Akron Urban League Launches “Ignite” Program

Powerful New Collaboration Between Akron Urban League and ConxusNEO is Funded by the KeyBank Business Boost & Build Program

Under the new leadership of Interim President & CEO, Larry D. Chadwick, Akron Urban League, located at 440 Vernon Odom Blvd. in Akron, Ohio, has officially launched “Ignite,” its newest demand-driven, career-oriented, workforce development program, to benefit the citizens of the Greater Akron CommunitySummit County and beyond.

“Ignite is more than a workforce development program, it is a community need that promotes economic self-reliance and social empowerment, which are the pillars of the Akron Urban League’s mission,” said Chadwick.

“Historically low unemployment rates don’t tell the whole story. Marginalized populations are being left out at the same time employers are in a persistent struggle to find talent,” added Sue Lacy, President of ConxusNEO. “We’re excited about the potential for this partnership to tap into a talent source that is often overlooked by companies.”

Ignite is a powerful collaboration between Akron Urban League and ConxusNEO, funded by KeyBank Center for Technology, Innovation and Inclusive Growth—a subset of the larger KeyBank Business Boost & Build program, powered by JumpStart. The program also leverages the strong technical expertise of coding academy We Can Code IT, bringing multiple forces together to create generationally life-changing opportunities for citizens of Northeast Ohio.

By connecting with businesses and organizations within the community to provide professional skills training and certifications, along with career-oriented job placement services, Ignite will help to fill the existing employment gaps within the community, while affording participants the opportunity to attain meaningful employment and earn a livable wage.

Ignite is not a “quick fix” or a simple job placement program, it is a collaborative approach to workforce development that aligns candidates with careers through transformative partnerships between the Akron Urban League and strategic community partners. Candidates will have the benefit of soft skills training, emotional intelligence training, professional mentoring, resume writing and interviewing workshops. In addition, each candidate will complete a career assessment to assist in identifying their best career choice, from a variety of fields including, but not limited to: Healthcare (Clinical & Support Careers), Manufacturing, Public Service, Banking & Finance and IT Analyst Certification.

Learn more about the Ignite program at www.akronurbanleague.org/IGNITE and save the date for the Ignite open house on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 5:30–7:30pm, where you’ll meet the upcoming Ignite IT inaugural class (beginning February 23, 2019) and learn more about immediate Healthcare and Manufacturing opportunities within the community.

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About the Akron Urban League
The mission of the Akron Urban League is to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Summit County, particularly African Americans, by advocating and facilitating programs that are economically and educationally transformational, impacting their lives and the lives of future generations. For more information, visit http://www.akronurbanleague.org.

About Conxus NEO
Conxus NEO works to position companies to be more competitive while increasing access to opportunity for Summit County’s residents. The organization partners with businesses to identify the skills they need to fill positions and build a talent pipeline by bringing together business partners, educators, workforce programs, economic development organizations and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.conxusneo.jobs/.

About KeyBank
KeyBank’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $138.8 billion at September 30, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,100 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart unlocks the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. For more information, visit www.jumpstartinc.org and follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter.

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