Our Stories

Talent Development Catalyzes Opportunity

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.

It’s Time to Re-evaluate the Value of Skills Training

As students of all ages head back to school this season, Thomas Orr, a senior program officer in charge of workforce development programs for LISC Indianapolis, delves into the outdated ways we gauge the value of higher education. At a time when millions of people are in need of living-wage jobs, while millions of middle-skills jobs sit vacant, apprenticeships and other alternative pathways to satisfying careers make more sense than ever..

Going Back to School to Get Back to Work

Developing the right skills to compete in growing employment sectors is critical to families and to local economies. But what really works to build up long-term financial stability? LISC’s Chris Walker takes a look at the outcomes of research on workforce development programs—especially those that bundle education, training and placement with a broader array of financial counseling—and finds compelling evidence for how to help low-wage workers move past employment barriers and into new opportunities.

SOTU and Communities

Tuesday might have been President Obama’s last State of the Union address. But he made it clear that the work needed to lift families out of poverty is ongoing. LISC’s Matt Josephs considers the president’s remarks from a community development perspective, looking at programs that improve the quality of life in places where Americans struggle to make ends meet.

Improving economy leaves too many behind

The stock market is up. Unemployment is below 6 percent. Businesses are growing. But it's clear that not everyone is enjoying the economic recovery, says LISC's Kevin Jordan. Manufacturing jobs have not returned in force since the recession ended, and that has cut off a clear path to the middle class, with no easy alternative in sight. Low-income communities are hit particularly hard by the shift, and it will take a combination of smart economic development and an honest assessment of the national skills gap to address it.