Tim Fulton  00:08

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. We are a weekly Columbus centric podcast focusing on the civics, lifestyle, entertainment, and people of our city. I’m your host Tim Fulton. This week. In anticipation of this fall’s election, the confluence cast is endeavoring to introduce Columbus voters to the 12 Council and two mayoral candidates in their own words. In today’s interview, Rob Dorans. unopposed City Council candidate for district three, discusses zoning, workforce training, and how to help the city continue to grow. You can get more information on what we discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cass.com. Enjoy the interview.

Rob Dorans  00:59

Sitting down here with Rob Dorrans, Columbus City Council candidate for district three, Rob, how are you sir? Doing great. How are you doing? Doing good, doing good. If we could start off just by telling us your background, what brings you you’re a currently seated member of council. But tell us about your background and what what you do on council? Yeah, so I grew up in Northwest Ohio. You know, my wife and I are sort of that classic sort of new residents story to Columbus, you know, I moved here in 2009. I went to IU for undergrad and got really involved politically down there and manage the state rep campaign. And we were fortunate enough to win. So there was a job at the Statehouse as my representative legislative aide. And you had some family in central Ohio. So I knew of Columbus, but it was, hey, as a kid going to cosign or going to the zoo, all that kind of thing, it really hadn’t spent a lot of time here. So you’re moving here in 2009, really not knowing the city at all, coming from my college town, I really didn’t know what to think, and really, really quickly fell in love with the city, especially at a time in which the city was starting to have a lot of the growth that we’re sort of seeing mature right now. But look very young, urban professional scene, it was a really accepting community as far as for folks to get involved in a variety of different things. And you know, at the time, my wife was living in my then girlfriend, now wife was live in Chicago, and she got into a grad program at Ohio State. And I successfully lowered her here. And, you know, quickly thereafter, she sort of fell in love with the city as well. You know, we were in our mid 20s, sort of thinking about what we’re gonna do with our future and sort of looked around and thought this is a great place to sort of set down roots, and you know, eventually have a family. And you know, we’ve been here, I moved away shortly to go to law school, but came back, literally, I think the day after graduation. And we’ve been here ever since. And, you know, I by trade. I’m a labor attorney. So I work as the chief legal counsel for an organization called act, Ohio, we represent all the construction trade unions in Ohio. Okay. So that’s whether it’s by day or by night, I’m not quite sure what my hours are these days. So I’ve been a labor attorney working on behalf of unionized construction workers for God. For 11 years, 12 years. union member myself came out about a union household so my dad just retired last year as a 41 year member of the IBEW, my grandfather was in the plumbers and pipefitters, union, Northwest Ohio. So sort of grew up in this sort of family blue collar family in Northwest Ohio, in which really, the worth of organized laborers was something that was talked about, we sort of understood intrinsically as far as what it really meant, not only to like the economy itself, but also to individually the families, right. So, you know, the story I like to tell folks is that, you know, I was born on a Saturday and my dad went on strike on Monday over health care, okay, so like, literally, when we talk about, like these kinds of issues that can sometimes seem a little bit abstract, like that was like the first days of my life. So my mom will tell you all the stories about me going to, you know, Lucas County Public Health to get my shots and stuff when I was Daesil, sort of thinking about how that sort of impacted sort of my worldview, that’s ultimately sort of what led me to council was when I was in Columbus working as a labor attorney, seeing the growth of the city, and really seeing some gaps that existed as far as how organized labor was part of that economic development, and sometimes wasn’t part of the economic development strategy. And fundamentally, for me, it’s about you know, we talked about job creation, we talked about, you know, new buildings, rubbing kinds, all these kinds of things. But unless we’re connecting it back to who is taking a good wage, and health care, health insurance and retirement benefits back to a neighborhood in Columbus, we’re really missing a really critical part when we talk about economic development. And the more that I got involved, I really thought that was a perspective that I could bring to council and that ultimately led led to me wanting to be part of the body and that’s, you know, really, I think, is one of the things that I bring to the body itself is really when we talk about economic development when we talk about He’s kind of big issues facing, it’s really about what does this mean for workers in Columbus? Because when we think about the growth, you know, I’m gonna just do just fine. You know, I’m an attorney, my wife’s has a PhD, you know, one of the things that we talked about the growth of the city, you know, the folks that either, you know, say, coming to Ohio State and stay, folks that are attracted here by some of our large anchor employers, you know, they’re going to be okay. You know, they’re, you know, that’s been a lot of the growth of our of our of Columbus, but oftentimes is overlooked in that situation, or the residents that either have been here for a very long time and have not shared in their economic prosperity, or folks that are coming here from somewhere else. Whether or not it’s interstate migration coming from the Cleveland’s the Akron is the Youngstown, etc, or our new American population that are coming in from overseas. And those are the folks from my vantage point that I really when we think about how do we support workers to make sure that more people in Columbus are making a living wage and have healthcare and retirement benefits, the supportive family that fundamentally sort of really imparts my view of everything that we try and do at Council?

Tim Fulton  06:02

Okay. Talk me through what some of the issues you believe Columbus faces and how you as a council member would like to address them?

Rob Dorans  06:10

Yeah, I mean, so the issue and there’s, you know, 10 different sub issues based based upon this, but like its growth, right. Okay. I think everything that we see whether or not the conversation on housing, whether it’s a conversation on transit, whether it’s a conversation on workforce development that I’m super passionate about, it is all connected back to growth, right. So, you know, many cities would love to have the challenges that Columbus has because of that growth, right? But there’s still challenges, right? So when we think about how do you actually, you know, get to the point in which our job creation numbers are actually matching our housing production numbers. Right now, we added about 15,000 jobs in the city last year, we added less than I think, six or 7000, new housing units overall, keeping pace with ones that are coming offline, you know, that equation is not sustainable. And that makes, you know, this is not more complicated, that simple supply and demand economics, right? We have a lot of demand. We don’t have enough supply, which means prices raise for everything. So when we talk about like, what is it the biggest challenge that Columbus is facing is really that that growth? And again, it’s an opportunity at the same time, because again, we’re not facing tough decisions, like, say, cities like Youngstown or other that are saying, well, how do we contract in a smart way? We want to say how do we grow in a much smarter way. And you know, one of the things that I’m working on very closely right now is the rewrite of our zoning code. So I’m the zoning chair at Council. I’ve been in that role for about two years now. And one of the things that comes with that is that you want to you want to go to sleep, you want you have an insomnia, you want to make sure you have a good nap, come down the Council on a Monday night 630 Every week, because we’ll have about 10 to 30, rezonings and variances and people may roll their eyes and say why the hell is he talking about this right now? Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s because our zoning code is over seven years old. Think about how much the city has changed in seven years. Yet our land use recommendations are incredibly outdated. When we think about the transit infrastructure that we want to support, more multimodal more bus rapid transit, that’s not imparted in a code that was written 70 years ago, right? So one of the things that when when I look at how do we sort of tackle from my seat at Council, ways to again, grow more smartly, it really comes back to that zoning code for me. And, you know, that is things like making sure that we have the opportunity to do more mixed use by right, more individual to grow in a more dense way. In a city one, one of the challenges that we have as a city is that we’re so spread out, we think about, you know, challenges that say Coda has been able to serve as a city that’s 220 square miles with high frequency Rapid Transit, that’s really difficult in a city that is so spread out and lacks significant density. So one of the things that we’re looking at from a code rewrite standpoint is how do we encourage more appropriate density in more places, right? We’ve got great examples of legacy density within the city. And most folks, when we think about density, they’re thinking about these 1015 storey towers in the short north of downtown. Yeah, that’s part of it. But also means like, where I used to live on Stewart Avenue in German village persons area where I lived on row house, right, it was six units on a parcel that could have been to single family houses, but it was built in like the 1940s in which that kind of density was accepted, and again, was an awesome place to sort of move into when I first came to Columbus. It’s things like duplexes, things like row houses, things like triplexes that actually helped to chip away at that supply and demand issue. And right now, again, getting back to you fallen asleep at 630. On a Monday and at Council, we have the most basic things that are coming through need a rezoning need a variance because our maps are so outdated and Why is that important? Right? Well, why why is it important is that that adds, generally anywhere between six and 12 months to any process for any new development to see whether or not that’s the Job Center, whether or not that’s housing, whether or not that’s, again, sort of adapting to new transit options within an area. And for me anyways, adding that six to 1218 months, and sometimes even longer, depending how complex the project is, just make sure that when we are having these challenges related growth, we’re falling further and further behind. Right. So we’re not meeting that that demand that is sort of out there, whether or not it’s from an economic development perspective, or just simply from a housing perspective. So for me, you know, that’s one thing at Council right now that it was taking up a lot of my time, not only demand and sort of the day to day value of these things that are coming in, because we have a lot of them because of the growth of the city. Yeah, but also really trying to work with the Department of Buildings, zoning and services, as they sort of rolled this process out to engage residents to really understand what does this mean? Because, again, when we talk about land use, we’re talking about what is someone’s physical neighborhood look like? And change is scary. It’s part of the human condition, right? Everyone? For the most part, many folks would rather have their neighborhood their city look exactly the way it does today, and 25 years from now? Well, unfortunately, that’s impossible. Whether or not we’re talking about growth in Columbus or contraction in other areas of Ohio or the Midwest. So really, the question is, like, if we’re going to grow, how are we going to do that in a much smarter way? And for me, anyways, that really goes back to reevaluating how we do this process as it relates to land use policy,

Tim Fulton  11:36

what’s the timeline for implementing a new zoning code?

Rob Dorans  11:40

So the first step is started and we’re focusing on the corridors. So quarter, think of it as main streets and Columbus, right? Obviously, one is going to be high street. But there are over 60 of these corridors that we’ve identified across the Columbus. So these are basically again, the main streets for these areas, these are places that already have some baby more density than than other areas, but there are areas that we know are going to grow based upon where they’re at in the city, access to transit. And again, those areas have been identified. So we’re saying to the committee, we’re gonna start here, because we know that growth is going to come here. Let’s do this first, and sort of really think through what what do we want to see from zoning districts that encourage more mixed use? What do we mean when one simple thing to think about right now is that for the most part of the city, if you want to build something over 35 feet, you have to come down the council good variance, anything over 35 feet? Okay, so think about high street right here, right? outside our window, think about how many things are above 35 feet on High Street. Yeah, if you wanted to build something 40 feet, you just slapped probably six to 12 months on your development process. So the first step of this is really evaluating where we’re in these quarters, what what makes sense for us to do, and the thing I want to encourage folks is that, you know, to get involved with the zoning initiative, this is what we’re calling this big campaign, really to engage the residents around this, this idea, because there’s not a single solution for the entire city, right? There’s gonna be a different appropriate height limit, say and Clintonville versus on the south side. So we really want to think about how does this, you know, impact sort of existing neighborhoods right now, because there’s gonna be some areas that can support more density, given the transit infrastructure, given parking that’s already there, given what’s already been developed. So the goal for us really to bring legislation forward to addressing this is probably end of this year, early next year. Okay. But that also, the reason that we’re not just doing this tomorrow is that we really do want to hear from residents. Yeah, yeah, we’ve had a number of

Tim Fulton  13:37

guys have been doing community meetings and inviting folks out. Yeah.

Rob Dorans  13:41

And we’re also trying to get beyond sort of the standard come down to, you know, the Rebbe Avenue center and hear us talking at you, right. You know, we’re really trying to do some interesting things around going to groups that have not been normally thinking about land use as as something that’s important to their community. I mean, this goes all the way back to the first round of events we had was a exhibit called undesigned, the red line in which this was a national exhibit that came to Columbus that also demonstrated here in Columbus, what are the legacies of redlining? If folks aren’t familiar with redlining, this was a policy back in the 1900s, in which banks basically said, Hey, these areas of the city are not good investments for us, because of who lives there is that incredibly racist and classist origins? But really thinking about because we’re talking about a code that is seven years old, may have the legacies from those land use decisions still impart themselves in our code today? So we’re not just trying to say like, Hey, come here, we’re going to talk to you about why building a duplex makes more sense from a housing standpoint than maybe a single family house on this plot. It’s, hey, let’s understand, like how we got here. And let’s also think about it as a community as far as like, what do we value? You know, I always tell folks that I want my son to be able to have like if he chooses and and his mom wants him to do this, but like, for him to like live in the same neighborhood he grew up and if he wants to, yeah, but like, we’re not going to be able to do that unless we change the way things are happening right now.

Tim Fulton  15:00

pivoting a little bit. Talk a little bit about your perspective, especially as a current council member currently just literally at large, how you feel about the new district system that we’re going into,

Rob Dorans  15:12

you know, I think one of the positives for me anyways, is that, you know, folks are gonna continue to survey large, and folks will still have a voice with everyone that’s serving on council. So one of the things that I think having grown up near Toledo, having watched sort of War politics in other parts of the country, you know, unfortunately, sometimes it turns into these sort of fiefdoms in which I’m going to fight you for resurfacing dollars, because I gotta bring pork back to my work or somewhere else. It doesn’t necessarily set up a situation in which everyone’s trying to be collaborative about what is best for the city overall, you know, we’re talking about zoning. Right. You know, we’ve got controversial zonings that come through. Yeah, you know, sometimes the the areas that those that rezone variances in sometimes folks really don’t feel like it’s, you know, that they want to be supportive, but for whatever reason, but there are places in Ohio and across the country where like, you know, the the ward rep is the one who decides whether or not that kind of thing happens or doesn’t happen with a neighborhood. And, frankly, for a city that has grown as much as we’re growing, having a city wide perspective of what is best for the community, I think is needed. I think giving folks the options to certainly, again, if they don’t like what someone’s doing, you can’t just ignore them, right? I get emails and calls from people across the city at all times. And I have not like, well, you’re not a district three residents. Yeah, I don’t care what you got to say. So I think that that’s some of the positives. I think one of the negatives that we’ve seen right now is that there’s a lot of confusion about what this system is. Yeah. I think anytime you try something new, there’s gonna be confusion. Yeah, I’m sort of interested whether or not two or three cycles from now whether or not people get it? Yeah, I tend to think like, it’s one of those see, feel and touches kind of thing. Like once folks go through the process a couple of times whether or not it’s the candidates themselves, whether or not it’s the residents showing up to vote at a primary and a general election and seeing how this works. I tend to believe it’s going to be a little more accessible for folks. But you know, there’s positive and negatives with any any kind of council structure. Do

Tim Fulton  17:16

you believe that? And this is a bit of a departure from the other conversations I’ve been having? Do you believe that constituent services may look different with this new system? Or even the legislation that like who’s asked to endorse a variance or something like that? Do you think that that’ll change? Or do you think it’ll continue to be just sort of literally at learn? Yeah, no,

Rob Dorans  17:39

I mean, I think it will. And I think that that is certainly one of the positives. And one of the things I hear from residents from time to time is that hey, I x issue. I don’t know which committee this is. Yeah. So take for take for a very like literal example, Pablo, right? The average person walking down the street, do they know that the Department of Public Service is the one that handles street improvements in the city of Columbus? Probably not, right? Because there’s not like department of potholes, right? Right. So for them, they’re like, they’re not going to look up the council register and say, Oh, Councilmember broasted. APD is the chair of public service, I should talk to her about this pothole that’s asking a lot of a resident. And sometimes what I hear from folks is that, because there’s no, you know, sort of residency requirement, there’s nothing that currently has existed, they didn’t really know where to go. And I’ve, you know, there are folks that will contact me because they know me or know someone who knows me and that kind of thing. So I think one of the things that I’m hopeful about with a, you know, resident district system is that folks will say, I don’t know where the hell to go with my problem. But I know Rob Dorrans is my rep in district three. So I’m gonna go ask him and whether or not he can solve my problem or point me to another person or department. We’ll start there. Because I also, like, once folks, like, say, I have I have X problem, and I don’t know who to go to resolve it. We’re asking a lot of them, then say, Do this, do this, do this, do this, and then do this. And then And then someone to get back to you. I think from that standpoint of constituent services, we should be trying to make this as easy as accessible as possible for folks. And I do think this is going to be a natural occurrence from from this system in which people just say like, it again, I don’t know who’s who I need to talk to you. But I know, you know, Rob Dorrans is district three, and I’m gonna start with him.

Tim Fulton  19:23

Give us the pitch. I have to jokingly admit you’re running unopposed here. But what why should folks elect you to counsel or reelect you to counsel rather? And what’s the value proposition you’re bringing?

Rob Dorans  19:37

Yeah, so again, you know, my focus has been on council is what are we doing for working families in Columbus, and that has done a lot of you know, I’ve tried to do a lot of different things in my four plus years on council addressing that, you know, we pass one of the strongest wage theft ordinances in the country, meaning that if you steal from your workers, you don’t pay him overtime you don’t pay him prevailing wage. You don’t you know, pay him You know, you shortchange him and tell him to show up 30 minutes early and don’t pay him for it. And you’re caught doing that you can’t do business with the city, Columbus, you can’t receive a tax incentive. You can’t hire someone in your city contract to do those, those kinds of things for you. That’s one of the strongest laws in the country, basically, for us to say, for a city that has a billion dollar operating budget, and also a billion dollar capital budget, that if you steal from working families, we’re not going to do business with you. I think that has sent a pretty strong message to businesses in Columbus to do things the right way, and also to say to businesses that, again, are treating their workers fairly, we don’t want you to be, you know, competing against folks and sending contracts that are screwing workers, right. You know, we passed legislation establishing the community benefit Advisory Committee, this is a committee that evaluates all city projects over $5 million, to say whether or not we should do a community benefit agreement, a CBA, which requires local workers to be hired local union workers to be hired folks that are paid a living wage, folks that are in apprenticeship programs, training programs, so that they’ve got a real career. In the trades. When we look about growth industries in Columbus, there’s, you know, construction happening left and right. That is one of three particular career pathways that we’re pretty focused on at the city right now to get more people into those those pathways to make sure it’s a long term ability for them to provide for their families. So that’s something I’m really proud and have, you know, been fortunate enough to work on. And then you know, there’s the the variety of the day to day stuff when we talk about making sure that infrastructure is matching our growth right now. You know, I chaired the Public Utilities committee at Columbus, and one of the least sexy things you’ll ever hear a politician talk about is water and sewer. But when we talk about it has a lot to do with growth. 100%. Right. So I mean, there are portions of Columbus right now that you cannot add a lot more housing, you cannot do a lot more jobs there. Because our water and sewer capacity isn’t there right now. And I think having folks to really think about making sure we’re marrying the zoning policies, we’re saying we want to encourage development here. But do we have the infrastructure to match it? You know, I’m someone that’s trying to ask that question on a constant basis within the city to make sure that we’re set up for success. So they can’t we don’t say, Well, you know, we could use 150 more housing units here, but we just can’t do it, because we didn’t think about this from a capital budget standpoint. You know, those are the kinds of things that, you know, I’ve been really trying to focus on those kinds of details during my four plus years on council. And then finally, I mean, the last thing is that, you know, talking about my pathway here, you know, I genuinely believe that, you know, establishing sort of a career pathway for individuals in Columbus, particularly folks that don’t have a college degree or have some some training beyond high school, but maybe not, you know, an associate’s or account, that is something that the city really needs to double down on it, particularly with our partners at the county and other nonprofit partners. Because we look about the the growth, we don’t want that growth to leave behind residents that don’t have the educational credentials to, to take advantage of it. Right. So one things that I’ve done for the Workforce Development Committee is start to invest hundreds of 1000s of dollars in the annual basis into programs that are for Columbus residents, that oftentimes the county is able to fund these programs as well. But they’re, they’re restricted to families that are TANF eligible. So these are TANF is temporary assistance for needy families. This is what many folks think of like a version of welfare. But what that means is that those programs are restricted for many folks that are some of the poorest residents, which is great, the county has those resources from the state to do that. But what does that also mean? That means that the working poor in Columbus can’t get access to those programs, meaning that they’re stuck. So we’re going to give folks rightfully so an opportunity to get a credential move up in their career, but we’re gonna say for this other segment of folks that don’t have the resource to take time off to go to school, they don’t have the resources to, you know, do all these things to define that career pathway, you’re just stuck, you know, you’re gonna be in that 14 $50 hour job in perpetuity, and good luck. And, you know, we’re all talking about the rising prices of housing and transportation, etc. That that is not a good way for us to say to a residency, you’re gonna get left out of this progress, right. So we have invested again, hundreds of 1000s of dollars will have taken over this committee to identify existing programs that are doing things really well. And say we’re going to open them up to non TANF eligible families and individuals to give them a career pathway. And oftentimes, these are two three months credentialing programs, whether or not they’re in IT, health care, or construction may say, if you’re willing to invest the time and effort in yourself, the city is going to invest money to make sure that you have that option. And you know, there’s one thing that I always get yelled at. So like we should talk about jobs, jobs, jobs, and I hate that like I love talking about careers, because a job is something that is Here today, gone tomorrow. You don’t know what that really means. And a career, something that really comes with not only a living wage, but health care and retirement, but also a pathway. And that’s what we’ve really tried to focus on with these programs, is finding places that again, Giving someone that one to three month credential, workforce credential that exist out there that says, there’s a need in this industry for folks. And we’ve seen incredible progress. You know, one of the, we sort of take a look at the data every year after these programs, we go through and say, we’re seeing, in some cases, 20 to 24%, increases in earning potential for some of these folks. So you’re talking about folks from going, you know, 13, to $15 an hour to folks in the 20s, right, and think about what that means for family, no matter where they’re at in Columbus, you know, that opens up their ability to provide better stability for their family, to provide better housing stability, provide better transit, stability, all these things that we know makes a family more successful. And that’s so those are the things that I have focused on at Council, those are things that I’m going to be focusing on council until the day they’re, you know, I quit doing this, or the voters kick me out doesn’t matter. These are the things that I think from my vantage point, I bring the background and perspective necessary. And things that I think are really, really important to seeing Columbus grow in a more equitable way, again, the college graduates, the lawyers, the doctors, all those things are great. And we need those folks because of the growth industries that exist here. But again, those folks that we find, what we really need to do from a standpoint of workforce development is really double down our efforts to make sure that folks that don’t have that kind of stability right now, get it and get it through a career, because that is something that is going to sustain that family for decades to come. versus, you know, hey, we’ve got to emergency rental assistance dollars for you today. Well, we may not have that tomorrow, or next year. So really getting them in into a pathway that supports them long term is something that is a real real focus of mine that no matter how long I do, this is going to remain to be one of my key focuses.

Tim Fulton  26:48

And every interview with asking, what is Columbus doing? Well, and what is Columbus doing? Not so well?

Rob Dorans  26:57

Yeah, so I’ll just rehash some nurses already. I mean, I think one of the things that Columbus does well, is that it is an incredibly welcoming community. I mean, I again, it’s been time here as a kid going to co-signer the zoo. And so when I moved here in 22,009, you know, within a short amount of time, you know, there were civic organizations, other things that welcomed me with open arms to say, Hey, you want to be an active member of the community? Come on in, you know, there’s not legacy institutions saying you need to be from this family or from this type type of background in order to have a voice. I mean, that’s one of the things that I see at Council all the time is that folks bring us a good idea who are not involved in city government at all, we’re not even involved in politics or anything like this, you know, a very small level, it could be a really quick example, we had some folks recently that I’m a dad of a toddler, these are folks that it’s called the dad as podcasts, they, they really focused around like sort of young family issues. And they wanted to make sure that we’re more baby changing stations, and particularly men’s rooms, and gender neutral bathrooms to make sure that, again, no matter whether it’s Mom, Dad, that they can take care of their little one. Yeah. And we went from folks that Lily had never been to a city council meeting at all to like, a few months later, we’ve got a grant program to get over 100 of these all across the city to make Columbus more welcoming place for families. So like, that’s one of the you know, it’s a really small example, but just said, Hey, I want to make Columbus better. Here’s the thing that I care about. Is there anyone else that can help me? And like, yeah, that’s, that’s a great idea.

Tim Fulton  28:26

That’s tangible. Yeah, right. Yeah.

Rob Dorans  28:28

Right. So you know, I think that’s something that when I think about bringing folks to Columbus, you know, people that move here, I’m like, Well, what are the things you care about? And they’ll name two or three different things like, well, here’s two or three different organizations or groups that you may want to connect with. And you know, especially as like adults, it’s, Hey, this isn’t, it’s not the easiest thing to make friends as an adult, or put yourself in a unique situation. And more often times than not, they’re like, oh, yeah, that was super cool. And now I get to work on this thing and met all these cool people and do all these interesting things. And I think that welcoming spirit of Columbus is one of the things that that I love,

Tim Fulton  29:01

love about this city. And so what is it not doing so? Well?

Rob Dorans  29:06

I think the one of the issues and I think this is highlighted by the pandemic, I think there’s really put the spotlight on we at times don’t have what I like to refer to as the warm handoffs as clearly established in sort of our whether it’s human services, infrastructure, civic infrastructure, or otherwise, right. So think through like, particularly during the pandemic, we had folks that needed access to emergency rental assistance, so they would go to one of our community nonprofits. Fortunately, we’re able to stabilize a lot of folks housing situation in those ways. But also the next question is, do you need access to workforce development program? Yeah. Have you been involved in the criminal justice system before? Do we have a you have a conviction or a or a charge that you that you’re eligible to have that seal that can improve your ability to go to work and have a meaningful career? And I think when I think about folks like the human services chamber and other groups Are people really trying very hard to create that sort of internal infrastructure to support some of our residents that don’t have it. But I think the pandemic really highlighted some gaps, particularly in government, and the service sector in order to be better at that. And there’s, there’s never going to be any time in which we say we pat ourselves on the back and say, like, from birth to, you know, from birth to grave, we got everything right for our residents is particularly that they need these kinds of supports. But I think we’re getting better at it. We I think this is one area that we constantly have to be asking the question, are we making sure that when folks need help in our community, that there’s we’re not only dressing the need that they’ve walked in? Who’s ever door dress, but then we’re saying, well, actually, you can also get this over here, too, that’s going to make sure that your housing is more stable, or actually over here as well, this will help make your your transit more stable. Oh, by the way, over here, there’s a incredible growth in the construction industry. Do you know about an apprenticeship program in the in the union in Union trades? Like those are the kinds of things when we think about the different spokes on the wheel, that oftentimes when I have some of these conversation, we know those spokes exist. And, again, folks like the human service chamber, and I think the city is trying to do this county is trying to do this. So how do we just get ourselves into a place in which this is seamless? And when you’re talking about different layers of bureaucracy, different layers like that can sometimes be a real challenge. And that’s something that for me anyways, I’m constantly challenging, you know, our staff at council have knocked down the barriers, figure out the way in which like, we don’t need to means test everything. We don’t need to have the perfect solution. What can we do right now, that fixes the little bit of this gap between getting a person from point A to point B, and once they’re at point B, they’re in a better place for their family, and they’re a better place to be a productive member of Columbus community.

Tim Fulton  31:51

Great. Rob, thanks for your time.

Rob Dorans  31:53

Thanks, Tim. Appreciate

Tim Fulton  32:03

thanks for listening to the confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. Again, you can get more information on what we discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast.com. Please rate, subscribe, share this episode of The confluence cast with your friends, family, contacts, enemies, your favorite workforce developer. If you’re interested in sponsoring the confluence cast, get in touch with us. We can be reached by email at info at the confluence cast.com Our theme music was composed by Benji Robinson. Our producer is Philip Cogley. I’m your host, Tim Fulton. Have a great week.