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Citi Foundation-LISC Partnership Will Ready Workers for 21st-Century Jobs

2.26.2019

Twin Cities community-based organizations receive funding through the Citi Foundation and LISC to help train workers for growing job sectors.

Two local nonprofits will use $340,000 in grants to help people prepare for skilled positions in healthcare, technology, real estate

MINNEAPOLIS—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 adults in the Twin Cities to quality jobs in growth industries.

Two local nonprofits have been awarded $340,000 and technical support to provide 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.

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, including nearly 500 workers in the Twin Cities.

“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 grantees—one each from Minneapolis and St. Paul--have long and successful track records of outreach in the communities they serve.

“We are fortunate to have nonprofits like PPL and CLUES doing outstanding work providing training and support services to minority, immigrant and low-income residents and helping place them in permanent jobs through public-private partnerships.”
— Dr. Bruce Corrie, director of the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Planning & Economic Development

The Twin Cities groups are among 40 community-based nonprofits to be awarded funding through this program (a full listing of participating organizations can be found here.) Notably, more than half of the sites, including the PPL and CLUES programs, are located in Opportunity Zones, a federal incentive to increase investments in low-wealth communities as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

“We are excited that the Citi Foundation is supporting the critical work of building family financial stability in the Twin Cities,” noted Amy McCulloch, deputy director of Twin Cities LISC. “We know from experience that when we work with job seekers and employers to build wealth, we start to transform our communities into an economic system that works for everyone.” 

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 64 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 alone, more than 3,000 training participants across the country have been placed in jobs.

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.

Download Press Release as PDF

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

About LISC

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $18.6 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community and educational space across the country.