The Local Initiatives Support Corporation has announced a $10 million commitment from the Citi Foundation to expand its Bridges to Career Opportunities program, which connects unemployed and underemployed workers to services designed to boost their incomes, improve their credit, and raise their standard of living.
Through the partnership, an additional forty nonprofits across the country will receive funds and technical support to launch or expand their efforts in connecting displaced workers to jobs in growth industries, including health care, construction, transportation, and technology. In addition to training, the Bridges program provides a range of support services, including continuing education courses, personal financial counseling, and resources designed to help job seekers address impediments to career mobility such as child care and housing.
Grantees include Detroit-based Focus: HOPE, which will use the funds to launch a robotics program for those seeking careers in the automation, manufacturing, and information technology fields, and the International Rescue Committee, which will expand its work in San Diego with refugees, immigrants, and low-income individuals, with a focus on the rapidly growing solar industry.
Over the past two years, more than three thousand participants have been placed in jobs through the program. More than half the organizations slated to receive funding operate sites in federally designated Opportunity Zones, a federal incentive designed to increase investments in low-wealth communities that was included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
"The Bridges program is a proven resource that has already helped thousands of families raise their standards of living," said LISC president and CEO Maurice A. Jones. "Our partnership with the Citi Foundation will help scale up that impact, knitting together significant support for skills development and jobs with other financial, health, and housing services that improve overall quality of life."