Jul 16

Workforce Connect Announces RITE to Lead Workforce Development
Sector Partnership Focused on Information Technology

Information technology (IT) sector partnership is third of three sector partnerships focusing on improving employer access to talent and career pathways for job seekers in
manufacturing, healthcare and IT

CLEVELAND, July 14, 2020 — The Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group, a public-private partnership that unveiled a $2.5 million commitment in 2018 to support workforce system realignment, today announced that RITE, the tech talent arm of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), will lead the Workforce Connect Information Technology (IT) Sector Partnership. GCP RITE will work together with employers and job seekers in Cuyahoga County to build a diverse, highly skilled IT talent pipeline for an industry critical to our region and employers in need of talent.

“We are thrilled to announce our continued partnership with GCP and a new relationship with RITE,” said Deborah Vesy, Chair of the Workforce Funders Group and President and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation. “RITE has already started much of what we need to do for both IT employers and job seekers in our region to have a lasting positive impact. The work of RITE and the Workforce Connect sector partner intermediaries for manufacturing and healthcare is especially critical as Northeast Ohio continues to deal with the economic and unemployment fallout as a result of COVID-19.”

Since its launch in 2009 as a regional workforce alliance, RITE has worked to provide a sustainable structure for industry, education, workforce and economic development to advance IT employer-driven education and workforce strategies.

“RITE is committed to accelerating the development of a quality IT talent pipeline, and the opportunity to lead the IT sector partnership is perfectly aligned with the impact we hope to have in the region,” said Courtney DeOreo, Executive Director of RITE and Senior Director of Tech Talent at GCP. “It is our ongoing goal to champion a regional vision for a diverse, industry-responsive IT talent pool that is an economic driver to growth, competitiveness and prosperity for Northeast Ohio.”

“We need to get people back to work. We know that the most in-demand sectors in our region, with lots of available jobs, are manufacturing, health care and IT. And there is tremendous opportunity to connect people to good paying jobs in these significant industries, but it requires systematic effort,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “Workforce Connect is a crucial building block in the region’s workforce development ecosystem and it is responsive to the tough conversations our community has been having about the urgent need to spur economic growth. I am pleased that RITE will continue the important work of improving employer access to talent and career pathways for job seekers in IT.” 

In 2019, RITE became part of GCP to create a more aligned operating structure and more effective joint initiatives and strategy in support of the Northeast Ohio workforce and CIO engagement in economic development, the advancement of the tech sector, as well as innovation and commercialization in our region. The integrated structure provides a platform to channel industry leadership and engagement, better connect employers to talent solutions and more aggressively address the region’s most critical talent gaps.

“The strength of GCP RITE combined with the Workforce Connect manufacturing and healthcare sector partnerships, will further drive the industry-led transformation of the region’s talent development system,” said Bill Blausey, Chair of the RITE Regional Leadership Board and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Eaton Corporation. “With the support of Workforce Connect, RITE has the continued opportunity to address IT talent shortages by expanding career pathways for students and job seekers and creating innovative solutions to fill those talent gaps for employers.”

The IT Sector Partnership is the third of three sector partnerships for Workforce Connect. The Healthcare Sector Partnership with Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) was announced in September 2019, and the first was announced in December 2018, with MAGNET and the Greater Cleveland Partnership being selected to implement the Manufacturing Sector Partnership.

Workforce Connect is based on successful sector intermediary models implemented in other major U.S. metro areas. A designated organization, or sector intermediary, brings together businesses of all sizes in a specific industry to identify talent needs and then works with those businesses, workforce development boards, job development providers, educational institutions and social service providers, among other organizations to develop short- and long-term solutions. As a result, employers have a well-developed pipeline of qualified and skilled talent and job seekers understand how they can continue to move forward in their careers.

In September 2018, Cuyahoga County approved up to $1 million for Workforce Connect over the next three years. That is supplemented by a combined commitment of up to $1.5 million from additional members of the Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group, which includes the City of ClevelandCleveland Foundation, Deaconess FoundationFund for Our Economic FutureGreater Cleveland PartnershipThe George Gund FoundationCleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Development BoardTeam NEO and United Way of Greater Cleveland.


About Workforce Connect

Workforce Connect is an important building block in Cuyahoga County’s overall workforce development ecosystem that will help support employers in finding the right skilled talent through business-led sector intermediaries in manufacturing, health care and IT over the next three years. Workforce Connect is the result of partnership of public and private leaders including the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga County, Deaconess Foundation, Fund for our Economic Future, Greater Cleveland Partnership, The George Gund Foundation, Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Development Board, Team NEO and United Way of Greater Cleveland.


About RITE

RITE, Northeast Ohio’s leading industry-driven IT workforce alliance, accelerates the development of a diverse, highly-skilled IT workforce. In 2019, RITE became the tech talent arm of Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) providing a robust platform and integrated structure to channel industry leadership and engagement, better connect employers to talent solutions, and more aggressively address the region’s most critical talent gaps.