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Connecting Employers and Jobseekers Through a Common Language – Skills.

The TalentNEO Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to the November edition of the TalentNEO Newsletter. Below you will find upcoming events as well as highlights from the TalentNEO Year 2 Kick-off Event.
Upcoming Events
November Learning Network
TechHire launch and the integration of WorkKeys

The demand for IT skills is growing in our region and many positions don’t require a four-year degree. As a TechHire community, Akron/Summit County provides career seekers who wish to acquire in-demand tech skills the ability to do so as quickly as possible - in just 3 to 12 months - and with as little debt as possible.  Learn more about the TechHire initiative and how WorkKeys can open up training opportunities for career seekers looking for a great job in tech!

Date: Friday, Nov. 18
Time: 9am

Join the meeting:
Dial in information: 734.746.0035 or 404.801.3225
Access Code: 659-311-125#

Jobseeker Focus Groups
OMJ Cuyahoga County and MAGNET are conducting three focus groups to explore jobseeker perceptions about the manufacturing industry, careers, and training. The purpose these focus groups will be to design activities and programs that meet jobseeker employment needs. Food, beverages, and a $25 gift card will be provided to all attendees. Please share this opportunity and encourage your participants to RSVP to Karen Tate at 216.664.2136 for one of the following sessions:
Wednesday, Nov. 16 Friday, Nov. 18 Tuesday, Nov. 22
6-8pm 10am-Noon 11:30m - 1:30pm
Ohio Means Jobs Towards Employment Ohio Means Jobs
11699 Brookpark Road 1255 Euclid Ave. 1020 Bolivar
Parma Downtown Cleveland Downtown Cleveland

Highlight of TalentNEO Year 2 Kick-Off Event: Let’s Get to Business!

The TalentNEO Year 2 Kick Off Event offered a summary of year one progress, an overview of year two goals, subject matter panels, and a keynote presentation from Ryan Burgess, Director of the Ohio Office of Workforce Transformation. According to the survey of event participants (still available here!), hearing from business and talking about business engagement was one of the best parts of the day.

The business discussion started with a panel presentation facilitated by Sue Lacy of ConxusNEO. Panelists included Hannah Delis of Swagelok, Ted McQuain of First Energy, Gary Miller of Kyocera SGS Precision Tool, Tony Prinzo of National Interstate Insurance, and Jenny Stupica of SSP. Panelists shared how they use skills-scores in their recruitment and hiring process and then fielded questions from attendees. A recording of the panel will be available soon on We are looking forward to ongoing discussions with these companies that are leading the way!

As a project, TalentNEO is working to better connect to businesses like those on the panel. For Year 2, we are updating our strategies for business engagement and looking for creative ways to connect with other community partners and resources. With the input of the year one business focused partners (MAGNET, RITE Board, and ConxusNEO) and learning from projects like the Ohio Means Jobs Sector Partnership project in Cuyahoga County and TechHIRE in Summit County, we have developed the following strategies for year 2:

1) Demonstrate the value of embedding skills scores into technical training providers. If fast-track and other training programs can enroll and graduate more people, our region will better meet the needs of businesses that are hiring out of these programs. TalentNEO has asked our intermediary partners to work with training providers to get WorkKeys approved as an acceptable assessment for entry into training while also supporting the businesses who are committed to hiring out of these programs.

2) Demonstrate the value of skills scores within targeted businesses. For companies to adopt skills scores it takes time, relationship building, and often many conversations and problem solving. To better support partners working with businesses, TalentNEO is adding a human capital consultant for year 2. This consultant will work with our intermediary partners, community partners, and public sector partners to provide direct and customized support to help businesses consider and use skills scores.

3) Demonstrate value of embedding skills into the job development efforts of CBOs and OMJ. TalentNEO knows that many of our partners are talking to business on their own. There is an opportunity to reach more businesses in understanding how to add skills scores by equipping partners with the tools to add this topic to these existing conversations. To do this, we will offer job developers and interested staff from Ohio Means Jobs the tools and/or training necessary to promote TalentNEO to their businesses. We’ll also offer the option of support from the consultant mentioned in bullet 2.

We are excited about our new strategies and are eager to talk to you more about how to execute these strategies. Please reach out if you have questions. Otherwise, expect to hear more on a Learning Network call in December!

Would you like to contribute to the TalentNEO newsletter? We are looking for people to help tell the TalentNEO story. Please email for more information.
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