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Photo: Louisville Forward

Louisvillians hoping to find a fresh start, help with finances or a new career direction will find a wealth of opportunities at the “Be Empowered at the Nia” event on Thursday, May 10.  The event is being held at the Nia Center, 2900 W. Broadway, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Resources and activities include free credit reports and one-on-one credit counseling, a career fair, workshops focusing on work readiness and small business resources, adult education services and GED information, financial education tools and products on the BB&T Bank Bus, and HIV testing.  This event also features free food, door prizes and ample parking as well  free bus tickets donated by TARC that will serve as some of the door prizes as well as distributed in advance to assist residents interested in attending the event.

Sponsored by BB&T, the “Be Empowered” event brings together partner agencies at the Nia Center including the Office of Financial Empowerment — part of Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services, Louisville Forward, KentuckianaWorks’ Kentucky Career Center, and TARC along with Apprisen, Bank on Louisville, Cardinal Success Program, Jefferson County Clerk’s Office, Job Corps, Keeping It Real Neighborhood Institute, Louisville Asset Building Coalition, Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission and My Chosen People.The Career Fair will be held at the Kentucky Career Center on the first floor between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. including more than fifteen employers from the public and private sectors.  Job seekers are encouraged to bring a photo ID and copies of a resume or work history and come dressed to meet employers.  Pre-register online at https://focuscareer.ky.gov/careerexplorer/home or arrive early to register and even print your resume.  For assistance preparing a resume in advance, visit  the Kentucky Career Center at the Nia Center, 2900 W. Broadway Suite 100, or at 600 West Cedar.

 

Participating employers at the Career Fair include:

  • AC Hotels
  • AFLAC
  • Amazon
  • Copart
  • G4S
  • Jefferson County Clerk Office
  • Jefferson County Public Schools
  • Job Corps
  • Marriott
  • Ollie’s Bargain Outlet
  • Omni Hotel
  • Pizza Hut
  • Radial
  • Republic Bank
  • TARC
  • Transcend Credit Un ion
  • Trimen Solutions
  • University of Louisville Human Resources
  • S. Census Bureau
  • Webster University

Also featured will be the BB&T Bank Bus between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. a 40-foot mobile classroom providing credit report education, unclaimed property searches, self-file income tax preparation stations, as well as comprehensive financial services. BB&T personnel will also be available to help with checking and savings accounts and other financial services and provide access to computer-based Money Smart Financial Education.

 

Eleven free workshops will be offered throughout the day including:

  • Expungement Process 10 a.m.
  • Bankruptcy 11 a.m.
  • Resume Writing 11 a.m.
  • Credit as an Asset 11 a.m.
  • Opioid Crisis and the Community 12 p.m.
  • Educational Training Opportunities 1 p.m.
  • Louisville Metro Certification 1 p.m.
  • Interviewing Skills 1 p.m.
  • Identity Theft 1 p.m.
  • Income Tax Issues 2:p.m.
  • Small Business Resources 2 p.m.

“The Financial Empowerment and Job Fair Day is a great example of how the Nia Center partners are working together to offer an array of workforce and entrepreneurial development resources for our community,” said Gena Redmon Harris, director of Louisville Metro Resilience and Community Services. “We want residents to walk away feeling empowered to strengthen their households and change their future.”

Participants at the May 10 event are encouraged to share their experiences and photos on social media using #NiaPower.

For more information, call 574-7303 or 574-5168, or download this event flyer.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced expanded resources coming to the Nia Center, a one-stop workforce and entrepreneurial development center located at 2900 W. Broadway. Enhancements include department function additions and training opportunities, a new loan program and the addition of a café.

“Our city has great economic momentum right now. We have to make sure that opportunity and prosperity reach every neighborhood in our city,” said Fischer. “The Nia Center is a great partner for us in those efforts because if you want to start a business, want to grow an existing small business, or need help finding a job, this is the place to get the resources you need.”

In late 2016, Louisville Metro Community Services’ FEeD division (Financial Empowerment and economic Development division, which includes the microbusiness program) relocated to the Nia Center. The program joined the existing Small Business Development office, called the Business Clinic, run by Louisville Forward’s Department of Economic Development.

The move allows the departments to work side-by-side with other providers in the community, including the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Kiva and the SBA to bring more opportunities for collaboration that benefit Louisville’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Our Community Services team members are honored to bring our Financial Empowerment and economic Development services into an existing focal point in west Louisville,” said Eric Friedlander, director of Louisville Metro Community Services. “We look forward to being a part of the interactive environment at the Nia Center that builds on the strengths of our community’s residents.”

Partnering with Louisville Forward, Louisville Metro Community Services and KentuckianaWorks, the Nia Center offers a full range of job and career services.

Programs offered at the Nia Center include:

Financing assistance

  • The Metropolitan Business Development Corporation, commonly known as METCO, administers small business loans, which include facade, accessibility and gap financing loans. Since merger, more than 150 west Louisville businesses have received loans through this program, leveraging more than $27 million in private investment.
  • The Louisville Metro Microbusiness Loan Program supports businesses that employ five or fewer people, including the owner, and offers loans ranging from $500 to $15,000.
  • The Business Accelerator Loan, a NEW loan with special criteria is now available to entrepreneurs and small business owners who locate a business in one of the nine neighborhoods of west Louisville.

Business development assistance

  • Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program empowers makers to find pathways to entrepreneurship through an online marketplace by teaching students about entrepreneurship 101, budgeting, pricing and marketing. Applications are now being accepted for the March session.
  • Exploring Entrepreneurship is a free 1-hour introductory workshop for self-employment information and small business resources held the second Tuesday of each month.
  • Power-Up Business Course is a free 7-week course designed to provide practical business planning information to participants, and enable them to develop their business idea.
  • A 3-part “Government Contracting 101” lunch & learn series coordinated with the U.S. Small Business Association, starts in late March.

Workforce development programs

  • The Kentucky Career Center inside Nia offers a full range of job and career services including job-coaching, resume-building, training and job placement. The facility, which placed nearly 50 people in jobs during the last six months of 2016, received extensive renovations and improvements in 2016.
  • Kentuckiana Builds training is a 7-week class to prepare people for jobs being created by Louisville’s current building boom with projects like the Kentucky International Convention Center expansion and the new Omni Louisville Hotel.
  • The Manufacturing Training and Employment Connection (M-TEC) and the Certified Production Technician (CPT) are 2- and 4-week trainings that give graduates skills and certifications valued by local companies that are hiring, including GE Appliances, Dakkota Integrated Systems, Algood Food Company and many others.

The expanded array of programs will include a new café to be added to the lobby area of the Center. Local small business owner Pam Haines will operate the café, a smaller version of her restaurant, Sweet Peaches, located at 1800 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The café will offer coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads and a variety of freshly baked pastries, and is expected to open in early summer 2017.

To learn more about the Nia Center, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/louisville-forward/nia-center

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