In 2018, Citi Foundation committed a historic $10 million grant to the Bridges to Career Opportunities program (Bridges), which helps FOC participants gain industry-specific skills for living wage jobs and careers. It is the largest single private grant in the program’s history.
It is not the first time the Citi Foundation has helped LISC expand financial stability and foster economic inclusion in neighborhoods around the country. The Citi Foundation has long been a leading funder of our Financial Opportunity Center (FOCs) model, which helps residents gain the tools, motivation and know-how to make financial and employment gains. Early grants from the Citi Foundation enabled us to double the number of cities where FOCs operate, deliver training to improve our financial coaching services, and develop the outcomes measurement framework that guides the FOCs’ work today. Later grants provided matching funding for the Social Innovation Fund award, which fueled further FOC expansion, creating a national network that now comprises over 85 FOCs that serve 20,000 per year.
The Bridges to Career Opportunities program promotes economic mobility for unemployed and underemployed adult workers across the United States. The program employs a holistic set of job training, career counseling, placement, and support services to help participants qualify for middle-skill level jobs in growth industries in need of trained workers, such as healthcare, transportation and construction. This approach works. 77% of Bridges participants move on to occupational skills training and 60% achieve an industry-recognized credential through the program. Since 2016, 2,400 people have been placed in jobs that pay an average starting wage five dollars higher than the federal minimum wage.
Citi Foundation funding will help scale Bridges to 40 community-based organizations around the country. Over the next three years, we expect 10,000 people to received Bridges services, with 5,000 placed in jobs earning at least $13/hour.
Citi Foundation’s support represents an expansion upon its longtime focus on youth economic mobility and employment to now also address the employment challenges faced by adults in communities across the United States. Bridges builds on the Citi Foundation’s learnings from its Pathways to Progress initiative, a commitment to help prepare youth around the globe for today’s competitive job market.
We are also grateful to be the recipients of Citi Foundation's Community Progress Maker Fund awards in New York City and Los Angeles. These grants recognize LISC and the Citi Foundation’s shared commitment to build stronger, more resilient cities that catalyze economic opportunity for all residents.
via The Atlantic