LISC National
Where We Work

Bridges to Career Opportunities

There’s a catch-22 to unemployment in many low-income communities: basic skills gaps often prevent unemployed or underemployed residents from accessing training and credentialing programs that can lead to living-wage jobs; local industries often lack a workforce with the right blend of technical know-how and “soft” skills needed for success in the workplace. A solution lies in matching employers in need of workers with a specific skill set to job seekers who've been trained in those skills.

That’s what LISC’s Bridges to Career Opportunities model makes possible. Clients working with our network of Centers for Working Families can ramp up foundational literacy and math skills, get technical training and pursue certifications for a particular industry—and receive support like financial coaching to set long-term goals and help manage expenses during training. These programs connect clients to “middle skills” jobs with a career pathway, and help local employers staff up with employees who can get the job done.

How we do it

The Bridges to Career Opportunities initiative is integrated into our Centers for Working Families (CWF) - or known in our National LISC network as Financial Opportunity Centers. Neighborhood residents can take advantage of:

  • Math, reading and/or English remediation that is industry-specific and relevant to the career track a client is pursuing. This puts adult learners on a “fast track” to upgrade or refresh their skills as preparation for technical training.
  • Vocational training at an CWF agency, community partner or local community college
  • Job-hunting skills that include resume-writing, interviewing and dressing professionally
  • “Soft skills” for the workplace like communication, conflict resolution and time management
  • Understanding of the field, such as pay and hours, work expectations
  • Ongoing support from CWF employment and financial coaches to set and achieve personal goals

By blending this training with financial coaching, clients take the reins of their economic and professional lives.

What it means for Indy

The four Indianapolis Bridges to Career Opportunities sites are:

Citi Funding

In 2018, Citi Foundation committed a historic $10 million, three-year grant to LISC to expand our Bridges to Career Opportunities program. $700,000 of the $10 million went directly to four Indianapolis organizations with the goal of helping 500 people in Indianapolis find quality jobs. The funds will be used to expand job-training and adult-education programs for underemployed and unemployed residents.


Learn more about the Bridges to Career Opportunities Program by viewing these short videos.

John H. Boner Neighborhood Center

Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center

Edna Martin Christian Center


Tedd Grain, Executive Director