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What is SkillUp?

SkillUp is an innovative service that creates customized training plans so employers can train workers for their skilled jobs. SkillUp acts as broker to help the employer identify the training providers, coaches employees to help them succeed, and reimburses employers for some of their out of pocket costs for training. Employers can SkillUp existing, new or temporary employees. The service is intended to help employers SkillUp lower-wage and lower-skill employees to create a talent pipeline of higher-wage, higher-skill employees.

How does SkillUp work?

SkillUp involves employers working with SkillUp’s talent advisors to work through the following steps:
  1. Employers identify the technical skills they need
  2. SkillUp helps employers create a structured training plan to develop those skills
  3. Employers pay wages and pay to train the worker
  4. SkillUp reimburses the employer for approved training-related expenses

Training is not occupation specific, and can be used for skill training in all business units. All training will include a classroom and on-the-job training component and must be linked to an industry recognized portable credential to allow the employee to demonstrate skill attainment and mastery.

Why did Cuyahoga County launch SkillUp?

SkillUp is a major step forward in how County Executive Armond Budish is delivering on his promise to increase resident access to quality jobs and careers. Executive Budish’s primary workforce goals branded as “Propel Cuyahoga” are:
  1. Providing a workforce pipeline that delivers a sufficient and steady supply of qualified candidates at all skill levels to keep jobs filled
  2. Helping residents with employment barriers become skilled workers pursuing career and wage pathways
  3. Creating a more connected and aligned workforce and human services

SkillUp embodies the County’s “Together We Thrive” motto by bridging the gaps between job openings and job seekers by collaborating with businesses and residents. By coordinating health and human services, economic development, and workforce education strategies, Cuyahoga County is able to leverage resources across systems and sectors to better serve the needs of both business and residents.

How does SkillUp help businesses?

After meeting with more than 100 business leaders during his first 100 days, County Executive Armond Budish was repeatedly told that workforce is the most significant barrier to business growth. SkillUp helps businesses by:
  • Assisting businesses train their employees and ensuring they have a steady stream of skilled workers
  • Helping employers access new and diverse sources of talent
  • Providing smaller companies the resources and capacity to create their own talent pipeline
  • Addressing one of the main issues, lack of opportunity for advancement, that causes employee turnover
  • Through training programs, businesses gain a competitive advantage and can highlight their workforce initiatives Giving businesses a competitive workforce advantage through training programs

How does SkillUp help residents?

SkillUp helps Cuyahoga County residents by helping Cuyahoga County businesses. Many residents would like to move up at their company, but either can’t afford the training or cannot take the time away from their current job to receive training. SkillUp helps residents by:
  • Helping businesses provide training to their employees, which allows the employees to gain skills and obtain a better paying job
  • Assisting employers in finding new sources of talent, including traditionally underrepresented populations and residents who are enrolled in training and workforce programs
  • Creating career and career pathway opportunities that were not feasible before
  • Measuring success through career and wage advancement, instead of job placement

Who can I contact about SkillUp?

Employers who are interested in learning more should contact the Cuyahoga County SkillUp team at (216) 443-6930 or