Community Wise

Bill Taft

We must close the opportunity gap

By Bill Taft
Executive Director, Indianapolis LISC

Indianapolis employers are beginning to experience a shortage of skilled workers for key manufacturing and technical jobs that will only grow with the rapid retirement of baby boomers. These high-paying jobs will not be easy to fill, since Indiana has failed to produce enough high school graduates with the basic skills for such technical jobs. More[+]


LISC wins $11MM from SIF to build basic job skills

A growing job market is a boon to families and communities—unless you don't have the basic math and reading skills to take advantage of it. The federal Social Innovation Fund is helping address that educational gap with a new $11.3 million grant to LISC for Bridges to Career Opportunities, a program that helps people lay the groundwork for earnings growth by addressing some fundamental challenges around basic literacy. It's part of the broad work of LISC's Financial Opportunity Centers to help low-income families stabilize their financial outlook and build for the future. More[+]...

If we want pre-K for all, we need to build pre-K for all

If we want pre-K for all, we need to build pre-K for all

Ample evidence has proven what good early childhood education can do for a population's intellectual, emotional and economic well-being. But to provide high quality, age-appropriate educational opportunities for all our youngest learners, we need to put our money where our mouths are, argues LISC's Amy Gillman in an op-ed for The Hechinger Report. Gillman makes the case for a serious national commitment to funding and building pre-k facilities that have the best interests of our children—and our future—in mind. More[+]...

For the health of our country, we must fight poverty

For the health of our country, we must fight poverty

Poverty eats away at our country's well-being and financial health, and combatting it is a social, moral and economic imperative, said former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and LISC board chair Bob Rubin in a recent TEDx talk. Rubin touted LISC's work revitalizing distressed neighborhoods and called on his audience to take action on behalf of community-led development efforts and programs—like the Earned Income Tax Credit—that sever the roots of poverty. More[+]...