Home > News > Press Releases 

Cuyahoga County Announces Launch of New SkillUp Service


Media Contact:
Jeane’ Holley:  (216) 698-2544 or jholley@cuyahogacounty.us

Talent development service, funded by the County, will help employers address talent gaps

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish today announced the official launch of the new SkillUp service. SkillUp assists employers with identifying skilled jobs and training pathways to help employees acquire the necessary skills for the business’s open positions.

Employers in any industry can receive support from Cuyahoga County to help them train existing employees, new employees, or workers provided by temporary staffing agencies - upskilling workers from lower-wage and lower-skill jobs to higher-wage, higher-skill jobs.  SkillUp will also help employers access new and diverse sources of talent, including traditionally underrepresented populations and residents who are enrolled in training and workforce programs.

"We are all about jobs. There are many residents who would like to move up at their company, but simply can’t afford the training or cannot take the time away from their current job to receive training," said County Executive Budish. "SkillUp will enable people to gain skills and obtain a better paying job, opening up more entry level jobs at the same time."

"SkillUp is a key pillar and driver of our economic and community development strategy, which is focused on improving our economic competitiveness and job creation for our residents," said Ted Carter, Chief Economic Development and Business Officer.

SkillUp includes a talent advisory service to help employers identify skilled talent needs and create individual training plans for each approved employee.  Approved employees will receive coaching services to help them complete the training and succeed in their new higher-skilled role.  Employers will also be reimbursed for a portion of their out-of-pocket costs spent on training and in-training wage differentials.  Training is not occupation specific, and can be used for skill training in any department or business unit.  All training will be coordinated by Cuyahoga County staff and will include classroom and on-the-job training linked to an industry recognized portable credential that demonstrates skill attainment and mastery. The County has 4.5MM in funds set aside for this service in 2017 which could allow for the upskilling of  more than 900 individuals. 

"Traditionally, economic and workforce development agencies measure job creation and job placement.  We are measuring career and wage advancement and are providing a service that delivers both outcomes," said David Feinerman, Head of Workforce Innovation for Cuyahoga County.  "Having the right talent in the right role is key to accelerating business growth and profitability."

SkillUp is a major step forward in how County Executive Armond Budish is delivering on his promise to increase resident access to quality jobs and careers.  Executive Budish’s  primary workforce goals branded as “Propel Cuyahoga” are: Providing a workforce pipeline that delivers a sufficient and steady supply of qualified candidates at all skill levels to keep jobs filled; helping residents with employment barriers become skilled workers pursuing career and wage pathways; and creating a more connected and aligned workforce and human services.

Employers who are interested in learning more should contact the Cuyahoga County SkillUp team at (216) 443-6930.