FitzGerald Announces Funding for Employment Connection On-The-Job Training Program

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Emily Lundgard: (216) 348-4395 or

Highly Regarded Program Supports Up to 500 Jobs per Year

CLEVELAND – Employment Connection is the workforce delivery system for Cuyahoga County and Cleveland, which recently switched to an employer-driven, demand-facing model.  The new model has doubled the agency’s employment rate, placed more than five times as many participants in jobs, increased the use of employer-driven, on-the-job training, and increased average earnings, while improving return on investment. Yet, due to inflexible state and federal funding formulas, the Employment Connection’s budget is expected to be cut by over 20% in fiscal year 2014.  

County Executive Ed FitzGerald is proposing that supplemental funding be provided from the Western Reserve Fund to Employment Connection’s on-the-job training  program to help mitigate these dire cuts, strengthen the County’s human capital and better meet the needs of area employers.  By funding this excellent workforce development program, Cuyahoga County expects to support up to 500 new hires by businesses within the county.  “This employer-driven program is essential because it fills an existing skills gap with a worker who needs only discrete, short term training.  These cuts are not performance based nor do they recognize the good work being done in Cuyahoga County,” said County Executive FitzGerald, “Now is the time to support job creation and workforce investment, not cut it.”  

According to Policy Matters, the share of Employment Connection’s clients exiting programs who have found jobs has nearly doubled, growing to 84.4 percent in 2011 from 43.6 percent in 2009.  The share of clients accessing on-the-job training grew to 12.5 percent in 2011, from just 0.8 percent in 2009. Earnings have rebounded for adults and dislocated workers exiting agency programs, from a low point in 2009, and are closer to earnings reported in 2008.