Criminal justice system involvement

Currently, one in six Ohioans (16% of our available workforce) has a criminal record. 3,500 individuals return home to Cuyahoga County from state prisons each year. Involvement in the criminal justice system can reduce an individual’s annual earnings by as much as 40%.


Nearly one in 20 Northeast Ohioans live in high poverty neighborhoods.

Workforce literacy

In Cuyahoga County, nearly 47% of all adults have literacy levels below those required for all but minimum wage work.

Skills mismatch

Today, Ohio has 70,000 open jobs, but companies are unable to find qualified workers.

System change

NEO’s “workforce system” is a tangle of services and eligibility requirements that make it difficult for both job seekers and employers to navigate. Career pathways offer an organizing framework for simplifying access to services that connect people to jobs and to the training and supports needed to prepare for those jobs.