Building a bridge to better jobs
Through the Bridges to Career Opportunities program, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation is expanding the reach of its Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) as they help improve the employment and financial management capacity of low-skilled workers and fill in critical education gaps that keep people from good jobs.
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF)—part of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service—has awarded funding to the new Bridges to Career Opportunities program to support the scaling up of the important program at 32 local community-based organizations in 11 metropolitan areas. Coaches at the organizations will teach core skills like math, reading, and English as a second language in combination with “soft skills” like interviewing, teamwork and conflict resolution—all contextualized to specific industries or sectors.
A financial literacy class at the Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit FOC
It’s part of an $11.3 million SIF grant to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which developed the skills program and began piloting it in the last few years through Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs). There are 75 LISC FOCs across the country providing integrated services and long-term financial coaching that helps low-income families expand their income, credit, savings and job opportunities.
The Social Innovation Fund has been a critical resource in bringing LISC’s FOC network to a national scale. “SIF has been a tremendous partner—recognizing the promise of our FOCs and pilot programs, focusing on impact and requiring accountability to make sure the programs are working as intended,” Program Director, Seung Kim said.
“The data on FOC outcomes is clear, she added. “This program helps people find and retain jobs, grow their incomes, improve their credit and plan for the future. It is helping thousands of low-income residents improve their quality of life.”
Download a short description of all proposals received. View the list of reviewers and their affiliations and a summary of the reviewer’s comments of the winning applications.
The FOCs that will benefit from the new grant are:
- Alliance for Multicultural Services, Houston, TX - $170,000
- Brighton Center, Inc., Newport, KY - $185,000
- Center for Changing Lives, Chicago, IL - $150,000
- Central States SER, Chicago, IL - $100,000
- Chinese Community Center, Houston, TX - $188,790
- Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), St. Paul, MN - $150,000
- Community Action Duluth, Duluth, MN - $200,000
- District 1199c Training and Upgrading Fund, Philadelphia, PA - $170,000
- Edna Martin Christian Center, Indianapolis, IN - $175,000
- EMERGE, Minneapolis, MN - $150,000
- Focus: HOPE, Detroit, MI - $200,311
- Genesis Center, Providence, RI - $137,525
- Greater Cincinnati Urban League, Cincinnati, OH - $175,000
- Instituto del Progreso Latino, Chicago, IL - $200,000
- International Institute of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN - $150,000
- International Rescue Committee, San Diego, CA - $175,000
- Jane Addams Resource Corporation, Chicago, IL - $225,000
- Jewish Vocational Services, Boston, MA - $225,000
- John H. Boner Community Center, Indianapolis, IN - $175,000
- Lutheran Social Service, St. Paul, MN - $150,000
- Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County (MAAC), San Diego, CA - $125,000
- Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Indianapolis, IN - $175,000
- Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago, IL - $175,000
- North Lawndale Employment Network, Chicago, IL - $175,000
- Operation ABLE, Detroit, MI - $100,000
- Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) Communities, Chicago, IL - $175,000
- Project for Pride in Living, Minneapolis, MN - $150,000
- Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment, Boston, MA - $175,000
- SER Jobs for Progress, Houston, TX - $175,000
- SER Metro Detroit, Detroit, MI - $198,374
- Southwest Economic Solutions, Detroit, MI - $195,000
- Wesley Community Center, Houston, TX - $155,000
About Social innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.