October 24, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain County Urban League CEO leaving

George H. Lambert Jr., right, president/CEO of Lorain County Urban League speaks in  May 2012 when the agency opened its new offices at 1530 W. River Road. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

George H. Lambert Jr., right, president/CEO of Lorain County Urban League speaks in May 2012 when the agency opened its new offices at 1530 W. River Road. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

The Urban League of Lorain County’s CEO and president is leaving.

George Lambert Jr. will take a job with the Greater Washington Urban League in Washington, D.C. Lambert, who took over in Lorain County in 2011, previously was CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League in Alexandria, Va., and grew up in the Washington, D.C., area.

Lambert last week praised his staff, the Urban League Board of Directors and the league’s volunteers. Lambert said he was ambivalent about leaving Lorain County.

However, Lambert said the chance to give back to the community he grew up in was too good to pass up. “These opportunities don’t come along often so that’s why I’m elated,” he said.

Lambert said he was proud of establishing a satellite league office at the Greater Victory Christian Ministries, 559 Reid Ave., Lorain, moving the league’s main headquarters in Elyria from Broad Street to a more modern office in the First Merit building, 1530 West River Road, and increasing the group’s annual budget from about $700,000 to $1.3 million.

The nonprofit group, which has a staff of about 18 people, primarily serves Elyria, Lorain and Oberlin and focuses on helping minorities and poor people. Services include education, housing assistance and workforce development.

Lambert said local businesses have been very supportive to the league including helping pay for about 45 high school students to tour prospective colleges. The tours helped students decide where to attend college and made them more aware of opportunities.

Joe Faga, chairman of the board of directors, said the board is working with the national Urban League to find a successor to Lambert. The last search took about six months.

Faga said Lambert improved the group’s image and morale and helped the group obtain a $780,000 grant from the national Urban League for the group’s Youth Empowerment Program.

The program helps at-risk youths and young adults find jobs. “Under his leadership, our service organization enjoyed tremendous growth,” Faga said.

Lambert, who begins his new job in January, said he’s enjoyed his time in Lorain County. “It’s just been a great opportunity,” he said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.


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