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Many training programs that lead to high-paying jobs require applicants test at 10th grade reading and math levels. But what about those individuals whose test scores fall short of the minimum requirement?
Well finally there’s a solution. Thanks to a $3 million grant from Union Pacific, LISC will begin offering specialized instruction in four U.S. cities to help qualified candidates bridge into high-wage training programs. The grant to LISC is part of a new Union Pacific effort called Building Tomorrow’s Workforce. It is one pillar of the company’s $20 million philanthropic commitment to under-resourced communities, which includes initiatives focused on helping communities prevent and prepare for accidents and emergencies, and build vibrant community space, in addition to job skills development.
“Greater Kansas City LISC is honored to be selected to participate in this historic partnership. With the generous support of Union Pacific, we will be able to help even more residents improve their economic circumstances, support their families and change their lives for the better,” said Stephen Samuels, Executive Director of Greater Kansas City LISC. Kansas City is one of four cities selected to participate in this new workforce development program. Other participating cities are Chicago, Houston and Tacoma, Wash.
The program will be offered through LISC’s Financial Opportunity Center Network, a national model that helps people build their skills, grow their incomes and improve their credit – all as part of a bundled approach to economic opportunity. Since 2013, Greater Kansas City LISC has partnered with United Way of Greater Kansas City and local supporters to open and grow five FOCs with partner agencies: Community Services League and Prosperity Center at Rockhurst University, Women's Employment Network, Guadalupe Centers, INC., and Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries. In Kansas City, the program has served more than 1,000 clients, helped more than 400 people increase their FICO scores, and worked with more than 150 people to increase their net worth.
“Union Pacific is investing in American workers and an economic future based on quality jobs,” said Maurice Jones, LISC president and CEO.