Supporting programs that fuel economic opportunity and raise standards of living should be a bipartisan goal. In the wake of the State of the Union address, LISC’s senior vice president for policy, Matt Josephs, looks at the policies that advance common goals, with a lasting impact on the quality of life for all Americans.
Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, Maurice Jones, LISC’s CEO and president, reflects on the parallels between our 20-year partnership with the NFL Foundation and his own experiences playing high school football. The 350 fields we’ve created with the NFL Grassroots Program make clear that the value of playing fields extends well beyond the importance of physical fitness: they provide space for youth development, bring communities together, and nurture transformative relationships.
Official unemployment rates may be low, but they don’t reflect the number of people out of the workforce, underemployed or lacking the skills to get good jobs. “We need to disaggregate these numbers,” LISC CEO Maurice Jones said in a front page article in The Guardian newspaper. By 2025, the US will have 16 million ‘middle skill’ positions in need of workers, Jones explained, noting “[t]hat’s not going to happen organically.” Training and connections to opportunity are imperative to lift everyone’s boat.
LISC has invested deeply in the health and wellbeing of people in the places where we work for 40 years. But we’re upping the ante. President and CEO Maurice Jones calls on partners to join us in upending health disparities through tailored investments in communities, and designing a plan to assess the health outcomes of our broad work in economic development, housing, safety and financial stability.
For decades, the residents of Flint, Michigan have endured high rates of crime alongside devastating unemployment, depopulation and blight—and recently, a severe water crisis on top of that. But the energy and commitment of neighbors, business people and key anchor institutions are transforming the historic University Avenue corridor. Crime there, in turn, has plummeted. A Department of Justice community safety grant, with training and technical assistance from LISC, has ramped up those efforts and is helping make the corridor a model of problem-solving, and optimism, for all of Flint.