Marcus Harris, a native of Sandusky, Ohio, is the Diversity and Economic Opportunity Manager for the City of Sandusky. He attended the University of Michigan from ’97-‘01. After leaving college in Ann Arbor, Marcus spent time working in Detroit, MI and Atlanta, GA. After returning to Ohio to complete his bachelor degree at Bowling Green State University (c/o ’09), he spent 10 years honing his leadership, talent development and community engagement skills as a store manager for Starbucks Coffee Company all across the NE Ohio market. Each stop along that journey he created region wide volunteer and community engagement opportunities for Starbucks employees to have a deeper involvement with the communities they did business in.
After leaving Starbucks, Marcus joined the youth workforce development nonprofit Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) in Cleveland, OH. His work there encompassed managing their volunteer base through creating meaningful, engaging volunteer opportunities that bridged the gap between large corporations in Cleveland and underserved minority communities, designing and facilitating Y.O.U.’s credential training program for 18-24 year old young adults in Cuyahoga county. Offering credentials in customer service, STNA, IT, and construction. His last assignment with Y.O.U. was managing the Young Adult Resource Center(YRC) for Ohio Means Jobs Cleveland-Cuyahoga County(OMJCC), which is a nexus point for youth and young adults to help navigate the complex network of social service organizations in Cuyahoga county, get enrolled in the state of Ohio’s Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program(CCMEP), and receive GED assistance, help on building their job readiness skills, and access to technology.
In September of 2021 Marcus made the decision to bring his talents and skills gained in the nonprofit and private sector to his hometown by joining the City of Sandusky’s team as the Diversity and Economic Opportunity Manager. His duties include overseeing a citywide committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, developing a strategic plan for the City, and manage the implementation of the plan. Recruiting a diverse pool of applicants and developing programs and initiatives related to creating a pipeline of applicants for city positions (full-time, part-time, seasonal, internship) that are representative as to race, gender, sexual orientation. Working to create pathways to employment for local residents through regional workforce sector partnerships. Developing programs to ensure existing city employees are trained to succeed, and be supportive employees of a representative workplace. Providing mentorship to employees, and continue to nurture diverse employees so they are positioned for success and growth in their careers. Lastly, to formalize relationships with local educational institutions to identify potential pipeline of applicants for city positions and career opportunities.