Press Releases

Eleven local organizations join the first Next Level DEIA cohort

July 28th, 2022

The business world recognizes that diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) are equally good business practices and the right thing to do. While many larger companies have made significant investments to implement effective DEIA strategies the cost and expertise required are often not feasible for many small – mid-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

To directly address this need, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio partnered to launch Next Level DEIA, an accelerator program for small to mid-sized business leaders to design and implement a customized DEIA strategy for their business. Dr. Ted Sun of Transcontinental University is the delivery partner for this effort. Dr. Sun serves as a strategic partner in program design and facilitation. 

The following businesses have been selected to participate in the first cohort. 

A Plus Staffing Solutions

Central Ohio Primary Care

Singleton Construction

Portfolio Creative

Quality Supply Chain Co-op, Inc.

Empower Our Youth Foundation


Dublin Arts Council

Jewish Family Services

Mid-Ohio Food Collective

The program launched on July 15, 2022 with a unique high tea time experience with Posh Tea Time Co at Venture Suite, both minority-owned businesses. Here’s what program participants are saying about their experience thus far.

“The sessions are engaging and interactive, forcing us to think differently.”

“I love the ability to connect with a diverse group of amazing leaders. I also appreciate the facilitator’s leadership style and approach.” 

“I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just knew our company needed help in the DEIA space. This is the right program to inspire and push us to move the needle and make some change.” 

“The benchmarking assessments gave us insight about the state of DEIA in our organization. Can’t wait to translate this information into a meaningful DEIA Action Plan.”

For more information about the program, please contact.

Sherrice Thomas, VP, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access at The Columbus Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Phone: (614) 496-1143

Opal Brant, Director, Business Solutions, WDBCO
Phone: (614) 559-5062 ext. 408


About The Columbus Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s goal is to connect identified potential pipelines to employers through facilitating connections and events that bring job seekers together with HR professionals and decision-makers within our membership. Our mission is to improve the economic well-being of under-served individuals through enhanced access to workforce development programming and employment opportunities.

About the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio

The Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio (WDBCO) is a Non-Profit Organization that plays a leadership role in regional workforce initiatives. Our mission is to partner with area businesses and community organizations on workforce needs so that people are fully employed at their ability and potential in the thriving Central Ohio economy. WDBCO is also the fiscal agent and strategic leader of the local OhioMeansJobs Columbus-Franklin County Job Center, located at 1111 East Broad Street inside the Jerry Hammond Building.

About Transcontinental University

The Transcontinental University was built, designed, and is led by a group of passionate educators and consultants with experiences from top universities across the world who, after witnessing the constant changes facing the business world, and identifying the opportunities to enhance the relevancy of the educational experience, decided to act. The pandemic is a great example of the countless concepts/theories are no longer work, but are still being taught and applied. We intend to go beyond generic problem solving and empower leaders to prevent problems systemically.