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An exciting new commitment from Citi Foundation will ramp up LISC's Bridges to Career Opportunities

Press Release

BOSTON—The Citi Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) today announced new funding through the Bridges to Career Opportunities initiative (Bridges) to help connect unemployed and underemployed people in Boston to quality jobs in growth industries.

Jewish Vocational Service Inc. (JVS) has been awarded $170,000 and technical support to provide services that help job seekers increase their incomes, improve their credit and raise their standards of living. Services include skills training and career development, as well as personal finance coaching, continuing education courses (to strengthen math and reading skills), and resources to help job seekers secure transportation, child care and housing arrangements, which can be impediments to career mobility.

The new funding is part of a $10 million three-year national effort by the Citi Foundation and LISC to expand the reach of Bridges and spur economic opportunity for thousands of families across the country.

“This funding is critical to providing opportunities for all Bostonians to gain access to high- demand jobs and career pathways that lead to financial stability,”
— Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Through Bridges, JVS is offering a STEM pathway that equips job seekers with the skills and knowledge they need to enroll in certificate programs at nearby community colleges. JVS will also incorporate a career advancement component to help STEM alumni grow into higher level, better paying positions.  

“STEM is a field that is growing rapidly in the greater Boston area and has proved to be a very wise choice for our students,” said Jerry Rubin, JVS CEO and president. “Not only do they find internships and entry-level positions, but they also have a variety of career paths available to them. With Citi Foundation’s funding, we can help them navigate systems that may be new to them and make wise choices as they advance.”

JVS is among 40 community-based nonprofits to be awarded funding through this program (a full listing of participating organizations can be found here.)

“The demands of today’s U.S. job market are playing out in different ways for American workers and we need to support those who are being negatively impacted by the forces that are shaping the modern economy,” said Ed Skyler, executive vice president for global public affairs at Citi and chair of the Citi Foundation. “By connecting programs that provide not only education and skills building, but support services for family and housing needs, we’re helping American workers who have been or are in danger of being displaced achieve success and contribute to their communities.”

The majority of people who enter the Bridges program are either unemployed or working in minimum wage jobs. After Bridges, more than three-quarters of participants move on to occupational skills training and 64 percent achieve industry-recognized credentials—opening doors to living wage jobs they would not otherwise be able to access and putting them on career pathways with the opportunity for ongoing advancement. In the last two years alone, more than 3,000 training participants across the country have been placed in jobs.

“The life and science industry is one of the strongest growing sectors in the state,” said Karen Kelleher, LISC Boston executive director. “Equipping residents with the skills, tools and access points to enter this field is one way LISC Boston is trying to eliminate the wealth gap.”

The Citi Foundation’s investment in Bridges builds on a decades-long relationship between the Foundation and LISC. It also signals an expansion of Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative beyond youth-focused career readiness to provide adult job seekers the full range of services needed for long-term employment.

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

About LISC

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $18.6 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. To learn more, visit www.lisc.org.

Contact LISC Boston - Karen Kelleher, Executive Director - 617-410-4333 - kkelleher@lisc.org

Contact Citi - Media - Elizabeth Kelly, 212-559-2477 - elizabeth.kelly@citi.com

Click here for the press release.