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Cincinnati Works Featured in Harvard Business Review Workforce Retention Model Earns National Recognition

Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 28, 2006 -- Cincinnati Works, a nonprofit organization committed to moving people from poverty to self-sufficiency through employment, has earned national recognition, with a feature in the December issue of Harvard Business Review.

In "An Innovative Approach to Workforce Retention," Miami University professors Brian Ballou and Dan Heitger hail Cincinnati Works as an original, research-driven model that gets results for both the chronically unemployed and the companies that hire them - companies like Fifth Third Bank, Citigroup, Greyhound and HMS Host, all of which have hired and retained employees through Cincinnati Works.

"We're thrilled about this national 'seal of approval," said Beth Smith, former Cincinnati Works President. "It's more validation that Cincinnati Works works. And not just for our Members, but also for the core employers we work with. The authors really honed in on that fact, providing hard numbers on how we have reduced turnover and, as a result, saved local companies hundreds of thousands of dollars."

At Fifth Third Bank, ninety percent of workers hired through the program have stayed at the company at least a year, nearly twice the company's average retention rate of 50 percent for employees in comparable jobs.

Why the sharp contrast in retention? As Ballou and Heitger explain, industries that rely heavily on unskilled workers must draw from a labor pool made up of those who are chronically unemployed or considered the working poor because they earn less than 200 percent the federal poverty level. Many of these people face barriers to employment success that go beyond their unstable work history - behavioral issues, poor communication skills, etc. Through its unique comprehensive approach, Cincinnati Works systematically works to reduce these barriers.

In addition to providing help in job training, placement, retention and advancement, Cincinnati Works also offers Members a lifetime array of wrap-around services, including everything from legal, mental-health and spiritual counseling to emergency relief for basic needs. By taking this approach and working closely with more than 50 core employers, Cincinnati Works has found a model that works for its Members, for its employers and for society. Eighty-four percent of Cincinnati Works Members stay employed for a year or more, compared with the national average of 25 percent for similar programs.

"Our model has consistently shown that through careful research and thoughtful response, we can help end the cycle of poverty for our Members," said Cincinnati Works Founders Dave and Liane Phillips. "This latest national recognition is very gratifying, but even more gratifying is the knowledge that what we do every day makes a lasting impact on society. We are creatively, holistically and economically making the world a better place, one Member, one job at a time."

About Cincinnati Works

Cincinnati Works is a privately funded nonprofit organization committed to moving people from poverty to self-sufficiency through employment. Cincinnati Works works, with 84 percent of its Members staying employed one year or more, compared with an average of 25 percent for similar programs around the nation. Partnering with more than 50 core employers in Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Works has been recognized as a national model in efficiency, best practices and results.


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