In a chapter for Investing in America's Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers, published by Atlanta Federal Reserve, LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones, describes how local solutions are key to filling the middle-skills employment gap and catalyzing opportunity across the country. Using an integrated services approach through the Financial Opportunity Center and Bridges to Career Opportunities models, LISC and its partners have worked with residents of underresourced communities to help them on a pathway to living-wage jobs. These local innovations can enhance traditional workforce development strategies and supply underused talent to meet employers' growing demand for workers.
For low-income students, attending—and paying for—a four-year college can be far out of reach. Offering opportunities to receive career-specific training and earn credentials, community colleges serve as an avenue to skilled jobs for students who may not be in the right circumstances to attend a four-year college and who do not need a four-year degree to earn a decent living.
This resource includes a selection of informational resources for organizations interested in learning why service integration can be an effective approach, and best practices for implementing that model in their communities.
LISC's network of Financial Opportunity Centers, which have gone from a handful of sites in Chicago to more than 71 centers in 23 cities is an example of bringing social innovations to scale.