COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Over the years local service organizations have been working to improve the quality of life for people living in the South Side of Columbus. That includes the South Side Thrive Collaborative, which aims to connect people to healthcare, food services, transportation and jobs.

Local companies are still struggling to find workers, so the South Side Thrive Collaborative gathered employers in the area Thursday to show that many South Side residents are skilled and ready to work.

“The South Side has a tremendous need. Unfortunately 60% of our neighbors are living in the poverty level and yet we have many great programs and organizations providing important services. So this is really the opportunity to bring all of those pieces together,” said South Side Collaborative Director Sarah Lenkay.

On Thursday, the South Side employers talked about the needs of their businesses and shared how they think South Side organizations can better help residents get good jobs.

Most of the employers are not looking for people with a college degree, they just need to be willing to work.

“A lot of the employers reemphasized the overall need for soft skills. People who are willing to show up to work, do what’s ahead of them in the day, work well with others, communicate, all of those everyday skills,” Lenkay said.

South Side business owner John Petro said he always tries to support people in the South Side because it helps the workers, his business and the community in general.

“There are a lot of people on the South Side that are ready, willing and able to work and are great team members. I would encourage other employers on the South Side and in other parts of the community to understand and be available and be willing to hire the folks looking for jobs down here,” Petro said.

Learn more about the South Side Thrive Collaborative and the work they do here.