WorkAdvance Graduates On The Way To Promising Careers

(From Raise the Bar Hancock County)

Findlay-Hancock County is celebrating the triumphs of recent graduates from its WorkAdvance training program, proudly announcing their successful job placements at The Rowmark Group.

Under the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association’s Good Jobs Challenge grant, funded by the US Economic Development Administration, WorkAdvance propels individuals toward promising manufacturing careers.

Over just two weeks, participants complete comprehensive job readiness training, soft skill development, and technical skills education, setting the stage for rapid career advancement.

Kendra Lenz, Vice President of Human Resources at The Rowmark Group, expressed her enthusiasm for the program’s impact: “The graduates from the WorkAdvance program bring a unique blend of skills and determination to the workplace. We are thrilled to have them as part of our team.”

Jerome, a recent program graduate, shared his heartfelt sentiments during the latest graduation ceremony: “I’m just gettin’ all emotional ’cause I just never been celebrated like this before and it feels good to accomplish somethin’. But [I know] this is only the beginning. I appreciate everything y’all taught me – it was well needed.”

In collaboration with Owens Community College and Habitat for Humanity of Hancock County’s Financial Opportunity Center, WorkAdvance continues to thrive in Findlay-Hancock County. Raise the Bar® plays a crucial role in making this program accessible to individuals who want good paying jobs with manufacturers that invest in personal and professional growth. “WorkAdvance is one of many paths individuals can take to obtain a local job. However, WorkAdvance goes above and beyond to make sure our community’s members are employable and overcome barriers to work,” shares Tricia Valasek, Raise the Bar® executive director.



Valasek continued “Our funding allows us to cover certain expenses for program completers that others would have to navigate or secure on their own. It’s an honor to lead WorkAdvance and enable completers like Jerome to find stable, well-paying employment locally.”

WorkAdvance graduates work with a Financial Opportunity Center coach for one year to make informed decisions and take proactive steps toward achieving professional and financial goals. Graduates also receive a Chromebook and $500 in points to spend online with City Apparel + Merch to obtain work equipment and apparel.

WorkAdvance and FOC Coach Jennifer Galbraith shares, “By the time the training is completed, it is amazing to see the increase in self-confidence and the pride they have in themselves. It is truly inspiring.” Raise the Bar® is currently enrolling participants for its next training, which will occur in January 2024.

Prospective trainees are encouraged to reach out to Jennifer Galbraith at [email protected] to secure their spot. About Raise the Bar®: Raise the Bar® prepares and connects an adaptive workforce for Findlay-Hancock County through education and training. The organization strives to meet emerging employment needs, fostering a thriving community of skilled professionals.

Details on Raise the Bar’s WorkAdvance program available at About WorkAdvance: WorkAdvance is a workforce development model that can help unlock participants’ potential by guiding them along a pathway to a productive manufacturing career.