YOUNGSTOWN — Flying HIGH Inc. hopes its new Professional Development Center removes barriers to quickly connect job seekers to employers
The center was launched Tuesday and it allows anyone to walk in for access to immediate job opportunities.
“There is a tremendous need right now for qualified and prepared workers,” Jeff Magada, founder and executive director of Flying HIGH Inc., said. Flying HIGH Inc. is a non-profit organization with a mission to "help all people develop their potential and discover their destiny."
The center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday on the 6th and 7th floors of 6 Federal Plaza.
Magada said the services will help individuals become prepared and better qualified for employment. The center can even provide financial support services and a variety of pre-employment training and workshops.
Magada said many employers look for five things when hiring employees: skills/credentials, a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, a clean drug screen and professionalism. The center will work to help people through those barriers with financial support for transportation, alcohol and drug treatment and recovery housing, tuition assistance and much more.
“We have a system that we’re going to help you if you have any kind of barriers we can help you to overcome,” Magada said.
Case managers will work with people to assess what skills they have and what they need to develop in order to get a job.
Across the two floors, there are rooms for classes and workshops, drug facilities, group training rooms and staff offices.
The Professional Development Center was originally launched in November 2020 and has helped over 300 people gain employment.
Magada said Flying HIGH saw the needs of people to get through skills training and then get a job, especially in the pandemic when employers needed employees and people needed jobs.
“It was really just trying to meet the needs of the people, what their personal needs were to get them marketable and then trying to meet the employment,” Magada said.
Magada said employers are hiring hundreds of positions for the development going on in the region, including Lordstown, TJ Maxx, Ultium and more. The center will also help people get jobs in manufacturing and healthcare.
He said it’s time for people to seize the opportunity for these types of jobs and careers.
“This will benefit them by helping them get really marketable and connected to those employers,” Magada said.
Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said he hopes the center will get people working and prepare them not just for jobs but for careers.
Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, people who need a job might have to learn a new skill to get a job, the mayor said.
Brown said people who helped to develop the center found a problem and wanted to solve it.
“When we do, we’ll build communities, we’ll build people, but we’ll make sure we can build for the future,” Brown said.
Brown said there are development centers across the country but having one in Youngstown will help connect employers and employees who need jobs.
“We’re removing those barriers and getting those individuals ready for a job,” Brown said.
The Professional Development Center houses staff from MYCAP and YUMADAOP.
The center also partners with the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, City of Youngstown Community Planning and Economic Development, Workforce Development Board of Mahoning and Columbiana Counties, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Mahoning County Mental Health & Recovery Board, Home for Good and numerous educational training partners.