CityLink expands West End campus to make room for increased services

This spring, residents of the West End may hear shovels clanging and cheers erupting, as CityLink Center breaks ground on its $5.3M campus expansion project. 

The existing CityLink Center in the West End

CityLink is a nonprofit that collaborates with leading social service agencies to help individuals advance out of poverty and reach their full potential. The expansion, a mix of new construction and rehabilitation of existing buildings, will add 23,834 square feet to the existing campus, amplifying and adding to the education, asset-building, and career-training opportunities available through the Center. 

CityLink Center first opened its doors in 2012 to provide members in the community with an integrated path to holistic life change. Collaborating with 14 on-site service agencies – such as Center for Employment Opportunities, Per Scholas, ChangingGears, Learning Grove, SmartMoney and Cornerstone Construction – CityLink continues to provide needed support, training and relationships. Since opening, the center has served more than 4,000 individuals. Outcomes show that the holistic approach is effective: CityLink clients make significant progress advancing out of poverty, increasing their annual income by an average of $9,226.42.

Map of CityLink expansion adjacent to existing complex

CityLink’s expansion will focus on five core initiatives: automotive, construction, childcare, employment and education:

  • ChangingGears, CityLink’s transportation partner, helps individuals advance their lives out of poverty by providing affordable vehicles to purchase or lease. The expansion will construct a new garage, providing space to serve more clients and launch a new automotive technician training program. 
  • Cornerstone Construction training equips individuals with the hands-on training and certifications needed to be successful in the industry. The campaign will formalize a space that allows the program to scale, providing more career opportunities for more clients.
  • Learning Grove operates a 5-star-rated Early Head Start child care program within CityLink Center. In addition to full-time childcare, they offer invaluable temporary childcare for parents engaged in services at CityLink. Through the expansion, they will construct a new five-classroom facility, doubling their previous capacity.
  • To help connect clients to meaningful entry-level employment more quickly, CityLink partnered with Roots, a local, purpose-driven Temporary-to-Permanent Staffing agency. The campaign will fund the build of a dedicated space for employment training and job placement services.
  • Lastly, PelotonU, CityLink’s higher education partner, offers a path for students to earn their college degree online. By leveraging student loans and scholarships, students graduate largely debt-free, with five times the graduation rate for non-traditional students. The campus expansion will provide study and tutoring space for PelotonU students. 

CityLink has already secured 80% of their $5.3M goal through New Market Tax Credits, grants, and generous individual giving. As the shovels dig in and construction begins, CityLink Center is eager to take another bold step towards catalyzing life-change in Cincinnati. 

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