NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- StriveTogether and Living Cities today announced the launch of Prepare Learning Circle, a collective impact initiative aimed at driving collaboration around workforce development and employment outcomes in U.S. cities. The Learning Circle is focused on ensuring a pipeline of talent is developed for low-income students and adults into quality 21st-century jobs.
Five communities will receive strategic assistance from the StriveTogether team and national experts in workforce development, engage with peers focused on similar work to share and capture emerging lessons and develop knowledge to inform the broader StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network and the field of collective impact as a whole. Some of the sites will also explore how to incorporate racial equity considerations into their efforts to prepare low-income individuals for quality jobs.
The five participating grantees are members of the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network: Thrive Chicago in Chicago, Ill.; All Hands Raised in Portland, Ore.; Mission: Graduate in Albuquerque, N.M.; Big Goal Collaborative in Northeast Indiana; and the StrivePartnership, along with Partners for a Competitive Workforce, in Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Each grantee will each receive $60,000 over two years to build out their collective impact partnership's work related to career-end outcomes.
"We are excited about working with the Prepare Learning Circles initiative to help bring further rigor to collective impact efforts focusing on workforce development," said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities. "These communities will generate important lessons about working effectively across sectors to improve employment-related outcomes for low-income people."
The Prepare Learning Circle aims to find better measurements for the effectiveness of job preparedness efforts. The collective impact approach to workforce development will also enable communities to determine which local government institutions are most instrumental in this work and how to meaningfully engage employers and keep them at the collaborative table.
Prepare Learning Circle builds on Living Cities' partnership with StriveTogether to ensure the success of every child from cradle to career. StriveTogether has developed a rigorous collective impact framework for building data-driven and results-oriented cross-sector groups working together to achieve large-scale results and enduring change. Today, almost 50 partnerships are applying the StriveTogether framework in their own communities, making the national organization a pioneer and leader in the collective impact field.
"The partnership between Living Cities and the five selected communities will allow us to further define the career end of the cradle to career continuum," said Jeff Edmondson, Managing Director of StriveTogether. "These partnerships will help demonstrate how to measure and continuously improve strategies related to workforce development and career readiness."
A strong majority of partnerships in the StriveTogether Network have focused on the link between educational attainment and economic opportunity, particularly the need to support the preparation of a workforce that can access quality jobs. The Prepare Learning Circle will leverage the strength of Network members to expand the knowledge base and drive progress related specifically to workforce readiness and placement.
StriveTogether, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, works with communities nationwide to help them create a civic infrastructure that unites stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education, supporting the success of every child, cradle to career. Communities implementing the StriveTogether framework have seen dramatic improvements in kindergarten readiness, standardized test results, and college retention. For more information about StriveTogether, visit www.strivetogether.org.
ABOUT LIVING CITIES
Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. Additional information can be found at www.livingcities.org.
SOURCE Living Cities