The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has announced that Collabor8, an innovative partnership between seven northeast Ohio county departments of job and family services, has won an achievement award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). Collabor8 allows Ohioans in any of the seven counties — Delaware, Hancock, Knox, Marion, Morrow, Sandusky and Wood — to call one toll-free number to apply for cash, food and medical assistance.
"Collabor8 reduces the number of trips people have to make to their county agencies, makes it easier for them to speak to a caseworker and apply for services, and reduces the administrative workload for the county agencies, said ODJFS Director Michael Colbert. "It's a win-win for all involved and proof that, with a little innovation and creativity, it's possible to both improve customer service and save money. The counties and caseworkers involved should be very proud of this achievement.
NACo named Collabor8 one of 16 "Best of Category winners in its "Human Services category. All winners were honored at an awards ceremony July 15 in Pittsburgh.
"This… recognition program was initiated to highlight the most outstanding county model programs in the country, said NACo Executive Director Larry Naake. "The counties in your state should be proud of (their) work.
The Collabor8 virtual call center went live in early 2012. It is one of several modernization initiatives being undertaken by county departments of job and family services to pool their resources, benefit from economies of scale, and identify new and better ways of doing businesses.