Summer Hall comes from a long line of strong, influential women in the Akron community. Her grandmother, Marian T. Hall was the founder and president of the Summit County Committee for Adequate Welfare and Welfare Rights Organization and was co-founder of the State of Ohio Welfare Rights Organization. She sat on many boards, including the Akron Urban League, Mayor’s Human and Community Relations Commission, and was a past president of the Summit County Human Services Committee. She helped countless citizens who were down on their luck. …

Safety Communications — Communication Technician 1

In 2019, Akron’s Safety Communications workers answered (159,781) 911 calls and 353,762 total calls in the communication center. On average, they answer (25) 911 calls and 40 non-emergency calls per shift for a total of 65 calls per shift. These unsung heroes are Akron’s first responders in the most literal sense. They are the faceless voices of calm and reason who help people through their most difficult moments.

Paula has been one of these voices for over 30 years now. Any time the phone rings it could range from a pocket dial, a stolen…

It might be an understatement to say that things have looked a bit different this year for Akron City Council. From moving their meetings to a virtual format to letting residents phone in their public comments, the COVID-19 outbreak has certainly changed a lot about how legislation gets passed in the coronavirus era. One thing that has not changed is Sara Biviano’s hard work and dedication to her role as Deputy Clerk of Council. Sara is always present, making sure that Council keeps moving smoothly no matter what 2020 throws at us. As an Akron native, Sara’s an Akronite through…

Are you following the City of Akron Recreation and Parks page on Facebook? If so, you’ve already seen the handy-work of Greg Nyburg! And if not, well then quite frankly, you are missing out. Greg is responsible for all of the amazing content on that page in addition to his core job duties. Greg is an Akronite through and through. Born and raised in the City, he’s now proud to engage with his community both through his work as a City employee and in his free time being active within the LGBTQ+ community as a member of the steering committee…

Meeting up with Karen was not easy. It required a long walk in the coldest, snowiest day of this winter season so far. By the time we got inside Pots and Pans I thought my fingers and ears were about to fall off. Karen seemed unphased by the frigid conditions and was smiling ear to ear. She was happy to be having some of her favorite food in one of her favorite Akron locations. Karen has a habit of finding fun and joy even in a task that others might deem onerous, such as meeting up with a Mayor’s office…

Unlike many of the other employees I’ve interviewed, Kim is not a home-grown Akron native. She grew up in upstate New York, has lived in Connecticut and even France for 3 years, which is where her daughter was born. Once she landed in Akron though, she knew this was home, and she plans to be here for the foreseeable future. Lucky for Akron if you ask me. I assumed that it would take a special kind of person to work at the Mayor’s 3–1–1 Call Center and after meeting Kim, I now know I was correct. …

Right after I had asked my first question of the interview (What does your job entail), Tamiyka’s phone began to ring. She apologized for needing to answer but it was an important call from a member of her team. She was discussing a meeting she had scheduled later in the day to sit down with an expectant mother in Akron who she said “the system has failed.” She discussed some of the hardships that this resident had been facing including homelessness, lack of transportation, and lack of employment. At this point, the woman did not trust the entities that were…

Junior at Firestone Community Learning Center

Did you know that there is a Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council (MYLC) here in Akron? MYLC is a youth, civic leadership initiative designed to educate Akron’s youth about their government, community organizations and service-led projects. Participants learn about Akron’s history and social issues, tour City facilities and get a behind-the scenes look at how city government works. MYLC prepares area high school students to become positive role models, and allows them to build character and develop leadership skills through training and youth council meetings. …

Harvey is the type of person who has never met a stranger in his life, only friends he’s yet to make. I first met him as he stepped down out of his loader to greet me with a huge smile on his face. Keep in mind, it was 34 degrees out at the time, but that didn’t seem to bother Harvey one bit. I asked if I could take a few photos of his work before we conducted our interview and he was happy to oblige.

Harvey maneuvered the loader around with ease. It was almost like an extension of…

The word of the day was “lucky.” That’s how Dianne Schall feels to be the supervisor of the Ellet Community Center. It’s also how she feels to be leading her staff, or in her words, her “second family.” What started as seasonal work at a community center has turned into a 20 year career with the City. When you listen to what her second family has to say about her, you’ll understand that luck had nothing to do with it. She’s been described as a “rockstar” and “incredibly nice and kind to everyone.” When it comes to her work and…

Akron Ohio

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