History of the Community Job Club

In 2009, the job club had its start at Mocha Joe's Coffee Shop, in Stow, Ohio. Current Executive Director, Diana Miller had gone through a career transition herself and was inspired to start the club after visiting job clubs in nearby communities. Her goal was to help those in Stow/Munroe Falls area and surrounding communities make the job search a little less lonely. "Hearing the stories of those in transition, who, at no fault of their own, have lost their jobs, was heartbreaking", Miller said.

In 2010, after several meetings in the Coffee Shop, it was determined that the space was no longer adequate to meet the needs of the club. At this time the Stow Clergy Association was contacted for support. The Stow United Church of Christ offered assistance and the space for the job club beginning in April, 2010.

In 2010, the name"Community Job Club" became the official name of the group, the domain name was purchased and the communityjobclub.com website built. In 2011, Diana received a call from the U.S. Department of Labor-Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office and was asked to be part of an initiative they were working on called Partnerships Community of Practice - an on-line meeting spot to connect job clubs nationwide. You can visit this site at www.dol.gov/jobclubs .There you will find best practices, tools and resources to help facilitate partnerships with other job clubs and One-Stop Career Centers funded by the department through the Workforce Investment Act.

In 2011, Diana was also invited to participate in a round-table discussion led by Secretary of Labor Solis, during a live webcast, along with job club leaders from around the country. Diana has had the honor of being invited to the White House on two occasions, to participate in other initiatives sponsored by both the White House Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office and U.S. Department of Labor's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office.

In September, 2011 Diana was invited to the grand opening activities of the Brevard Workforce Center, in Rockledge, Florida. The event included NASA leaders and other VIPs from around the country including Alicia Kelly, Director of the White House Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office. Diana was one of the keynote presenters to more than 50 faith based and other community leaders from the area.

Diana has been involved with other job club events sponsored by the U.S.Department of Labor including one in Cleveland, Ohio, where she served as a moderator for a panel on area job clubs. Ben Siegel, Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Labor's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office, made a quick trip to Stow, after the Cleveland event to have a cup of coffee, at Mocha Joe's, where it all began. Sara Drew, currently Stow’s mayor, and Pastor Jim Case, from the Stow Community United Church of Christ joined in to share their support.

In September, 2011, the job club filed to become a non-profit organization with hopes of expanding services to offer more support for job seekers and their families.  Once again, space became an issue with the need to be open more hours and offer expanded programming.

At this time Diana reached out to Mike Weddle, the Director of Development for the City of Stow. He was very supportive of the CJC mission and became one of the club’s greatest advocates.  Mike arranged a meeting with Sharlene and Mark Chesnes, the owners of Stratford Place, to discuss the possibility of either low cost or free space.  The Chesnes’, being very community-minded and generous, offered free office space and use of the training room for CJC monthly meetings.  In January 2012, the CJC moved to Stratford Place. 

In October of 2013, the Community Job Club, Inc., finally received their 501(c)3, award letter from the IRS, after waiting 14 months!  Hopefully that will open doors to funding opportunities to expand the much needed services to assist more job seekers with additional services.