Kucler to head Boys & Girls Clubs’ new workforce development program

Dennis A. Kucler, who has more than 40 years of experience in domestic and international technology sales and marketing, has been named director of workforce development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.

Kucler will direct a new program aimed at creating careers for teens who do not attend college.

The workforce development program differs from many others in that it provides not just a job but a career pathway for those who do not pursue a post-secondary education. Kucler will explore the hiring needs of local companies – the BGCC is already in discussions with several firms, including Liberty Ford – to determine what skills they need to see from a potential employee in order to guarantee that person a job. Club members following one of these career paths would have to attend all training, graduate from high school and stay out of trouble.

“For a kid, if you complete the program you will have a job when you get out of school,” Kucler said. “We are going to work with our kids to provide skills and training, with the idea of a guaranteed job at the end.”

BGCC provides safe, fun places for youths to go after school and on Saturdays. The Clubs provide an array of programs, including athletics, music, art, graphic arts, agriculture and help with schoolwork.

Kucler said companies need reliable, trained workers. And, he said, there are good career options for teens who do not go to college. “From my aspect, I’m a firm believer that what a lot of these kids need is hope – hope for the future,” he said.

Ron Soeder, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland and the creator of the workforce development program, said one way to break the cycle of poverty in Cleveland is to give teens a pathway to good careers. He added, “We are fortunate to have someone with as much business experience as Denny heading up this program. We are very excited about this initiative.”

Kucler, who holds an engineering degree from Northwestern University and a master’s in business from Columbia University, has extensive experience in domestic and international technology sales, sales and business management, marketing and senior level relationship development. A Westlake resident and Vietnam veteran, he has worked for IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Vodafone.

During his 35 years with IBM and Hewlett-Packard, Dennis was involved in delivering the evolving spectrum on computer technology to industrial and commercial clients in the United States, while building and managing a 14-person team generating more than $1 million in sales per day. During his tenure at Vodafone, Dennis negotiated and managed the contractual delivery of mobile communication technology to U.S. based companies on a global basis, while directing a virtual sales and delivery team spanning 67 countries.

Since his retirement, Kucler has been active on many volunteer boards and engagements, including the Great Lakes Science Center, the West Side Catholic Center, the Westshore Community Emergency Response Team and the AARP Tax Assistance program

Founded in 1954, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland serves nearly 8,000 youths in Cleveland’s inner-city neighborhoods, Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland. The Clubs provide a safe place for children to learn and grow, to develop ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals, to engage in life-enhancing programs and to create a culture of hope and opportunity.

BGCC’s mission is to inspire and enable young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.