‘Pathways’ Initiative To Boost Minority-Owned Businesses

By Kaitlin Schroeder
Dayton Daily News, Ohio

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new initiative to help minority-owned businesses in the Dayton area is launching with the help of a $100,000 grant.

Dayton Daily News, Ohio

The new initative called Pathways will help with workforce development and small business development.

Belinda Stenson, director for the Minority Business Partnership for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, said Pathways creates a formal partnership between the chamber, Dayton Minority Business Assistance Center and Wesley Community Center.

“These three organizations are such important pieces of our community,” said KeyBank Dayton Market President Joey Williams. “We are proud to be able to support their collaboration in a way that will help drive business growth and job creation.”

The organizations have all worked together in the past, but the $100,000 grant from KeyBank will help them form a structured partnership to help minority-owned and women-owned businesses grow and attract the workers they need.

“This collaboration makes natural sense as part of our shared mission to build a strong community full of thriving minority and women-owned businesses and access to good jobs,” said Stenson.

Stenson said the groups are still working on the specifics of how Pathways will operate, but are working with JumpStart Inc., which has an existing model of a program in the Cleveland area.

“We have a high level frame work and we’re using a couple of projects that we’ve worked on as a model,” Stenson said.

In one example, the groups worked with the Dayton Metro Library to help identify women and minority owned suppliers for its construction and renovation projects.

Often, once a construction project is completed, Stenson said these groups go their separate ways, but afterwards with the library, they continued to work together and identified two minority-owned businesses to fill janitorial contracts that have hired at least 20 people to serve those 14 branches.

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