I write today with mixed feelings. This is my last column as director of Hamilton County Job and Family Services. If you don’t know, I will soon join the United Way of Greater Cincinnati as CEO. I am sad to leave JFS, but I look forward to continuing my life’s mission of helping families and children on a more regional scale.
Our new brand focuses on what JFS does best: supporting families and changing lives.
We have a nearly 75-year history of helping Hamilton County families and children. We protect children and the elderly, help families with food, medical or child-care assistance, ensure children receive child support and help the unemployed find jobs.
Our agency has literally changed lives. We don’t want those moments to get lost in the red tape of government. Our brand is not municipal; our brand is about supporting families and changing lives. Our brand is a collection of experiences, touchpoints and people. They all form a bridge, a trusted support system, connecting Hamilton County residents to a better place. Everyone needs help at some point in their lives. We are that help.
We have been known as Job and Family Services for the past 20 years. As we worked with The Katalyst Group to define our role in the community, we discovered most know us as simply “JFS.”
Our new brand mark became “JFS” in different colors:
- Purple to signify quality and wealth – a Hamilton County resident might find a path to improved income through employment and other JFS assistance.
- Blue to represent trust and loyalty – Hamilton County families are in good hands when turning to JFS.
- Yellow represents optimism – Hamilton County children and families get a fresh start after turning to JFS.
These colors also have alternate meanings in the JFS world: purple is the color of elder protection, blue is the color of child protection and yellow represents the “new day” residents receive when being involved in the agency’s myriad of other programs.
The agency’s brand research also found many families whose experience with JFS felt like the agency provided them a bridge to a better place. They talked of the agency being a bridge to other resources.
That speaks to the thousands of employees who have worked at the agency since 1947 and their commitment to helping Hamilton County residents find a better tomorrow. Throughout our nearly 75-year history, many programs provided a helping hand. Many people offered a smile and shoulder to lean on. Many resources were gathered to build that needed bridge. All were done with one goal in mind: supporting families and changing lives.
This re-branding comes as JFS transforms in other ways. More than a year ago, we initiated the rebranding effort along with an organized commitment to improve customer service and a dedicated effort to become a more inclusive, equitable organization, both with employees and customers.
We have built our future on what we call our three pillars: branding, customer service and equity. This is embedded in our organization and will continue long after I leave. We are dedicated to becoming a more welcoming, helpful place for our community’s families and children.
My years at JFS, and time as director, have been an immense pleasure. Thank you for your support.