Congratulations to Catalyst Life Services’ Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) team for their work toward earning high marks on their 4th Quarter Report on program performance measures.

This dynamic program serves nearly 200 Richland County youth, ages 14-24, with barriers to their employment and educational goals, with an emphasis on out-of-school youth with multiple barriers, some of those barriers might include youth who are:

  • Basic skills deficient
  • An English language learner
  • Offenders or subject to the juvenile or adult justice system
  • Homeless or a runaway
  • In foster care or who have aged out of foster care
  • Are pregnant or parenting
  • Have a diagnosed disability
  • Youth who require additional assistance to complete an education program or obtain and maintain long-term employment

In serving these youth participants, staff members on this program emphasize a number of program elements individualized to the participant and designed to remove or minimize these barriers to the youth participant’s goals and increase employment and educational placement outcomes.

In the WIOA program, measuring success comes in the form of five specific outcome measures, of which the Catalyst team “exceeded” or “significantly exceeded” four of these items.

One such measure of which the Catalyst team was particularly proud was that 79.4% (77/97) of eligible participants achieved a measurable skills gain, which is accomplished when an individual achieves one of the following:

  • Improvement of at least one educational functioning level
  • Passing 5 credit hours or more on the most recent progress report
  • Graduating from a secondary or post-secondary education program
  • Passage of an exam to attain a credential such as CDL/STNA

For this particular measure, the statewide rate was 28.8%.

These performance measures are reported at the state level quarterly and dispensed to the areas locally where the program receives governance and oversight from a local Workforce Development Board comprised of representatives from government entities, non-profit organizations, and private for profit businesses.

If you know anyone interested in this program contact Stephanie Jakubick at 419-774-2250 or at

Leadership Unlimited Visits Catalyst Life Services

This year’s Leadership Unlimited class visited Catalyst Life Services with the topic of Wellness!  It was an impactful experience and Catalyst was able to share the variety of ways they offer support on an individual’s journey to Wellness.

Harry Donahue, CEO & President welcomed these leaders to Catalyst Life Services.

Mitch Jacobsen, Director of Vocational Services, provided the class with a tour of Progress Industries’ industrial workshop which employs individuals with disabilities and serves the manufacturing community of Richland County with cost-effective production solutions. Mitch discussed the importance of assisting individuals with barriers to employment and how our vocational department put over 500 people to work last year.

Laura Montgomery, VP of Human Resources and Housing Services, was able to speak about the Housing First Philosophy.  Housing First is an approach that offers permanent, affordable housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and then provides the supportive services and connections to the community-based supports people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. For more information on Housing First: Click Here


Erin Schaefer, Director of Operations, and Elaine Surber, Associate Director and Director of New Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Services, were able to provide a demonstration on the 8 dimensions of wellness and how implementing the Eight Dimensions of Wellness part of daily life can improve mental and physical health for people with mental and/or substance use disorders. For more information on the eight dimensions of wellness: Click Here

No matter where you are in life, there’s always room for improvement. At Catalyst Life Services, we serve people at every stage of life. We work toward the total health of ALL the people in our region, in ALL parts of their lives: body, mind and spirit. We are an agent of change guiding the people we serve to lead more fulfilling lives.

Below is our success stories of an individual who has gone through all of Catalyst’s programs and his experience back to wellness.

Catalyst has partnered with TIROCC, which is Trauma Informed Recovery Oriented Community of Care and represents the growth and expansion of the previous Recovery Oriented System of Care. Back in 2015, the Richland County Mental Health & Recovery Board collaborated with L, Harrison, who is a specialist in implementing organization in the process of Trauma-Informed care, both internally and externally. We at Catalyst were involved in the process of being assessed on how we currently operate when it comes to a trauma. Our assessment helped us to develop a strategic plan to help address the areas where we need to improve or change, but to, also, help us understand what areas we are excelling in. This collaboration helped us to identify where we have grown in trauma-informed awareness, improvements in the process, relational interactions, services development, and cross-provider partnerships.

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