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We Are Strengthening Stark

Strengthening Stark is a community-wide movement of residents, businesses, government, nonprofits and philanthropy who share a vision for a vibrant, growing county for all.

Our goal is to make Stark a great place to:

Start and grow a business

Develop one’s talent and pursue a career

Live and raise a family

Together, partners in Strengthening Stark:

Nurture Business Growth

  • More Stark businesses are getting help from the state to invest and add employees.
  • Stark Business 911 is an online tool to connect businesses to the resources they need to grow.
  • Entrepreneurs have access to specific resources to launch and sustain new ventures.

Develop Our Talent

  • Stark Jobs Platform provides job seekers, students, parents and others with information about current and future job market in Stark County.
  • Neighborhood groups, companies, educators and non-profits are working together to connect residents to the job market.
  • Educators, businesses and others are working together to make sure our youngest residents are prepared to succeed in school so that they are more likely to have prosperous careers.

Create Quality Places

  • Government and nonprofit leaders are using a new on-line tool to identify areas of need and opportunities for investment in their community.
  • Partners are working together to attract investments within targeted locations in Stark.

The Strengthening Stark partners have retained a small staff to bring the right people to the discussion, build support for existing efforts and catalyze new initiatives. Staff works with a Governance Committee that oversees all Strengthening Stark activity. Strengthening Stark is built on the belief that we are stronger when we come together to solve the complex challenges facing our community. Working together we reduce duplication of services, improve outcomes and increase accountability.

Our Funding

Several partners have contributed financial and in-kind resources to support the convening and coordinating work of Strengthening Stark. Contributors include:

Our Roots

Partners formed the Strengthening Stark movement early in 2018 in response to a report issued by an informal group of leaders from across Stark County that spent more than a year developing a deeper understanding of the economic trends, opportunities and challenges in Stark County.

Our Roots

We are strengthening Stark—and you can too

Movements require people with a desire and passion for change and the resources to achieve that change.

We’re committed to making Stark County a better place to start and grow a business, develop one’s talent and pursue a career, and live and raise a family and you’re invite to join us!
  • Get invested in Stark County - learn what is happening and talk about issues that exist
  • Engage your friends and family, your professional circles, and your social circles in addressing issues in your backyard!
  • Be courageous and lead change
  • Support local businesses and source locally whenever possible
  • Take pride in your home and common areas
  • Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media


My Stark Story: NaSheka Combs-Lemon

My Stark Story: NaSheka Combs-Lemon

Name NaSheka Combs-Lemon  Title and Employer/Organization Career Connect Engagement Manager / Strengthening Stark  How would you describe your day job to a child? I am a part of a movement working with community leaders and employers to provide career opportunities for Stark resi...
Community Highlight - TomTod Ideas

Community Highlight - TomTod Ideas

 TomTod Ideas is a youth development nonprofit in Stark County that listens to, honors, and advocates for middle schoolers. Unabashedly community-focused, TomTod empowers middle schoolers to know that they have a role to play in Stark County. TomTod is the lead partner with Strengthening St...
Strengthening Stark In SE Canton: Lathrop Neighborhood

Strengthening Stark In SE Canton: Lathrop Neighborhood

Strengthening Stark had the privilege of sharing our Stark Career Connect program at a meeting in SE Canton. On September 14, Habitat facilitated a conversation with several neighbors and community leaders. While the intent of the meeting was to discuss employment opportunities, we also learned...
My Stark Story - David Whitehill

My Stark Story - David Whitehill

  Name David WhitehillTitle and Employer/Organization President & CEO, ArtsinStark and the Cultural Center for the ArtsHow would you describe your day job to a child? I make art happen! Everything I do, every day, helps us see, hear and live art in our daily lives. Art is in ...
Greater Stark County Urban League Receives Grant For The YES Project

Greater Stark County Urban League Receives Grant For The YES Project

The following includes snipets from the official press release from America's Promise Alliance. You can read the complete annoucement including the other awardees HERE.  WASHINGTON, D.C.– The YES Project—Young, Employed, Successful—a national youth employment initiative led b...
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