Partners for a Competitive Workforce


Partners for a Competitive Workforce is a partnership in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana tri-state region focused on meeting employer demand by growing the skills of its current and future workforce. The partnership developed out of a long history of collaboration in the tri-state region to address our workforce challenges.

The Competitive Workforce partners include businesses, workforce investment boards, chambers of commerce, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, service providers and philanthropic funders. The partnership is managed by United Way of Greater Cincinnati, with major support provided by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and local funders. The partnership coordinates all of the region’s workforce efforts under a common umbrella, sets joint priorities, and tracks regional progress. By joining efforts, it aims to accelerate the pace of collaboration so that our region goes farther, faster in preparing our workforce to compete. 

Funding Collaborative Accomplishments
  • Leveraged over $22.5 million in public and private funds from local, state, and national sources, including $4.5 million in philanthropic funds, $8 million in state and federal grants, and $10 million in aligned training funds from the region's public workforce system.
  • Engaged over 150 organizations in our region in activities of the Workforce Network, including philanthropic funders, businesses, government agencies, the public workforce investment system, economic development agencies, educational institutions, and community organizations.
  • Served over 3,200 individuals across all three workforce partnerships with more than 80 percent of participants completing training, earning over 2,800 credentials and an estimated 70 percent job placement rate.
Media Coverage
System Change Accomplishments

Fourth Quarter 2011

  • Hosted a site visit with JFF of the Congressional Staff Workforce Network consisting of 9 key congressional staffers with authority over workforce policy.  The daylong visit focused on our career pathways, sector partnerships, and collaboration with the public workforce system.  We highlighted key lessons learned about the importance of public workforce funding, public-private partnerships, regional collaboration, sector strategies, and career pathways.
  • Continued to provide leadership as co-chair of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Workforce Policy Committee to advance the Chamber’s policy agenda, which includes many of our policy priorities.  
  • Completed a year-long strategic planning process to develop our next strategic direction for our collaborative.   The result of this planning process was the creation of Partners for a Competitive Workforce (Partners) as the next phase of GCWN as the umbrella that brings together all of the region’s workforce efforts.  Partners for a Competitive Workforce is positioned as a partnership in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana tri-state region focused on meeting employer demand by growing the skills of our current and future workforce.  Our partners include businesses, workforce investment boards, chambers of commerce, educational institutions, labor, service providers and philanthropic funders.  The partnership is led by a Partners Council to help set common goals, review data, coordinate efforts, address gaps, advance policy, and align resources.  The Council consists of top leadership from the following stakeholder groups:  employers from priority sectors, chambers of commerce, workforce boards, educational institutions, service providers, labor, and other community volunteers.   The Council is chaired by the CEO of TriHealth (the 5th largest employer in the region with 10,000 employees). This exciting development takes our work to a new level and creates a mechanism to align workforce resources and strategies across the system.  (Click here for the press release).
  • Secured $225,000 from three philanthropic funders to create a Veterans Transition Center at our partner Gateway Community & Technical College to build capacity to provide career coaching and expedited credentials to connect returning vets with career pathways.
  • Our three partnerships continue to work with education and training providers to align curriculum and deliver credentials along career pathways based on employer needs.  Most recently, the Health Careers Collaborative education partners have built out new pathways in health IT, medical assisting, ICD-10, and long term care.  The Manufacturing Partnership continues to work with education providers to incorporate the MSSC Certified Production Technician certificate and the National Career Readiness Certificate in their programs.