COVID-19 Resources & Updates

Updates

August Update from TE.

In March, we were on target to meet our annual goals.  When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we quickly refocused activities to include more case management because most of our current and past participants needed connections to basic resources because they were losing employment or experiencing significant reduction in hours; or dealing with the additional stressors of being an essential worker. 

We heard this first hand because we had to slow down to listen.  Alumni and students were struggling - case managers and career coaches had to meet them where they were in order to continue to walk beside them on their career pathway providing support and encouragement.  Today and in the weeks to come, despite hardship, lack of resources, and ongoing uncertainty, the need for an employment partner is greater than ever.  So whether it be online, in person, short-term with basic resources to face job or wage loss, or longer-term striving towards a credential and a career, the Towards Employment staff gives Clevelanders the tools and connections to find jobs and careers –even in the midst of a pandemic.

At the onset of the pandemic, we created a virtual office for 52 employees in less than 2 weeks.  We successfully transitioned all staff to work from home, benefiting from prior strategic direction to begin to provide more opportunities to telecommute via Microsoft Teams and external VPN access.  With staff supports in place, we were able to respond to additional community need by increasing career coaching caseloads to include program graduates recently unemployed; building out online and virtual job readiness modules that reflect and supplement our sector-focused evidence based career pathway approach to serve low-income Clevelanders adversely impacted; and providing evolving career support (which also include supportive resources like bus passes, work attire, connections to child care, newly available COVID resources etc.) for workers facing newly challenging employment circumstances.

Immediate and ongoing feedback from TE career coaches and case managers cause us to be particularly concerned about lack of access to computers and broadband, resources for phone and data plans, and the skills to make best available use of these tools.  Surveys of our participants show significant digital capacity gaps. We now include digital access and on-line learning capability into individualized career plans, and include the purchase of chrome books as a supportive service to the extent resources and supplies allow.  We recognize we must include digital usage and literacy in any employment strategy.

As we think about the upcoming months and the future of the work we do, it is apparent that virtual teaching, coaching and connecting to careers/jobs has to be part of our ongoing workplace portfolio and will help us be present and engaged in more places and at more times that are convenient for fellow Clevelanders.  Our team is thinking deeply about strategies that let us bring more career building tools to more people at the right time and place.  Partner with us – your support is an investment in the talent of your Cleveland neighbors – and more than ever it is truly needed.

Resources

Towards Employment continues to provide essential services to new job seekers, current participants and TE alumni. We are working in coordination with community partners and local governmental offices like Cuyahoga County Jobs and Family Services, United Way of Greater Cleveland and Ohio Means Jobs | Cuyahoga County to make sure that those looking for work can connect to the new workforce needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updates for the state and county can be found on the United Way 211 website - click here.

Financial

HFLA of Northeast Ohio Interest Free Loan program (up to $1,500 for purposes including lost wages due to being unable to go to work, child care costs due to school closures, related medical costs)

Coronavirus Car Payment Relief Programs

Ohio Unemployment  & Ohio Unemployment FAQ/How-To

Food

Greater Cleveland Food Bank, visit online or call the Help Center, Monday – Friday from 7am – 6pm, at 216.738.2067 if you are in need of food assistance

CMSD school lunches program

Healthcare/Medical

Cleveland Clinic, Metro Health, and University Hospital have nurses on call. Cleveland Clinic: (216) 444 2200, Metro Health: (440) 592 6843 University Hospital: (216) 844-1574

Educational

Free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students.

  • For Comcast, click here. Once your application is approved, may also be eligible for a low-cost computer, learn more.
  • For Spectrum, call (844) 488-8395 to sign-up.

Online E-Learning

  • Cuyahoga County Public Library offers free access to practice tests for professional certifications. Also, learn software applications, gain new job skills, and more with free access to Lynda.com and Learning Express Library. Free sign-up here.
  • 100 free online courses on Coursera
  • Free online courses with Kaplan. Enroll online and promo is added at checkout. These courses can lead to credit.
  • CompTIA and industry partner BenchPrep are providingfree 30-day licenses for the CertMaster Learn eLearning course for CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+). This pre-career certification helps determine if you have a competency for IT and whether a career in tech is right for you.

3 Ways You Can Help Towards Employment

Donate

Your donation will help us provide vital services to those struggling to find or maintain employment during the COVID crisis. Click above or call Adaora Schmiedl 216-696-7310.

Share

Don't share germs, but DO share our social media posts to promote awareness of our services and mission. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!

Volunteer

Interested in conducting mock phone interviews or other volunteer opportunities? Contact Jenn at jangelo@towardsemployment.org.