Our Stories

Submitted by: Jenell Walton

CINCINNATI, OH - A goal at the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio (ULGSO) is to link people to a career and not just a job. A $300,000 grant from the KeyBank Foundation will help ULGSO achieve that goal. KeyBank and ULGSO held a joint press conference on March 1 to make the announcement. The money will go to support the Solid Opportunities for Advancement and Retention (SOAR) program.

SOAR graduate Anthony Campbell spoke at the press conference about how the program changed his life. “The SOAR program and what it’s done for me has just been phenomenal,” Campbell said. “Helping with the job, the interview process, getting me the attire that I need for the interview; it’s all been wonderful and the support that you have behind it and the network you have is amazing.”

ULGSO will provide six cycles of SOAR training opportunities to a total of 100 individuals from low to moderate income households in Cincinnati and Dayton. This will provide the opportunity for people to gain industry recognized credentials.

“Today’s job market is incredibly competitive. Unemployment is reaching low levels, but we need to find ways for people to become qualified for the available jobs that do exist” said KeyBank Cincinnati Market President Mike McCuen. “Giving people the opportunity to train and evolve with the job market are critical pieces to helping our community thrive. We hope this grant can make a difference in helping a lot of people seize these opportunities.”

Started in 1998, SOAR is an intense three-week job readiness class for people who are unemployed, or underemployed. Students learn resume writing, interview skills, understanding employer expectations and financial literacy. With almost half of Cincinnati children living below the federal poverty line, ULGSO is dedicated to stopping the poverty cycle. ULGSO runs the SOAR program in Cincinnati and Dayton. In Cincinnati, classes are held at the Greater Cincinnati Urban League office located at 3458 Reading Road.

About the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio

The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio is the parent corporation for the Greater Cincinnati Urban League and Miami Valley Urban League. Our mission is to transform generations by promoting personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency.