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Youngstown-Warren Business and Education Community Connectors

The Regional Chamber's Community Connectors program, which helps 11th and 12th graders with their soft skills training and job placement, extended to an additional school district in 2017. While 280 students in the Youngstown City Schools and 43 in Warren City Schools were part of Community Connectors in previous years, Austintown Local Schools came on board last year. Forty-eight students in the district are participating in Community Connectors; of those, 43 are working and 36 have been paired with mentors from the business community.

121617 AF Community Connectors1

Community Partners

community partners

In addition, the group has visited Youngstown State and Kent State universities, Eastern Gateway Community College and Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. They also participated in, learned about or toured Business 20/20, Men's Warehouse Dress for Success, Northwest Ohio Correctional Center, Phantoms Game and Internship Program, Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades, Home Savings Financial Literacy, Cleveland Entrepreneurship Program, Vallourec Star, OhioMeansJobs and WFMJ.

In 2014, Ohio Governor John Kasich designated this program to bring together families, community organizations, faith-based organizations, businesses and others in support of Ohio's students. Community Connectors provides $10 million in three-to-one matching grants to pair more students with role models who can help motivate and inspire them, as well as help them develop skills that lead to success in school and the workplace.

The goal of Community Connectors is to help students:
  • Set goals to be prepared for 21st-century careers,
  • Build character,
  • Develop pathways to achievement,
  • Build a sense of resiliency,
  • and believe in a positive future.