FC Cincinnati’s move into the West End has been concerning for some long time residents but the MLS program is taking steps to hire local workers.

A new initiative announced Thursday with Citylink Center hopes to help workers land construction jobs with Turner Construction and Jostin Construction on the project.

For Nick Johnson, the West End is home. He grew up in the neighborhood and later planted his roots.

“I grew up on Findlay Street, Findlay and Linn. I’m proud of my community,” said Nick Johnson.

So when he heard FC Cincinnati was moving to his neighborhood, he jumped at the opportunity to work on the project and encouraged neighbors to do the same.

“I thought about them working on the stadium. And I thought that was a beginning to start the process of being an everyday citizen –making a living, an honest living, providing for your family and, hopefully, purchasing a home in the community that they grew up in,” said Johnson.

Johnson said one of the critical ways to get West End residents involved in this project is to have the site be right in the neighborhood. And that’s where Citylink Center comes in.

“To be able to every single day drive past this brilliant stadium and say, ‘I built that. I was on that team.'” FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding said.

Citylink Center is based in the West End. It trains and connects people with job opportunities. It has partnered with FCC to give priority to West End residents for construction work on the stadium.

“I’m totally happy. It’s walking distance in the neighborhood. Everybody in the neighborhood knows where Citylink is at. So I ask all to come to Citylink and apply for a job in building this stadium and improve our lives,” said Johnson.

And if you’re looking for one of those jobs, you can walk into Citylink Center or you can go to