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Greater Cleveland Career Consortium aims to connect students to careers and solve talent gap

On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the Greater Cleveland Career Consortium, which aims to connect students to careers. [Stokkete/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the Greater Cleveland Career Consortium, which aims to connect students to careers. [Stokkete/shutterstock]

By now many of us have heard of organizations and initiatives that help connect students in high school to colleges. 
Examples would be College Now Greater Cleveland, and Say Yes Cleveland, which do great work in the community helping students progress along the postsecondary path to success. 

But what about the growing idea that college just isn't for everybody? Also that it isn't even needed, to fill many of Ohio's open jobs. 

A new report from Ohio Means Jobs reveals that only about 40 percent of the 307,000 jobs posted from mid-February to mid-March of this year, required a bachelor's degree. Another 40 percent require only a high school diploma or GED. And more than half of those jobs had salaries in the middle income, to upper middle income ranges. 

Thanks to the Great Resignation, caused in part by the pandemic, many employers are facing a talent shortage, with a new survey from the Fund for our Economic Future finding that four of five companies surveyed in Northeast Ohio say they have been increasing pay, trying to solve that problem, with some adding benefits like more flexibility, and training reimbursement. 

To start today's "Sound of Ideas," we'll talk about a new initiative that helps connect students to these unfilled jobs, while also hoping to solve the region's talent gap. 

The Greater Cleveland Career Consortium was announced in March, and involves the sign on of more than 50 companies, including Lincoln Electric, MetroHealth, and Sherwin Williams. The consortium will be housed under the organizational umbrella of Youth Opportunities Unlimited, a workforce development nonprofit for young people aged 14-24. 

Later in the program, we'll talk more about the nonprofit, Y.O.U's 40th anniversary, including meeting a student participant.

And, we'll talk to a nontraditional Kent State student, who was one of the top finalists in NPR's College Podcast Challenge at 65 years old.

-Eric Gordon, CEO, Cleveland Metropolitan School District 

-Craig Dorn, President & CEO, Youth Opportunities Unlimited 

-Autumn Russell, Executive Director, Greater Cleveland Career Consortium

-Craig Dorn, President & CEO, Youth Opportunities Unlimited 

-Cora Young, Senior, Cleveland Heights High School

-Joan Steidl, Student, Kent State University & Creator, Aging - The Mother Of Reinvention

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”