Career and Life Pursuit

The Lumina Foundation picked Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, under StrivePartnership’s leadership, as one of just 17 regions awarded its “Talent Hubs” designation to attract, retain and cultivate talent. The award came with $350,000 for implementation.

StrivePartnership is leading a collaborative of Cincinnati, Covington and Newport community colleges and community-based organizations to put the designation to use by taking a two-generation approach to learning among single parents and their children.

The parents of public-school students within the three cities are disproportionately low-income, African American and/or Hispanic and facing an equity gap that the community endeavors to close.

“How are we really becoming a hub for talent in our region?” asked Melissa Hall Sommer, Brighton Center senior director of family economic success.

“We’re focusing on those single mothers and really looking at how we’re reaching families of color and how that engagement makes sense and is meaningful as possible.”

The ambitious program sets out to recruit 1,400 women to begin a self-discovery/family coaching program. Armed with personalized success programs in hand, the program aims to help about 1,000 women to enroll at a partner school; for about 750 of them to complete their first degree or credential; and for about 650 of them to find a good job or continue their education.

The plan calls for engaging the Workforce Investment Board, employers and other partners to increase the understanding of the two-generation concept as a means to improve outcomes for mothers and their school-aged children.

“Strong kids come from strong families, and strong families come from strong communities,” Hall Sommer said. “When moms are able to get engaged in school and have some success, that rings up children’s achievement as well.”