It has been busy here at OACAA so far in 2019! The staff has been working hard to position the Ohio Community Action Network for success between the hosting the winter conference, getting up to speed on the DeWine administration and everything in between. Although here in the office we see the hustle and bustle of planning and coordinating events and trainings across the state, we realize those new to the network may not be familiar with all of the things we offer our members.

We’ve got some exciting new training and technical assistance projects we will be implementing this year. Most of you know about our larger events such as the winter and summer conferences, or our free on-site training we can customize for your agency. Here are some other the projects we’re putting together that you should know about:

  • John Glenn Leadership Training Series – In partnership with the Ohio State University John Glenn School of Public Affairs, OACAA is continuing the Leadership Training series for emerging leaders this year. Twenty-five participants from across Ohio’s CAA network will complete a 5-part series of workshops to help them understand their leadership qualities and how to overcome challenges in the workplace. Though the deadline for registering for 2019 has passed, contact me to get on the waiting list for 2020. Space is limited each year.

  • 21st Century CAA Project – How do you plan for the future of Community Action in a realistic way that considers major shifts in federal government funding? This facilitated strategic planning process with our partner, CauseImpact uses a concept known as “zero-based planning.” A group of 10 CAA leaders in Ohio is working together to design a new (fictional) Community Action Agency using the zero-based planning framework. The idea is to determine what would be important to a Community Action Agency if you had to start from scratch and what a 21st Century CAA might look like if resources were limited or eliminated. Once complete, which is anticipated next year, a toolkit and written plan will be available to agencies who would like to replicate the process themselves or with a facilitator.

  • State of Poverty in Ohio Report – Since the early 1990s, OACAA has published the State of Poverty in Ohio report to better understand the conditions of poverty throughout our state. With research-based information, we have been able to review the evolving characteristics of poverty, and how local, state and other stakeholders are and have addressed the issue. Community Action is a leader in poverty alleviation, and OACAA has been able to shed light on a number of issues that affect millions of citizens in Ohio. This year, we’ve been working with Strategic Research Group (SRG) to develop the report. SRG is a new partner and is gathering feedback from the network to help determine which poverty-related issues should be highlighted. We are currently on track to release the report in May to coincide with Community Action Month. Stay tuned for announcements in the next few months.

  • Legacy Project – The Legacy Project began three (3) years ago as an effort to document the history of Community Action in Ohio and the people who were directly involved. OACAA accomplishes this by interviewing Executive Directors, board members, staff and community members who have been a part of the network and who have experienced the evolution, the innovation and the successes of a group dedicated to helping others. The people of Community Action yesterday and today have built a legacy that will continue to guide us tomorrow. This project will document that legacy. This year, we anticipate releasing four videos featuring our member agencies. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for notices.

  • ROMA Implementer Certification – A curriculum for ROMA certification began in 1998 to develop experts who to provide training and technical assistance to CAAs across the country. With the implementation of ROMA Next Generation, a new type of certification was developed for those who had a need for an in-house ROMA expert, but who were not interested in training other organizations. The ROMA Implementer Certification Program is now available and will be coming to Ohio! OACAA will sponsor up to ten people to complete the certification process (at a value of $775 per person) and will host the in-class portion of the program in Columbus—making it more affordable for our members to attend and complete the certification process. The deadline to apply is 4/12/19!

  • Foundation Level Seminar Series (FLSS) – The Foundation Level conference is part of an ongoing series of training events designed to build the capacity of intake workers, case managers and other front line staff who work directly with customers. These workshops are opportunities to gain skills and network with others across Community Action. Two courses are planned for 2019 in the spring and fall. Workshops fill up quickly so keep an eye on our website, newsletter, and on social media for updates.

  • OCA CSBG Application Training – This fall, OACAA is partnering with Ohio Development Service Agency—Office of Community Assistance (OCA) and Ohio Urban Resources System (OURS) to provide training on the new CSBG application and reporting system, as well as ROMA training and panel presentations on topics related to the Organizational Standards. This one and a half day event will feature a lunch speaker and an evening reception in Columbus (location TBD). This event is a great opportunity to gain knowledge from your funder and your peers. Space will be limited to no more than three (3) people from each agency. Look for more information about the event and how to register at on our website.

As with each year, we’re thrilled to bring all of these and more opportunities for our network to expand their knowledge, grow skills, develop staff, and work with peers across the state. Be sure to check our website regularly for updates on these and other events and resources.

Josh has over a decade of experience in organizational development and planning. He is a Certified ROMA trainer, Technology of Participation (ToP) certified strategic planner and facilitates board training and poverty simulations. Josh has presented organizational sustainability at local, regional, and national conferences. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison’s School of Human Ecology where focused his studies on financial literacy and consumer education. As the Development Director, Josh is responsible for creating new partnerships with community organizations, other social services providers, government entities, corporation and potential funders. He is also responsible for funding research, grant writing, and program design and evaluation.