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Workforce Service Recognized by Brookings Institution as Trailblazing Innovator and National Leader


Media contact: Miranda Pomiecko: (216) 698-2546; mpomiecko@cuyahogacounty.us

SkillUp Receives Continued Recognition by Brookings

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – Cuyahoga County’s SkillUp Business Advisory service was recognized by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program as a trailblazing innovator and national leader in their Talent-Driven Economic Development report addressing labor market and institutional challenges. This is SkillUp’s second such recognition following a feature in a 2017 report by Brookings and The National Center for the Middle Market at Ohio State University addressing ways to assist Middle Market company challenges.

Initially developed as the centerpiece for the County’s workforce systems strategy, which focused on career ladders for the County’s public assistance clients and economic development investments, it has evolved into a talent-focused, business advisory service.

“SkillUp services are creating a win-win-win scenario for businesses, residents, and the regional economy,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “SkillUp equips employers with the tools, plans, strategies and capabilities they need to grow, and it helps our residents get good-paying jobs. I am proud of the ground-breaking work and outstanding results the SkillUp team is producing.”

Brookings refers to SkillUp as a Talent-Driven business retention and expansion service (BRE) which “target local businesses to determine any local issues that may be constraining growth, and then creates solutions addressing the constraints to avoid job losses and facilitate job gains.” Additionally, Brookings notes that SkillUp services are rare in that BRE services are not typically customized to the specific business and workforce needs of an employer.

SkillUp makes it less risky for businesses to invest time, money and resources into solving real business challenges and drive operational results. SkillUp’s business concierge services have helped business clients solve issues related to Capital, Real Estate, Talent, Government Relations, leveraging government subsidies, and other challenges that undermine business growth. SkillUp’s Training Program Development Service helps businesses create customized structured training programs to solve business problems related to productivity or waste or to increase skills that drive customer engagement and fuel business growth. All of SkillUp’s training programs provide customized on-the-job training tasks and research about available education and credential vendors who can teach employees the specific skills the employer demands and test competency levels.

Simply said, SkillUp connects the dots between business problems and available solutions. Since inception in 2017, SkillUp has delivered advisory services to 420 businesses in 16 industries, and for a portion of those clients, has designed customized training programs for 125 unique skills, including technical, foundational, leadership and soft skills.

Research conducted by Brookings shows that the return on investment from customized training is about 10 times that of traditional tax incentives.

“SkillUp is an innovative model where government is delivering services to businesses with impressive results,” said Ted Carter, Cuyahoga County’s Chief Economic Development and Business Officer. “SkillUp is an excellent complement to, and is fully integrated with, other economic development and human services delivered by the County and regional partners, including the recently launched sector partnership initiative, Workforce Connect.”

Employers interested in receiving services should contact the SkillUp team at (216) 443-6930 or at skillup@cuyahogacounty.us.