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CINCINNATI, March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 the greater Cincinnati area to quality jobs in growth industries.
Brighton Center, a nonprofit in Newport, Ky., has been awarded $170,000 over three years and technical support to support 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.
"Northern Kentucky is fortunate that our region will benefit from the Bridges to Career Opportunities program, funded through LISC and the Citi Foundation," said Steve Pendery, judge/executive for Campbell County, Kentucky. "The opportunity to promote career advancement and asset building through the work of Brighton Center's employment training program will serve as a catalyst for incumbent workers to take their career to the next level."
Brighton Center, Inc. is using the new funding to expand its Center for Employment Training (CET) program, which provides skill-specific training in business and computer technologies, medical assisting, and health technology administration. In addition to offering a deeper level of engagement with workers, the funding will also help add ongoing coaching for career advancement, so that people can move beyond entry level positions and grow their incomes.
Tammy Weidinger, president and chief executive officer of Brighton Center said, "The opportunity to build-out our service continuum by providing quality career advancement and asset building to incumbent workers aligns with our commitment to helping our customers thrive. Brighton Center has partnered with LISC over the past nine years to offer high quality services at our Center for Employment Training through the Financial Opportunity Center and Bridges initiatives. The commitment of the Citi Foundation and LISC to support this work will provide a solid long-term career and financial pathway to our customers."
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. Brighton Center 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 and testing at a 6th-8th grade education level. After Bridges, more than three-quarters of participants move on to occupational skills training and 60 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, more than 3,000 training participants across the country have been placed in jobs.
Executive director of LISC Greater Cincinnati, Kathy Schwab said, "A comprehensive approach to workforce development has allowed us to have a deeper impact in our region as we aim to catalyze opportunity for all. We are confident that Brighton Center will continue to provide high quality services as we are now able to grow our thriving partnership thanks to the Citi Foundation."
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.