Dynamic solutions that drive economic mobility

Economic mobility—or increasing income and wealth to improve life outcomes—is a critical indicator of ­robust economic growth and thriving communities. For this reason, GCF has invested millions in economic mobility while forging new pathways that maximize mobility for all, including creating quality jobs, increasing human potential and expanding opportunities. In 2022, GCF partnered with Damascus and Cincinnati Works to address basic needs of accessing job opportunities.


In recent years, a record number of workers have quit their jobs, leaving many frustrated business owners struggling to find replacements. Recognizing this opportunity, GCF pivoted to support previously incarcerated people who are seeking both employment opportunities and a second chance. GCF granted $50,000 to Damascus, a nonprofit organization that helps returning citizens rehabilitate, gain job skills, obtain employment and take steps toward life goals. These funds also aided in providing new workers with much-needed basic services such as transportation to their new jobs—keeping them employed and filling gaps in our workforce.

Cincinnati Works

Cincinnati Works partners with regional employers to solve a range of workforce needs: filling open positions, retaining employees and coaching potential leaders. They also provide job coaching, helping people find employment and reach career goals. However, earners with low wages often lack the time and transportation needed to participate in the program. To address this challenge, GCF invested $100,000 in a new approach that allows Cincinnati Works to provide onsite services in collaboration with employers. Cincinnati Works partners directly with both the employees and their managers at their work sites to mitigate any barriers to retaining employment while offering a comprehensive array of services. The impact was immense as participants have been able to not only stay employed but grow in their careers.

Economic Mobility Action Network (EMAN)

GCF partners with the Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio to address economic mobility through EMAN, a program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and launched by CFLeads. By joining the network, GCF gained valuable insights and access to top-tier thought leaders. As the CFLeads’ report was finalized in 2022, GCF realized the need to focus on Black women in industries with low wages. This insight helps GCF think strategically about how future opportunities can lift up our region.