LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 youth and young adults in Los Angeles to quality jobs in growth industries.
Two local nonprofits have been awarded $380,000 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 across the country, including more than 600 young workers in Los Angeles.
Brenda Shockley, deputy mayor of economic opportunity for the City of L.A., who oversees initiatives focused on fighting poverty, housing the homeless, expanding affordable housing, and improving access to workforce development resources, said, "The funding provided by the Citi Foundation and LISC will enhance the opportunity for Angelenos to build their technical skills, enhance their financial stability, and find living wage careers that meet the demands of the shifting nature of the economy."
The grantees—both focused on services for youth and adults—have long and successful track records of outreach in the communities they serve.
- Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) will leverage the Bridge program to offer construction education and training tailored to the re-entry population and to youth. Training will be offered at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, where CRCD is located.
- Youth Policy Institute (YPI) is expanding its services to provide young adults with training in networking/IT and software/web development, both offering direct support and collaborating with L.A. Mission College for additional training.
"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 Los Angeles groups are among 40 community-based nonprofits to be awarded funding through this program (a full listing of participating organizations can be found here.) Notably, more than half of the sites, including both of the L.A. programs, are located in Opportunity Zones, a federal incentive to increase investments in low-wealth communities as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
"Citi Foundation's support provides an opportunity to invest in an evolving workplace in which participants will be able to gain new skills, obtain relevant training, and be placed on a pathway to economic opportunity," remarked Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of Los Angeles LISC.
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.
"This is such a marvelous opportunity to collaborate with two of our all-time favorite partners, the Citi Foundation and LISC," said Dixon Slingerland, president & CEO of the Youth Policy Institute (YPI) in Los Angeles. "YPI is thrilled to be part of the Bridges initiative and to further integrate financial empowerment in our cradle-to-career strategy for breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty."
"We are grateful to be working closely with LA LISC and the Citi Foundation to continue to build people's skills and place them in the growing workforce in South L.A.," said Mark Wilson, executive director of the Coalition for Responsible Community Development. "These resources will enable CRCD to expand its reach."
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. To learn more, visit www.lisc.org.
Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, 310-499-8470
Elizabeth Kelly, 212-559-2477
SOURCE Local Initiatives Support Corporation