Press Release: Jobs for the Future Awarded $8 Million ‘Pathways Out of Poverty’ Grant for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions Green Pathway Initiative

Published jan. 14, 2010

BOSTON, MA (January 14, 2010) — Through an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Jobs for the Future (JFF), in partnership with the AFL‐CIO Working for America Institute, Wider Opportunities for Women, and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS), will dramatically ramp up pathways into green industries for unemployed and disadvantaged individuals in five cities that are seriously affected by the economic downturn.

The cities will receive funding to revitalize their economies and get people back to work as part of the NFWS Green Pathway Initiative. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis made the announcement yesterday as part of the broader $150 million Pathways Out of Poverty training grants.

Through the Green Pathway Initiative, local affiliates of the National Fund will deliver expanded education, training, job placement, and retention services in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a $30 million national philanthropic effort with $100 million in funding from over 200 local partners to expand high-impact workforce partnership  initiatives across the country. JFF is the implementation partner for the National Fund.

“The National Fund’s Green Pathway Initiative will build on our strong local capacity to create and expand workforce partnerships by leveraging its support to affiliates,” said Marlene B. Seltzer, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future. “We are excited to partner with the AFL-CIO Institute and the Wider Opportunities for Women, which offer expertise and relationships to strengthen the local green training project implementation.”

Local Partner Roles

Chicago (South Side) The National Fund’s local affiliate, Opportunity Chicago, will invest in at least two partnerships in residential weatherization and deconstruction to recruit, train, and place residents of Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) developments. The partnerships will involve the LEED Council, the North Lawndale Employment Network, and the City Colleges of Chicago. The National Fund’s local management partner is The Partnership for New Communities Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation. Amount of Grant: $690,000.

Detroit (Hamtramck, East Detroit, Highland Park) The National Fund’s local affiliate, the Detroit and Southeast Michigan Fund for Innovative Workforce Solutions, will support workforce partnerships in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Energy Conservation Apprenticeship Readiness project will be led by SER-Metro. Henry Ford Community College and WARM Training will lead the Energy Efficiency Workforce Partnership, providing weatherization and deconstruction worker training. The National Fund’s local affiliate management partner is the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Amount of Grant: $640,000.

Los Angeles (South Bay/Harbor, West/South LA, and South LA) The National Fund’s local affiliate, the Los Angeles Workforce Funder Collaborative, will support workforce partnerships in several sectors: residential weatherization (lead partner: South Bay Workforce Investment Board); energy efficiency (lead partner: WINTER); renewable electric power and waste management (lead partner: Verdugo WIB); and transportation and logistics sectors (lead partner: Los Angeles Community College District). The National Fund’s local affiliate management partner is the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Amount of Grant: $2,040,000.

Milwaukee (Center City) The National Fund’s local affiliate, the Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance, will support three workforce partnership training programs in two industries: energy efficient building, construction, and retrofitting with “Milwaukee Builds” (lead partners: Northcott Neighborhood House, Milwaukee Community Service Corps, Milwaukee Christian Center); a pre-apprenticeship program in energy efficient building construction and retrofitting (lead partner: Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership); and forestry/electric power (lead partners: Milwaukee Department of Public Works and WRTP). The National Fund’s local affiliate management partner is Urban Strategies. Amount of Grant: $1,075,000.

Philadelphia (Point Breeze and South Philadelphia) The National Fund’s local affiliate, Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN), will support workforce partnerships in weatherization and deconstruction. The lead partners are the Federation of Neighborhood Centers, two of its affiliate community agencies, and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. The National Fund’s local affiliate management partner is the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board. Amount of Grant: $1,040,000.

These grants will serve 1,130 individuals directly, with 870 receiving basic education services and 723 receiving grant‐funded supportive services. Of the individuals who begin training, 997 will complete education or training and 770 will receive a degree or certificate. Of those who complete training or education, 910 participants will be placed into unsubsidized training related employment with career advancement potential.

“The work of the National Fund’s Green Pathway Initiative is groundbreaking,” added Seltzer. “It will build new sustainable partnerships in green jobs and connect very-hard-to-serve targeted populations to career advancement pathways where few such pathways existed before.”

About AFL-CIO Working for America Institute
For over 35 years, the AFL-CIO Institute has implemented DOL and philanthropic projects aimed at helping dislocated workers and disadvantaged job seekers connect to union-sponsored training. Recently, this work has focused on helping unions establish joint labor-management occupational training programs.

About Wider Opportunities for Women
Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) works nationally and in its home community of Washington, DC to build pathways to economic independence for America's families, women, and girls. WOW has a distinctive history in changing the landscape of women and work.

About National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a five-year, $30 million national effort with $100 million in funding from over 200 local partners to strengthen and expand high-impact workforce development initiatives around the country. The National Fund is a catalyst for  lower-skilled workers to advance in their careers and for employers to meet their skill needs. Its dollars, provided by regional and national funders, support employers, workforce partnerships, and education institutions in 22 regions around the country.

About Jobs for the Future

Jobs for the Future works with our partners to design and drive adoption of education and career pathways leading from college readiness to career advancement for those struggling to succeed in today’s economy.
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