KnoxWorks: Connecting Neighbors

Connecting Neighbors is part of the KnoxWorks logo. We refer to the people we work with through TouchPointe/KnoxWorks as Neighbors because we are about developing relationships and relationships are made with neighbors!  Connecting neighbors with potential employers is what KnoxWorks does best.


KnoxWorks is the employment component of TouchPointe and is adapted from the Cincinnati Works model. Financial support to launch KnoxWorks in the spring of 2017 came from the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County and the Ariel Foundation. A group of Knox County community leaders spent over two years studying the Cincinnati Works model before deciding to adapt the program to meet the needs of our local employers and community.

Jill’s KnoxWorks Story

KnoxWorks for the Employer:

Employees at a warehouseThe goal of KnoxWorks is to help local employers who need entry level employees and to help Neighbors gain self-sufficiency by getting off public assistance; or having some type of criminal record; or who may be coming out of addiction recovery. KnoxWorks will pre-screen the potential employee and only “Willing and Capable candidates will be considered for the program. All Neighbors go through a one week training that includes how to get a job as well as how to keep the job.

KnoxWorks provides an “Ally” for each Neighbor. The Ally will help identify and assist in removing “barriers” that would hinder success on the job such as transportation, child care, or other.  KnoxWorks will provide “Just in Time coaching to help with any issues arising in the workplace after being hired.

A KnoxWorks representative will be glad to come to your workplace and discuss the benefits of the program for the employer as well as for the potential employee and ultimately the benefit to the community when people become employed.

KnoxWorks will do this for local employers AT NO COST.  It becomes a win-win for all!

KnoxWorks for the potential Employee:

Employee mechanicNeighbors who have a less than perfect work record; or may be experiencing situational or generational poverty; or may be coming from jail/prison; or may be coming from an addiction rehabilitation program, may need help overcoming some barriers to becoming successfully employed. KnoxWorks can provide assistance in obtaining employment. KnoxWorks representatives work closely with local employers as well as with local agencies and the Knox County court system to help Neighbors become successfully employed. Support from TouchPointe/KnoxWorks reps will be there throughout the whole process of getting a job and after employment. Should an issue arise at work with a supervisor or other employee, we will be there to mediate the situation if needed. We work closely with the employee throughout the first 12-18 months of employment. Our goal is to not only see Neighbors become successfully employed, but to assist them in the future to attain their higher goals which may lead to better paying jobs or further education.

Referrals come from a variety of agencies, courts, and churches. These referrals, as well as self-referrals, are accepted for an interview by KnoxWorks personnel to help determine Willing and Capable.”  If KnoxWorks cannot be the answer in the beginning because of major personal barriers, referrals will be made to other agencies to get necessary services for the Neighbor!

For additional information regarding KnoxWorks, contact:
740-485-0951 or e-mail

Ron Cochran

Ron CochranRon graduated from OSU in 1970 with a BS in Civil Engineering and spent his whole career in the construction industry. He retired from Kokosing Construction Company in 2014 after 37 years of service there. Ron is married to Viki Cochran, and they have two married children and 10 grandchildren. He is a member at NewLife Community Church in Fredericktown where he shares in the teaching of the Adult Bible Fellowship class. Ron has been actively involved in the ministry of church planting and the training of pastors in Russia and the former Soviet bloc countries since 1993. His role with TouchPointe is Workforce Development Coordinator with the KnoxWorks program. He makes personal contact with potential “Core Employers.” These are employers who understand the philosophy of KnoxWorks and are willing to hire KW graduates.

Advisory Board

The following leaders serve as an Advisory Board to KnoxWorks:

Dan Humphrey – Executive Director, KnoxWorks and TouchPointe

Jeffry Harris – President, Knox County Area Development Foundation

Carol Grubaugh – Director, Knox County Chamber of Commerce

Mitch Durbin – Vice President, Ver-Mac Industries

Diana Williams – Director, Opportunity Knox – JFS

George Small – Formerly owner of Noble Properties

Ron Cochran – TouchPointe Volunteer and retired Kokosing Construction engineer

Dave Humphrey – Business Consultant, Dennis/McDaniel CPA

Joel Carter – Probation Officer, Knox County Municipal Court

Lisa Lloyd – Asst. Director, Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County

Tim Elder – Formerly, Community Employment, New Hope Industries

Bethany Celmar – HR Director, Burch Hydro

Amy Hudson – TouchPointe Board member

Meets at the Life Center, 120 S. Norton St.