program will help residents of Dearborn and Ohio counties develop new skills needed to succeed in a new world.”

She added Rural Works’ focus on providing wraparound services through collaborative partnerships will have lasting impact. The program is open to the public and will serve those involved in the criminal justice system.

Moira Weir, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, said the partnership created to bring Rural Works to southeast Indiana show why giving one dollar to United Way goes farther.

“We were able to maximize donor dollars and bring together many different entities and funding sources to ensure a successful Cincinnati model translated to rural southeast Indiana,” she said. “This is what we do best: solve deep-rooted community problems by convening resources and developing comprehensive solutions. United is the way to helping our Greater Cincinnati community.”

Brad Wood, director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives at River Valley Resources, is excited to begin.

“This program helps people from a variety of backgrounds on their journey to success,” he said. “The wraparound team approach ensures that our participants’ needs are met in collaborative, innovative ways. We feel very fortunate to have champions in Dearborn County, like the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, who can see the transformative nature of a program like Rural Works.”

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