By Alison Matas, The Canton Repository
Strengthening Stark has its first financial win.
The countywide economic development initiative will receive $100,000 from the Fund for Our Economic Future Paradox Prize, a competitive grant designed to connect workers with reliable transportation.
Strengthening Stark won the money for a pilot program that will help 100 people get and maintain a job for 90 days.
Details about the program — and how to rethink it because of the coronavirus pandemic — are being hashed out, but the goal remains to find people who are ready to work and get them the support they need to keep employment.
“We applied for a grant because we were in a world where we had a lot of jobs and not enough talent, and one critical barrier for people to find jobs was the transportation element, and we wanted to experiment with how to make that happen,” said Hrishue Mahalaha, a consultant with Strengthening Stark.
The Paradox Prize was created last year to tackle this Northeast Ohio dilemma: If you don’t have a car, you likely can’t have a job because you can’t get to work every day. But if you don’t have a job, you don’t have money to pay for a car.