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The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland offers a range of services to children and families in Cuyahoga County. The agency aims to simply and holistically serve the residents who need its services, which is why agency employees came together to talk about how we can more effectively reach and assist our clients.

On February 28th, 2020 each division of CEOGC gathered for an event that featured partners from collaborative Head Start sites, Head Start leaders, and members of CEOGC’s Workforce Development and Personal Development programs and its department heads. The idea was to have all parties in the same room creating more awareness of each department’s resources.

“It’s been a dream of mine for five years, to have all moving parts of the agency together in one place. Today, that dream came true,” said Dr.Chisholm, President and CEO of CEOGC.

Throughout the course of the year, every department in the agency hosts its own staff development workdays, planning meetings and an all-staff day in which all agency employees convene for an out-of-the-office work development day.

This particular event was the first of its kind. Every person in attendance was separated by regions to focus on interdepartmental collaboration. It created an opportunity for partners and employees to meet each other and communicate their thoughts, opinions, and ideas to make the engine that is CEOGC operate at greater levels.

“I was amazed at all the people that showed up in support of this initiative. We were able to find out about the many resources within the different regions,” said Shawn Holden, Collaborative Manager for Head Start. Holden was also in charge of the planning and execution of this event.

After enjoying a continental style breakfast and introductions from the Council’s leadership team, all regions took part in “team games” where they were to build a structure using uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. It made for a great ice breaker and even better teamwork activity.

“Those ice breaker games are so fun and created an atmosphere of teamwork that promotes more engagement through long work development meetings like today,” said Holden. “On a personal level, I was very touched that Dr. Chisholm was able to see her vision come to life. We are one agency doing great things and if we pull together every resource, we could impact the world.”

With every staff development meeting, there are always takeaways for how to further improve the agency’s operations. CEOGC is focused on continuing to build relationships throughout all regions, streamlining all support and resources for the children and families served by the agency and focusing on full enrollment at our Head Start sites.

The more we work together, the more people we can serve.