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The ADVANCE training program helps African American women in Cincinnati achieve career advancement.

ADVANCE, developed by Generation Now, is a 12-week intensive professional development training program for African American women in Metro Cincinnati. Aspiring professional Black females will learn soft skills, leadership development, financial literacy, and life skills.

ADVANCE provides resources to African American women seeking career advancement. Each week presents a new opportunity to gain experience and develop professionally with activities including a mentoring event, a job fair, a speaker series, and other career development opportunities.

Ideal candidates for ADVANCE are professional Black and African American women earning less than $20 per hour and seeking career advancement.

The ADVANCE Leadership Training Program is divided into four sections.

Identify A Suitable Career

  • Resume Preparation
  • Interview Skills
  • Personal Branding
  • Career Planning
  • Finding Your Niche

Thriving in the Workplace

  • Public Speaking
  • Soft Skills
  • Leadership in the Workplace
  • Social Media Marketing

Overcoming Workplace Barriers to Continue to Grow

  • Dealing with Office Bullies
  • Employment Laws
  • Reputation Repair
  • Racial and Gender Differences

Career Advancement Next Steps

  • Networking
  • Allies and Mentors
  • Financial Literacy
  • Community Involvement

ADVANCE Leadership Training Program Registration

Sponsors include the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, United Way, Ebony J Media, ECDI Women’s Business Center, Black Career Women Network, BOLD Career Consulting, and The Vision Funnel.

ADVANCE Leadership Training Program Metrics

  • Network connections made
  • Job opportunities
  • Promotion due to skills advancement and enhancement
  • Creating a woman-of-color ecosystem to empower Black women and support Black communities.

ADVANCE Leadership Training Program Benefits

  • All women attending the program will get a membership to Generation NOW, The Memo, and Black Career Women’s Network to continue the partnership to strengthen their development.
  • Black Achiever membership
  • Access to employment through job fairs
  • Opportunities to connect with other women of color

Related Article: Find Great Jobs in Cincinnati

About the ADVANCE Program Instructor

Nichole Sims | Advance

Nichole Sims is the owner of Bold Career Consulting. Nichole Sims brings 22 years of corporate recruiting experience and six years of teaching at the collegiate level. She will draw on those experiences to develop a customized, interactive course.

Spending 27 years with an industry leader, she has experienced many challenges and triumphs in her career. A Black woman, she relates to and empathizes with her audience, which enables her to provide real, implementable lessons and solutions.

Additional instructors are as follows:

Advance instructors

Related Article: Nail your post-leadership training interview with top interview points.

About the ADVANCE Program Founder

Renika J. Smiley, ADVANCE

Renika J. Smiley is the founder of Generation NOW Cincinnati Network. Her mission was to launch Generation NOW to host professional development events for diverse and underrepresented young professionals.

Renika was a child of the working class herself. She and her brother were raised by a single Black mother who held three degrees. Renika’s father died from kidney failure when she was 15 years old. Renika is one of eight children of her father and the second child of her mother.

After living in poverty with everyone in the house working to make the rent every month, Renika was passionate about developing a workforce division of Generation NOW to lift other young professionals to achieve economic mobility.


Despite all the resources available to help workers overcome the poverty barrier, the Cincinnati workforce still has economic mobility issues. Fixing the poverty issue in Cincinnati should begin by providing more resources to African American women.

Poverty affects African American women in Cincinnati at a high rate. Most African American women in the Cincinnati region struggling to overcome poverty are single mothers who hold higher education degrees but earn less than $15 an hour.

According to the REALIZING THE POTENTIAL OF AN EQUITABLE ECONOMY Centering Black Women’s Upward Mobility in the Cincinnati Region Report, April 2021, of those in Cincinnati with a college degree, Black females are far more likely to earn less than $15 an hour (32 percent) when compared to White females/males and Black males (an average of 11 percent)

% of employed individuals making less that $15 an hour by Educational Attainment, ADVANCE

About Generation NOW

Founded in 2015, Generation Now is a community-based nonprofit with a mission to build and leverage a diverse and inclusive workforce for young professionals and youth in Greater Cincinnati. Made possible through professional development, training, and job placement. Generation Now also creates leadership and mentorship opportunities through networking.

Generation NOW launched the ADVANCE Workforce pilot program to provide resources to African American women. The goal for these women is to break down barriers, debunk stereotypes, and eliminate disparities to achieve upper mobility in Metro Cincinnati.

Related Article: Grow your brand, learn relevant business skills, and propel your career with young professional development programs.

Written by: Crystal Kendrick

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job postings, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

Images provided by ADVANCE

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Written by Sophie Barsan



  1. What am awesome opportunity! I want to clarify the obligation. How many days of week is this?

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