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Press Release

Workforce development forum part of ongoing effort to address labor and workforce issues in Northeast Ohio

On June 1, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, together with workforce investment boards (WIBs) from Ashtabula, Cleveland–Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit Counties, convened some 230 professionals for a forum on the region’s key workforce issues, including skills gaps, jobs in demand, job access, and economic inclusion.

A key aim of the forum was gathering input for an overarching plan to address workforce challenges across Northeast Ohio. Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the region’s WIBs have an obligation to create, by September 29, a unified regional plan to complement plans at the state and local levels. (Find a discussion of WIOA here.)

“With so many stakeholders engaged in some component of workforce development…it can be difficult to get a comprehensive view of what’s occurring in our region, let alone ensure that these efforts are coordinated in a meaningful way,” noted Mary Helen Petrus, assistant vice president of the Community Development Department at the Cleveland Fed. “This forum allowed leaders of the WIBs and their consultants to gather the invested parties together, present them with a quantitative look at the region’s challenges, and elicit feedback through small-group discussions.”

Learn more about the forum in Toward Sustainable Workforce Pathways.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.455.4479