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Join us for upcoming trainings

2018 Ohio Microbusiness Summit

If your organization has an existing microbusiness development program or if you want to learn more about microbusiness development in Ohio,

Featured Speaker, Gary Schoeniger Founder & CEO of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, Gary is the co-author of Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur.

don’t miss this summit!

Join us for a day of informative sessions, discussion, and networking with microbusiness program providers throughout the state.

Featured Speaker, Gary Schoeniger  Founder & CEO of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative.  Gary is the co-author of Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur.

The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) is a global thought leader dedicated to expanding human potential through entrepreneurial mindset education. ELI serves academic institutions, government agencies, profit, and nonprofit organizations around the world to empower their constituents with an entrepreneurial mindset through professional development, certification training, curriculum content, and consulting.

ELI is the creator of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs, which has been presented to the United Nations General Assembly, the Papal Council for Peace and Justice at the Vatican, and the European Commission.

In addition to the guest speaker, the agenda will include networking and a tour of ECDI’s Women’s Business Center and the Food Commissary.  This event is free to attend and lunch will be provided.
2018 Ohio Microbusiness Summit
May 17, 2018  /  9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Register Here!
1655 Old Leonard Avenue
Columbus, OH 43219
This summit is supported by Citizens Bank.

Harnessing the Forces of Gentrification to Improve your Neighborhood

For years, communities working to improve their economy have struggled with the forces of gentrification. In this workshop, we will explore how to define and measure gentrification, and practical tools to promote inclusive neighborhood development.

Presenters for this training are Brian Higgins of Parsons Area Redevelopment Corporation and Mark Barbash. This event is free to attend. Attendees will have lunch on their own.

Harnessing the Forces of Gentrification to Improve your Neighborhood
June 7, 2018  /  10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Register Here!

Ohio CDC Association
100 E. Broad Street, 6th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215


State of the Arts: Akron’s Kenmore neighborhood reimagined

Mark Arehart of Ohio Public Radio:

“A new coloring book features public spaces in one Akron neighborhood. It’s a mural project called the Kenmore Imagineer and residents hope it will add a splash of color to Kenmore Boulevard.

The mural project, Kenmore, Ohio, will appear along Kenmore Boulevard.

“Kenmore gets a bad rap outside of Kenmore, and even sometimes inside of Kenmore,” Tina Boyes, executive director of the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, said.

It was once its own city, with a bustling downtown full of shops and theaters and even streetcars running along Kenmore Boulevard.

“I think people have seen the decline of the neighborhood due to disinvestment of industry,” she said.

But she believes the neighborhood is coming back. It has several music venues, a barber shop, guitar shops, comic book stores and even an indoor skate park.

“Kenmore has so much life and so much vibrancy that you don’t see on the surface,” she said.”

Read more (and listen to the story) from Ohio Public Radio that talks about exciting work in the Akron neighborhood and one of OCDCA’s newer members Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance.


CDC Impact: Community Economic Development

Over the last few years, Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) has been working hard to quantify the impact of CDCs throughout Ohio. We’ve been collecting and analyzing data from our member organizations and are excited to share our findings – especially in digestible bits.

We are pleased to state that, each year, over one million people benefit from the work of Ohio’s CDCs.

This week we focus on community economic development – something nearly all OCDCA members do. Community economic development

  • Creates jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities;
  • Builds individual and community wealth and;
  • Attracts capital to disinvested communities.

Did you know that, in 2016, Ohio CDCs:

  • Invested nearly $35,000,000 to develop the economy in their communities, re-connecting community residents to workforce opportunities, creating jobs, and fostering entrepreneurship;
  • Helped over 42,000 households with job training and small business development, resulting in 1,000 new or expanded local businesses, which created nearly 2,500 jobs in low-income communities;
  • Re-purposed or rehabilitated over 1,000 vacant properties.

There are countless ways in which these activities occur around the state.

For example, in 2016, one CDC in Appalachia loaned approximately $130,000 to new and existing small businesses, which resulted in over 118 new or retained jobs.Local small businesses that sought expansion assistance saw an average 15% increase in sales as a result of this assistance.

Another CDC in Columbus finished and sold a 55,000 square foot warehouse to a local makers space, which now serves a community hub for the neighborhood and the city.

Community economic development is at the center of the work of Ohio’s CDCs. Through the work of the 245+ CDCs across the state, Ohio is fostering an environment that comprehensively improves life opportunities for all Ohioans.



WIN’s healthy housing initiative

Monday, OCDCA member, Working in Neighborhoods chatted on WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition regarding their healthy housing initiative.

Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) empowers people to make informed choices for themselves and their neighborhoods through community building, home ownership, and economic learning. WIN’s Healthy Housing Initiative calls for building or modifying 50 net zero energy-efficient, low-to-moderate cost homes in Cincinnati.

Listen to the 25 minute segment here!


Cincinnati’s first minority-owned brewery coming to Walnut Hills in 2018

Exciting news coming out of Cincinnati, regarding an entrepreneur dedicated to revitalization, two OCDCA members, and beer…sweet, sweet, local beer.

Allison Smith Cohen of Soapbox Cincinnati:

“Recently announced Esoteric Brewing Company has several tactics for setting itself apart from others, starting with the fact that it will be the first minority-owned brewery in the city. Founder and CEO Brian Jackson honed his skills at MadTree before deciding to set off on his own; he’s also a MORTAR grad.

“’Esoteric’ means ‘sophistication,’” says Jackson. “We’re trying to elevate the palates of customers and the entire experience of people coming to breweries in Cincinnati.”

He plans to offer a diverse selection of brews, which will include local favorites like traditional American IPAs and stouts, as well as more complex beers like his award-winning Belgian quadruple, Nirvana.

Jackson picked a location that matches that sense of style and sophistication: the historic Paramount building in Walnut Hills, which was once known as Cincinnati’s “second downtown.”

The beautiful Art Deco-style building from 1910 has sat empty for a decade, but was purchased last year by the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, and is currently undergoing renovations. Partnering with several community organizations, Esoteric plans to use the roaring ’20s vibe of the space to create a modern speakeasy.”

Read the whole story here.


Feds grant $850,000 to reduce crime in Youngstown

Mike Gaunter via WFMJ:

“The fight against criminal activity on Youngstown’s South Side is getting an $850,000 shot in the arm.

The US Department of Justice has awarded the grant to the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Youngstown Police, and Youngstown State University to develop crime-reduction strategies in a target area on the South Side.

The effort will focus on Market Street, South Avenue, and the Taft and Cottage Grove neighborhoods.

The grant will fund crime-reduction activities in key areas including small businesses, residential property, community empowerment, and neighborhood revitalization.

In 2015, YNDC and its partners were awarded a Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation planning grant to analyze crime data, engage community members, review evidence-based practices, and develop a crime-reduction implementation plan.

The plan was finalized in January 2017 and submitted to the US Department of Justice for review, along with an application for implementation funding.”

Congratulations, YNDC! Read the full story.


Trumbull group boasts successful year with Warren revitalization

By WKBN’s Christina Mullen:

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership (TNP) makes strides every year in revitalizing the city of Warren and this past year proved to be a successful one, especially with a new program that created jobs in the city.

Through grant funds TNP was able to hire workers to help with their Building a Better Warren program, creating eight full-time positions.

The new positions are designed to train workers to help with renovating properties and prepping structures for demolition.

“Going in and harvesting, salvaging all the materials that are useful. Doing greening insulation after a demolition and doing the maintenance that comes with owning a lot of vacant lots, mowing, trimming, whatever else,” said Matt Martin, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.

Experienced contractors will be training the new hires.

Get the full story here!



TNP lands federal grant of $225,000 for project, jobs

From Raymond L. Smith via the Tribune Chronicle:

“WARREN — A $225,000 grant will be used to renovate a Mahoning Avenue residence and carriage house that eventually will house offices for Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and serve as a training center for new employees of the nonprofit.

The funding will help create at least eight full-time positions at TNP under a program called Building a Better Warren, and TNP will hire low-income individuals to fill a majority of the positions.

“Those hired will be taught skills to work in modules that include reconstruction and salvaging, home rehabilitation, landscape installation and landscape maintenance,” Matt Martin, executive director of TNP, said. “This is an opportunity to put low-income residents to work.”

TNP will leverage some of its existing  demolition dollars with its work with the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corp. to focus rehabilitation work on properties in the corporation’s current inventory.

“This program is all about putting our residents to work in quality, year-round jobs revitalizing our neighborhoods,” Martin said. “We have merged the need for blight remediation with the need for meaningful workforce development, and we have leveraged multiple resources and partnerships to create this opportunity. This is an exciting program for our community.”

Approximately $200,000 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant will be used for the renovation project at 736 Mahoning Ave. About $25,000 will be used to purchase equipment. The federal dollars are being provided through the HHS Community Economic Development grant program.

“None of this money will be used to pay salaries or benefits,” Martin said. “We will  train people to salvage materials from properties scheduled to be demolished, as well as doing the landscaping and maintenance of properties that already have  been demolished.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called the HHS award a “win” for Trumbull County.

“By creating opportunities for residents to improve their own community, TNP is living up to its mission to empower citizens and serve every neighborhood,” Brown said.

Martin said he hopes to complete the renovation project sometime in 2017.  Once completed, the carriage house will be used for training  and storage.

Building a Better Warren already has two employees. It expects to build up to eight during the five-year grant program.

The HHS Community Economic Development federal grant program works to help low-income individuals and families become self-sufficient through employment and business development opportunities.”

Read the complete article here.


How are Ohio’s small & mid-sized legacy cities faring?

Ohio’s older industrial cities weathered a number of challenges in recent years, including population loss, ongoing economic transition, and neighborhood instability worsened by the Great Recession and foreclosure crisis.

Smaller legacy cities experienced many of these challenges like their larger neighbors Cleveland and Cincinnati, but have different opportunities and obstacles to confront in achieving revitalization.

OCDCA is partnering with Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) to bring a webinar that will explore the findings of a recent report by GOPC that examined how smaller legacy cities, from Akron to Zanesville, fared over the last 15 years.

GOPC will share best practices that smaller legacy cities throughout the Midwest and Northeast used to jumpstart revitalization.


How are Ohio’s Small & Mid-Sized Legacy Cities Faring?
October 27, 2016
10 – 11:30 AM
Register Here!


Columbus-based member Buckeye Community Hope Foundation brings new senior housing to Akron

The Akron neighborhood of Kenmore will be getting its first new housing in at least fifty years. This project has been in the works for six years.

It will have twenty one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments and two community rooms that will cater to low-income seniors. The apartments average 850 square feet and are all electric. The units have filled up quickly!

The project will be owned and managed by OCDCA member Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, a Columbus-based nonprofit that specializes in the construction and management of low-income senior housing.

Read more about this development in The Akron Beacon Journal.