Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Nearly 3/4 of jobs cut at Urban League



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The Greater Toledo Urban League yesterday eliminated 13 of the organization's 18 positions, John C. Jones, the group's president and chief executive officer, said.

"It's strictly due to funding," Mr. Jones said. "It was a tough funding year for us.

"We're hopeful the lack of funding is a temporary issue."

He attributed the financial problems to a poor economy.

"When times get tough, people are losing their jobs. They aren't thinking about giving to a nonprofit organization," he said.

Funding comes from memberships, private and corporate donations, and the United Way of Greater Toledo, the group's Web site states.

Mr. Jones said the cuts will not impact the summer mentorship program for youth, which will continue as scheduled on Saturdays.

The move also will not impact Urban League programming at the J. Frank Troy Senior Center, 1235 Division St., he said.

What could be hurt are the organization's two job placement programs, Mr. Jones said, though the group is still figuring out what the exact impact of the cuts will be.

"It will be challenging," Mr. Jones said.

According to the organization's Web site, it was officially established as a National Urban League Affiliate in 1996.

The nonprofit group, at 608 Madison Ave., helps provide employment, training, business and career development, education, health, housing, and youth programs, according to its Web site. The group has about 160 volunteers.

Mr. Jones said the mission of the Urban League - to improve social and economic conditions for the disadvantaged, especially people from minority groups - will continue.

He said he hopes the agency can use the cuts as an opportunity to "regroup, retool, and come out with a better focus."

Hundreds of students have participated in the group's Success Through Incentive Vision Effort (STRIVE) program, which helps students pass state-mandated proficiency tests, as well as the summer basketball program, where youths participated in educational and mentoring programs and basketball games.

As recently as May, 2007, the organization had a $1.1 million annual budget and a staff of 20.

In June, 2007, Mr. Jones, who was assistant treasurer of the group at the time, told The Blade 70 percent of the organization's funding through grants for programs had been approved for the next fiscal year.

In March, the group named Mr. Jones, then assistant treasurer and president of its young professionals organization, its president and chief executive officer.

The national Urban League was established in 1910, and strives to empower black Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights, according to the organization's Web site.

The organization is headquartered in New York City and has more than 100 local affiliates.

Contact Kate Giammarise at:

or 419-724-6133.

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