Mayor’s Hand Up Initiative Launches CDL Training Program

July 7, 2015  – In May, Mayor John Cranley announced the organizations that would receive contracts for his Hand Up Initiative, a city partnership with top job readiness programs to address the issues of unemployment and poverty. The Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA) received $100,000 to implement new city-funded job training that will help participants gain employment and become self-sufficient.

CAA’s Youth Services department is kicking off a new CDL training program on July 13 and is currently recruiting for the first class of students. The program launches a new CAA partnership with one of the Midwest’s most respected CDL training facilities, Napier Truck Driver Training, Inc.

Students who enroll in the new program will attend a free 5-week training course to obtain their license and begin a new career as a truck driver. Napier and CAA will also work with program participants on job placement through partner companies looking for new drivers.

To be eligible for the free program, applicants must be 21+, in good physical health, have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation to Napier in Fairfield to attend the course full-time for 5 weeks. Additionally, students must meet financial eligibility requirements with a household income that is 175% of the poverty level.

Anyone interested in the new CDL training course should contact Tim Johnson at 513-569-1840 ext. 2417 or  A second class is scheduled to begin in October.


June 23, 2015 - New to the program this year, participants in the PIPP Plus year-round payment program will not be eligible for Summer Crisis Program monetary assistance. However, PIPP Plus clients may be eligible to receive a fan or air conditioner if they have not received one from the program in 2012, 2013 or 2014. Continue reading for additional information on the Summer Crisis Program.

Community Action Agency To Host Public Forums On Poverty

June 10, 2015 - The Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA) is inviting the public to participate in a series of Community Forums on Poverty. The public forums are part of CAA’s comprehensive Community Assessment to better understand how well its services are addressing local poverty issues and the needs of low and moderate income residents of Hamilton County.

CAA is constantly working on effective approaches in the fight against poverty. One of CAA’s best-known programs is Head Start/Early Head Start, which it operates in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati Union Bethel, the University of Cincinnati, Every Child Succeeds, and the YMCA. In addition to these groups, CAA is conducting the Community Assessment and the planned public forums with the participation of Hamilton County Educational Service Center (HCESC).

CAA will be hosting the public forums to gain additional insight on public perception of community needs and the impact of services provided by CAA and HCESC. Clients, service providers and members of the general public are invited to learn more about the agencies. Participants and moderators will discuss the state of poverty in Hamilton County, how individuals and families are being served and the results of recent client surveys. The agencies will use information gathered through these forums to create a 3-year plan to further improve the quality of services and programs provided to the community.

Staff from the Community Building Institute will facilitate three forums at CAA headquarters (1740 Langdon Farm Road). The Community Building Institute is a partnership between Xavier University and United Way. Each forum will present the preliminary findings of the Community Assessment and gather public input and recommendations.

Community Forum dates and times:

            Saturday, June 20, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
            Wednesday, June 24, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
            Thursday, June 25, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

These forums will give the community a voice on local issues and ensure low and moderate income residents have access to the quality services and resources needed to remove barriers and help individuals and families reach self-sufficiency.

Free Caregiver Forum

June 10, 2015 - Join the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Cincinnati for a free African-American Caregiver Forum on 6/30 here at CAA. The program is FREE, but registration is required. Contact Jill Gorley at 800-272-3900 or jgorley for more information or to register for the event.

Assistance Available For High Energy Bills

May 29, 2015  –  The long winter has been a drain on household budgets and many families are already seeing the high temperatures affect their summer cooling bills. Some Ohio residents may be eligible for financial relief and able to reduce their monthly utility bill payments through the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus).

PIPP Plus allows eligible households to maintain gas and electric services by paying a percentage of their household income, regardless of monthly usage. The program is a year-round payment plan that eliminates old utility debt when payments are made on time and in-full, essentially freeing the customer of old utility debt in 2 years.

Eligible PIPP Plus applicants must earn a household income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The following are required when applying: current utility bill, proof of income for all household members for the past 90 days, a photo ID and social security cards for all household members.

Hamilton County residents may apply for PIPP Plus at the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA), 1740 Langdon Farm Road, Cincinnati 45237. The first 40 walk-ins are accepted Monday through Thursday at 8:00 a.m. We do accept have walk-ins on Friday. Applications may also be obtained at your local library or CAA and mailed, with all required documentation, to the Ohio Office of Community Services. For more information, call toll free 1-866-747-1039 or visit

Big Top Yard Sale Tables Now Available!

May 26, 2015 - CAA's 8th Annual Big Top Yard Sale & Head Start Enrollment Fair will take place on Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, in the agency's lower level parking lot facing Langdon Farm Road. Tables for selling items are available at $25 each. (Non-refundable) To rent a table, please print and complete the Table Rental Form and return it to CAA Purchasing Manager Gary Frazee, along with payment, by no later than Thursday, June 4 at 5:00 pm. For more information, please call 569-4371.

CAA Head Start - Communities of Practice

May 18, 2015 - CAA’s Head Start program has been selected by the Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness, to be part of an initiative to support school readiness and the success of African American male preschoolers. The initiative is called Communities of Practice and aims to train staff across the grantee in creating culturally responsive learning environments that are conducive to social and academic achievement of young African American boys.

Research shows that African American male students, even in preschool, are generally perceived by educators as problematic, which sets up unnecessary barriers to their success at a very young age. By addressing ingrained biases and stereotypes, and building on strengths rather than chipping away at preconceived weaknesses, educators can help African American preschoolers develop important skills, knowledge, attitudes and behavior to succeed in preschool and far beyond.