Toward Employment's

We believe in a dynamic world of work where all people - regardless of race, justice system involvement, or where they live -
have an opportunity to thrive.

We champion the potential of every person to succeed in a meaningful career, while working to create an equitable and inclusive workforce for tomorrow.

We do this by providing skill development for in demand jobs, comprehensive supports, extended career coaching, direct connections to employers, and advocacy to promote more equitable paths to opportunity.

Our 2023

1,770 People

Served in varying points of their multi-year career pathway.

433 People

Accessed credentialed training or paid on-the-job training.

509 People

Placed into employment, 226 with justice involvement.


Average starting wage for TE participants, $4.50 above OH minimum wage.

78% Retention

average job retention at 90 days, when employees are most susceptible to job loss.

155 Advanced

on the job with an average wage increase of over $2/hr.


Average advanced wage.

1,856 Supportive Services

received, including legal assistance.

History & Awards



We know racial disparity flows through every system - criminal justice, health care, education, housing, and employment. These disparities create barriers to accessing “social determinants of work” – the non-work-related elements that impact a person’s ability to take advantage of job opportunities.

This knowledge strengthens our commitment to provide robust wrap-around supports, longer-term coaching, legal services embedded in workforce programming; and helps us identify new support - expanding support services, committing to employer engagement around inclusive hiring and retention, and investing in leadership training for alumni.

TE’s WorkAdvance model can contribute to closing the racial earning disparity by:

Increasing skills:

career readiness, soft-skill training, credentialed training, paid internships

Increasing Income:

job placement, coaching for retention/advancement

Addressing Social
Determinants of Work:

trauma informed case management to ensure needs are met

We are building capacity to:

1. Widen

the entry point to those who need a longer time to prepare to enter training.

2. Build

in best practice from remote learning to maximize engagement and #s served.

3. Extend

career coaching to support continuous learning/social capital building of Towards Employment graduates.

4. Advocate

for local and national policies to bring systems change.

Our Career Pathway Model


Right job at the right time at the right place with seamless and comprehensive supports in place.


Deep understanding of employer needs that is responsive to hiring needs.


From the beginning of engagement, an employment plan focused on growing a career, not just a job.


Connect job seekers to high demand sectors that offer quality jobs with strong career pathways.

The program's model takes a dual customer approach to meet the needs of both job seekers and employers.

Intake and Screening

Ensure that they can benefit from training and can meet sector requirements.

First Step: Stability

Career Readiness

Help them understand the needs of their chosen sector and develop "soft skills".

Upskilling: Technical or paid on the job training

Provide training that leads to industry-recognized credentials for in-demand jobs.

Job Development & Placement

Facilitate entry into jobs for which they have been trained.

Retention & Advancement

Support performance and career mobility after initial job placement.

Alumni: Social Capital


Learn More About Our Programs

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Real people,

LaToria Davis

LaToria Davis

LaToria Davis

"Everybody has a story to tell."

Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson

"I feel like without Towards Employment I would not be on the path that I’m on. I love my job."

Linda Butts

Linda Butts

Linda Butts

"I am living proof that you can come from nothing and be something."

Tiara Colbert

Tiara Colbert

Tiara Colbert

"Towards Employment helps to build confidence. They help remind people they’re not alone, that this is a process."

Suppporting Funders

Abington Foundation
Bank of America
Buckeye Health
Nordson Corporation Foundation
Citizen's Bank
Cleveland Votes
Bruening Foundation
Dusenbury Family Charitable Endowment Fund
FirstEnergy Foundation

Frank Hadley Ginn & Cornelia
Root Ginn Foundation
New York Community Bank
Nord Family Fund
Sacred Heart Fund
St. Luke's Foundation
Thatcher Family Fund
The Callahan Foundation

The Cleveland Foundation
The Fred A. Lennon Charitable Trust
The George Gund Foundation
The Higley Fund
The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation
The Lozick Family Foundation
The Treu-Mart Foundation
U.S. Bank Foundation
Union Home Mortgage Foundation

This list of foundation and corporate donors is current as of December, 2023.
If you do not see your name, please contact Adaora Schmiedl at