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Valley coalition creating career coaching network

Funded with a portion of $12M GM paid in tax credit settlement

YOUNGSTOWN — The Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition has taken the first steps toward creating a local career coaching network, including identifying partner organizations to help build and execute the program.

“Through this initiative, we aim to create a forum for the exchange of best practices and ideas, and improve exposure to the in-demand career pathways available in today’s manufacturing industry among a broadly defined group of career counselors,” Jessica Borza, MVMC executive director, said.

The strategy would improve the way career advice most commonly is given, Borza said, and ensure that career or education seekers would be assessed, guided and advised without bias, and directed toward the education or training resources that are the best fit for them individually.

The network also will include the cultivation of a subset of career counseling professionals as “Fellows” dedicated to further expansion of expertise related to manufacturing career pathways. MVMC manufacturing partners will provide additional development opportunities for these Fellows.

In April, MVMC solicited for proposals to aid in the planning, professional development, academic and career counseling, and coalition-building elements of the network. Partners chosen to assist in the building of the network are:

• Career coaching learning community — The Chelsea Mills Group, Towards Employment and R4Workforce; to build programming, capacity, fiscal management and administration;

• Career coaching asset mapping — The New Growth Group, LLC, and United Returning Citizens; to identify partners, employers, aligned programs and resources involved in career counseling;

• Grassroots outreach and coordination — National Center for Urban Solutions and United Returning Citizens; to build networks and strategies for engaging students and job seekers, particularly among minority and re-entry populations.

It is funded from a portion of the General Motors $12 million Community Support Fund in the Mahoning Valley, established as part of the settlement for GM’s repayment of its state tax credit incentives related to the closure of the Lordstown assembly facility.

Funding for the network covers two years of operation.

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