FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2019
COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS IN PROVIDENCE RECEIVE FUNDING THOUGH
THE CITI FOUNDATION AND LISC TO HELP TRAIN WORKERS FOR
GROWING JOB SECTORS
Two local nonprofits will use $360,000 in grants to help displaced workers prepare for
skilled positions in customer service, healthcare, trades
PROVIDENCE—The Citi Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) today announced new funding through the Bridges to Career Opportunities initiative (Bridges) to help connect unemployed and underemployed people in Providence to good jobs in growth industries.
Two local nonprofits have been awarded $360,000 and technical support to provide services that help job seekers increase their incomes, improve their credit and raise their standards of living. Services include skills training and career development, as well as personal finance coaching, continuing education courses (to strengthen math and reading skills), and resources to help job seekers secure transportation, child care and housing arrangements, which can be impediments to career mobility.
The new funding is part of a $10 million three-year national effort by the Citi Foundation and LISC to expand the reach of Bridges and spur economic opportunity for thousands of families, including more than 500 workers in Providence.
“Providence is a city on the rise because we understand the importance of investing in our people,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “This generous contribution by the Citi Foundation and LISC will strengthen our workforce and our community by supporting proven organizations that provide pathways to employment. I want to thank our partners for their shared commitment to creating economic opportunity for all.”
The two grantees are longstanding partners of LISC Rhode Island and have successful track records of outreach in the communities they serve. Both will use the Bridges funding to tailor services to growing employment sectors and to reach a larger pool of local residents.
• Genesis Center will grow its support for job seekers in fields like culinary arts, human services, and early learning, helping people earn the credentials they need to qualify for good-paying job opportunities and then access counseling support to build a path toward advancement.
• Amos House is leveraging Bridges to expand its training services, focusing on people who are formerly homeless or overcoming challenges like substance abuse. The nonprofit will double its capacity to train and place clients in stable jobs, and develop a new customer service/call center education and training program to complement its existing training in the trades.
“The demands of today’s U.S. job market are playing out in different ways for American workers and we need to support those who are being negatively impacted by the forces that are shaping the modern economy,” said Ed Skyler, executive vice president for global public affairs at Citi and chair of the Citi Foundation. “By connecting programs that provide not only education and skills building, but support services for family and housing needs, we’re helping American workers who have been or are in danger of being displaced achieve success and contribute to their communities.”
The Providence groups are among 40 community-based nonprofits to be awarded funding through this program (a full listing of participating organizations can be found here).
“Our number one priority is to strengthen our community,” said Shannon Carroll, president and CEO of the Genesis Center. “We do that by investing in our greatest resource: our people. We are thrilled that the Citi Foundation and LISC recognize this and are providing funds that will allow us to expand our training programs and support services to reach more of our residents—especially some of our most vulnerable community members—so that they may increase their access to education, good jobs, and living wages,” she said.
The majority of people who enter the Bridges program are either unemployed or working in minimum wage jobs and testing at a 6th-8th grade education level. After Bridges, more than three-quarters of participants move on to occupational skills training and 64 percent achieve industry-recognized credentials—opening doors to living wage jobs they would not otherwise be able to access and putting them on career pathways with the opportunity for ongoing advancement. In the last two years alone, more than 3,000 training participants across the country have been placed in jobs.
“Our partners at Amos House and Genesis Center have built track records that demonstrate what works to connect people to economic opportunity,” said Jeanne Cola, executive director of LISC Rhode Island. “When we help someone find a good—or better—job, we help both families and communities thrive.”
The Citi Foundation’s investment in Bridges builds on a decades-long relationship between the Foundation and LISC. It also signals an expansion of Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative beyond youth-focused career readiness to provide adult job seekers the full range of services needed for long-term employment.
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.
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. Locally, since 1991 LISC Rhode Island has invested more than $373 million to support affordable housing, economic development, workforce training and early child care facilities. To learn more, visit www.lisc.org.
Liz Klinkenberg, 401-391-4365
Elizabeth Kelly, 212-559-2477