Established in 1998, Solid Opportunities for Advancement and Retention (SOAR) is the Urban League’s flagship workforce development program and has a history of securing employment for the unemployed and underemployed. SOAR’s founding principles address, head-on, the adverse factors that impact the chronically under-served and unemployed. The SOAR program is designed to identify and address the barriers common to ex-offenders and other chronically unemployed people.
The three-week program meets Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.–4p.m. Program components include self-exploration, financial literacy, understanding employer expectations, resume writing skills and online applications. Through workshops and trainings, the program also encompasses labor market information, job search strategies, interviewing techniques and basic computer literacy as well as professional job placement and retention assistance.
Why SOAR Should Matter to You? You should care about SOAR because it is a simple matter of economics. Each year 300 people are admitted into the SOAR program. It graduates an average of 85 percent of its participants and places 81 percent of its graduates in quality jobs. These graduates earn an average of $21,860 annually and have contributed more than $4 million of new revenue into the local economy. SOAR is dedicated to working with the unemployed, under-employed and the hard-to-employ. Though SOAR has been grateful with sponsorships and donations in the past, it’s always helpful when additional resources and funding are located. Then Greater Cincinnati Urban League is able to place more individuals to work and help transform generations.
In June, 2014 at the Uptown Business Celebration Event, Greater Cincinnati Urban League SOAR received the Small Non-Profit Award of Excellence for graduating more than 40 individuals from the Uptown SOAR program during the previous two years and demonstrating a strong commitment to the Uptown Community. President/CEO Donna Jones Baker was presented the award by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Santa Ono, President of the University of Cincinnati.
In order to attend SOAR you must first attend an Information Session. Information sessions are conducted at the Urban League building in Avondale, 3458 Reading Road. Sessions are held Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and Fridays at 9 a.m.