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Columbus Workforce Alliance Says Region Needs More Entry-Level Jobs

The Columbus Workforce Alliance says a typical low-income family in Central Ohio consists of an adult, married with children, working one or more law wage jobs with limited benefits and is spending more than a third of its income on housing. "It appears as though we're content at leaving those people on the lower realms instead of looking at ways in which we can increase their skills and education so they can move up," said Alliance Executive Director, Vivian Turner.

Turner notes that Franklin County spends less than 10 percent of its Human Services budget for job-training for low-income workers and the City of Columbus allocates fewer than 160-thousand dollars out of a 6-point-7 million human services budget. Turner says that's too little to move the economic base of the city.

Columbus Urban League Executive Director, Sam Gresham, helped crunch the job numbers for the Workforce Alliance. "We've lost more than 35,000 jobs here. The retail industry has taken a hit," said Gresham.

While job numbers declined in Columbus in recent years, more immigrants arrived. Gresham says the consequence of fewer jobs and more potential workers has helped keep a lid on area wages.In part, because competition for low-wage jobs has turned "vicious."

The Columbus Workforce Alliance says jobs for middle-income and entry level wages are critical to the economic well-being of the region. Several members of the Columbus Workforce Alliance will sponsor a job fair later this week.