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We’re Headed to Atlanta

After four decades working across the country, LISC is putting down roots in Atlanta. It will be our 32nd local program and a vital step toward expanding our catalytic work throughout the South. Our initial investment in Atlanta will open three Financial Opportunity Centers to help local residents train for and find good jobs and build a more stable financial future. “Every community has talent” says LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones, “and we want to make sure every resident has access to opportunities to fully participate in the growing economy.” Let’s get started!

LISC expands into Atlanta with programs to spur economic opportunity, fuel thriving neighborhoods

NEW YORK (May 2, 2018)—A national social enterprise fund that has invested more than $18 billion in U.S. communities is putting down roots in Atlanta with ambitious plans to invest in the future of the city’s neighborhoods and the talent of the local workforce.

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) announced today that it would open its 32nd local program in Georgia’s capital—a vital step to growing the organization's catalytic work throughout the South.

With four decades of experience in community transformation, LISC invests more than $1 billion a year to expand affordable housing, community facilities, businesses and jobs while at the same time leading efforts to improve health, education and community safety. The nonprofit, known for its local capacity building efforts, is enlarging its reach to Atlanta after extensive discussions with community and corporate leaders about what would help them advance social and economic goals.

“Among our top priorities, both in Atlanta and across the country, is partnering with organizations that are focused on inclusive economic development, small business support, seeding entrepreneurship and preparing the work force for quality jobs,” said Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO.

LISC’s first Atlanta investments include $270,000 for the rollout of its Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) model, in partnership with three local nonprofits. FOCs provide long-term financial and employment coaching, along with other tailored supportive services, to help people train for and find good jobs, raise their incomes, improve their credit and save for the future. Nationally, LISC supports 87 FOCs that work with more than 20,000 people every year.

“Every community has talent,” Jones added, “and we want to make sure every resident has access to opportunities to fully participate in the growing economy.”

Atlanta has one of the most diverse talent pools in the country, and last year alone the metro area significantly grew its work force, adding 55,000 new jobs and employing an additional 90,000 people, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The state currently has 200,000 job openings, many concentrated in the healthcare, transportation and food service sectors in Atlanta.

With funding from State Farm, MetLife and Wells Fargo, LISC is launching its FOC model in Atlanta in partnership with three nonprofits:

  • The Centers for Working Families, Inc., with FOC services focused on Atlanta’s Southside and Westside neighborhoods, as well as people in Neighborhood Planning Unit V. 
  • Lutheran Services of Georgia, which will provide FOC services in the Clarkston area of DeKalb County.
  • Urban League of Greater Atlanta, which has received a LISC FOC planning grant to expand and consider integration of services. 

“We’re eager to get started,” Jones said. “And we’re excited to be able to team up with dynamic organizations like these, whose commitment and drive contributes so much to the city and region.”

About LISC

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $18.6 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community and educational space.


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May 2, 2018


Colleen Mulcahy
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