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Families Forward Program Creates Opportunity Through Free Training

by Rochelle Beard , Marketing and Communications Program Officer
blue arrow with words Families Forward in orangeFamilies Forward, a new County program for parents who owe child support, offers free job training to help improve the lives of parents and children. This program is sponsored through the Federal Office of Child Support, MDRC, the Ohio and Cuyahoga County Office of Child Support Services in partnership with Towards Employment. Recently, eight participants graduated from soft skills training with our partner, Towards Employment. Now, they are moving on to the occupational training portion of the program.

Families Forward Participant Jim McIntireJames “Jim” McIntyre is one of those graduates and is “loving every minute of the experience.” Prior to starting the program, a house fire caused him to reconsider what’s really important in life and forced him to start over. He escaped from the fire with his 2-year-old daughter and serious burns. Jim decided to change from an earlier career in investment banking and had various part-time jobs including food delivery and driving for a ride-sharing company. He then became interested in commercial truck driving opportunities. Through Families Forward, he is now preparing to receive his Commercial Driving License by taking classes at Great Lakes Truck Driving School.

Families Forward Participant Richard Grayson GoldenRichard Grayson Golden also started his pursuit of a Commercial Driving License with another partner of the program, Cuyahoga Community College. He enjoys interacting with others who are participating in the program. Richard previously worked as a chef but found he had to work multiple jobs to try to cover child support payments. He was grateful for the opportunity to pursue a career that was reminiscent of fond childhood memories of a family member who drove a truck for a living. Richard realizes Families Forward is helping set fathers up to be successful for themselves and their family and looks forward to improving his life for his 7-year-old son, Jayden.

Participants are getting jobs as well. Richard has two job offers and another participant is working for the City of Cleveland. Families Forward is in full stride and is offering free training in one of four in-demand tracks—information technology, customer service, computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinist and commercial truck driving. Spots are limited, so call 216-698-2363 or 216-698-3505 to learn more about Families Forward.