“It is time not only to invest more, but also invest differently, in the well-being of American workers, especially the significant pool of untapped talent that already exists,” said LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones and Citi EVP Ed Skyler in a joint op ed published in USA Today. They urge employers and nonprofits to look closely at the success of community-based Bridges to Career Opportunities programs as a model for helping unemployed and underemployed workers break down barriers to quality jobs, while helping businesses fill millions of open positions that they need for growth. Citi Foundation has partnered with LISC on a $10 million grant to fuel 40 Bridges programs across the country.
Community Services League (CSL) in Independence, MO is one of over 40 community-based partners nationwide implementing LISC’s Bridges to Career Opportunities model. Debby Laufer, CSL’s vice president of career services, reflects on what it takes to help unemployed and underemployed clients build their skills and find good paying jobs. She does so through the lens of one client, Zach P., who overcame a substance abuse problem to graduate from a CSL training program and get a job as a welder. This is just one of many success stories spurred by LISC’s partnership with Union Pacific.
Chicago, like so many cities in the U.S., has jobs that need filling, and would-be workers who need the skills to build careers. A must-read article from Chicago’s WBEZ dives deep into how community organizations like the Jane Addams Resource Corp, our longtime partner and manager of a LISC-backed Bridges to Career Opportunities program, connect people with the technical and soft skills needed to land, and grow in, good, 21st-century manufacturing jobs.
Providence, RI resident Taylonda Vanover had a passion for baking but didn't know how to convert that talent into a living-wage job. Until she learned about Amos House. With support from Citi Foundation and LISC, Amos House is one of 40 organizations bringing job training to communities across the U.S. to help residents build fulfilling careers. Vanover shares the story of how the Culinary Education Program at Amos House helped her take her love of baking to fulltime work with a flourishing artisan doughnut bakery.
A strong and vibrant workforce helps fuel community growth as well as business success. That’s why Union Pacific Railroad is supporting LISC Financial Opportunity Centers and contributing the expertise of its staff to industrial training programs that help people compete for family-sustaining jobs. Union Pacific’s Chiquita Morgan urges employers to "get out from behind our walls" and help advance the efforts of workforce development agencies, neighborhood groups and others who are helping people build a stronger financial future for themselves and their community.