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ADVANCING GOOD JOBS AND FINANCIAL CAPABILITY

Nonprofits in our region received nearly as much Foundation funding during the fourth quarter of 2016 as in the prior three quarters combined.

Sixty grants totaling more than $9 million supported work that advanced good jobs and financial capability this past quarter—compared to 121 grants worth just shy of $18 million for all of 2016.

One focus of fourth quarter funding was support for career and financial guidance that helps youths and others from the community find pathways to a secure future. A grant to Cankdeska Cikana Community College pursues this focus in reservation communities. A grant to Juma Ventures serves urban youths.

Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC) meets the need for career services for college and community

CCCC is using a $200,000, two-year Foundation commitment to hire a career counselor who will provide and coordinate career guidance both inside and outside the classroom—tailored to the distinct needs of students and community members of Spirit Lake Tribe, located on a North Dakota tribal reservation. At its heart, this grant from our Work Opportunity portfolio explores how tribal colleges open up pathways to good jobs in reservation communities.

The community college has quadrupled in size since 2003. Students gain great technical skills. But non-academic advising is underfunded and often must occur through ad hoc efforts from faculty.

The career counselor will provide advising that supports students’ needs, whether these needs are for the confidence to envision a career path or for help to overcome challenges within their families or with their finances. What’s special is that the position also serves community members who aren’t students. They might receive short-term, skill-based training or gain a deeper understanding of how higher education can be an option for them.

Through Juma Ventures, selling a hotdog at a Seahawks game can launch a career

Juma Ventures operates a social enterprise that sells concession items at major sporting events as a way to break the cycle of poverty for low-income youths.

Our $150,000, two-year grant to Juma Ventures is rooted in the Enterprise Development portfolio. But the work aligns with our goals beyond advancing enterprise development to support community-oriented businesses. It also advances work opportunities that lead to good jobs and offers skill building that leads to financial inclusion.

In Seattle, 170 youths work in jobs, often their first, in Juma Ventures’ enterprises that sell food at CenturyLink Field and other stadiums. But the value of Juma Ventures goes way beyond an after-school or summer job. The youths also gain academic support that prepares them for higher education, hard and soft job skill training that expands career options, and financial skills that help them manage a budget and save. As part of the program, youths open college savings accounts that receive a 2:1 match.

Almost all youths in the program graduate from high school, and most are able to gain further placement into permanent work beyond the program.


Keep learning more

We invite you to visit CCCC’s and Juma Ventures’ websites and to look at listings of all of our grantees—from the fourth quarter and from all of 2016.