Akron Urban League, ConxusNEO Create Workforce Development Program

WEST AKRON — Akron Urban League (AUL) and ConxusNEO officials have partnered to create IGNITE, a demand-driven, career-oriented workforce development program.

Officials plan to host an open house about the new program Feb. 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will introduce the inaugural class that begins Feb. 23. The event will take place at AUL offices, located at 440 Vernon Odom Blvd.

According to AUL officials, IGNITE is funded by KeyBank Center for Technology, Innovation and Inclusive Growth, a subset of the larger KeyBank Business Boost & Build program powered by JumpStart Inc., an organization that works to unlock the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform communities. The program also leverages the technical expertise of We Can Code IT, bringing multiple forces together to create opportunities for area residents.

Officials stated IGNITE’s collaborative approach to workforce development aligns candidates with careers through transformative partnerships between the AUL and strategic community partners. By connecting with businesses and organizations within the community to provide professional skills training and certifications, along with career-oriented job-placement services, IGNITE will help fill the existing employment gaps in the community while offering participants the opportunity to attain meaningful employment and earn a livable wage, according to AUL officials.

Program participants will complete a career assessment to assist in identifying their best career choice in areas such as health care, manufacturing, public service, banking and finance and information technology. They also will get soft-skills training, emotional intelligence training, professional mentoring, résumé writing assistance and interviewing workshops.

“Ignite is more than a workforce development program,” said Larry Chadwick, AUL interim president and CEO. “It is a community need that promotes economic self-reliance and social empowerment, which are the pillars of the Akron Urban League’s mission.”

“Historically low unemployment rates don’t tell the whole story,” added Sue Lacy, president of ConxusNEO, which works to position companies to be more competitive while increasing access to opportunities for Summit County residents. “Marginalized populations are being left out at the same time employers are in a persistent struggle to find talent.”

For more information on the organizations involved in IGNITE, visit or

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Staff Writer. (2019, January 31). Akron Urban League, ConxusNEO Create Workforce Development Program . Retrieved from