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LISC + Citi: Retraining and Reorienting American Workers for 21st-Century Jobs

An article in The Atlantic delves into the ways LISC’s Bridges to Career Opportunities program, with support from Citi Foundation, is helping people in underserved communities across America skill up for satisfying jobs in growth industries. The program’s wrap-around services and links to local employers, explains LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones in the article, are the key to “not just a job” but a “transformation of life.”

The excerpt below was originally published on The Atlantic:
What Tomorrow’s Job Market Means for Today’s Workforce

It’s estimated that the U.S. economy will need as many as 100,000 new information technology workers every year for the next decade. By 2026, there will be 2.6 million new jobs in healthcare, one fifth of all new jobs. The changing demand for specific skills is being felt across industries and as a result, companies and organizations are investing in programs that empower the workforce of the future through job retraining.

Tennessee Reconnect, for example, is a statewide initiative to help more adults enter higher education, whether that means finishing previously abandoned degrees or starting entirely new ones. The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp offers training on future-looking skills in areas such as augmented and virtual reality. Jewish Vocational Services in San Francisco is training people in the fields of health care, financial services and more, and is working with regional banks to help workers prepare for jobs as tellers and customer service representatives.

But many workers are finding that job retraining alone is not enough. Support networks and social services are needed to support the transition to new types of work.

“When people succeed in the program the country benefits as well.”
— LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones

“The U.S. job market has changed, and American workers need both new skills and a support system that allows them to participate in training programs,” Citi CEO Michael Corbat said when he announced Citi Foundation’s partnership with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a nonprofit whose Bridges to Career Opportunities program helps people with life challenges and teaches them the skills necessary to meet changing workforce demands. Citi Foundation invested $10 million in LISC, allowing the organization to expand its offerings across the country.

The Bridges program is regionalized, meaning that in a place like Jacksonville, Florida, people might learn skills useful in shipping and supply chain tech, in Boston they may learn skills related to biotechnology, and in Chicago, clients learn welding and diesel mechanics. Union Pacific Railroad, North America’s biggest freight railroad, invested $3 million with LISC this year as part of the rail company’s Building Tomorrow’s Workforce effort. Billions of dollars from all industries are being invested in retraining efforts like these—and workers are responding.

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Citi Foundation Makes Historic $10M Grant to Build the Talent of American Workers

Citi Foundation makes the single largest private investment in LISC’s “Bridges to Career Opportunities” program.

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