News & Blog

ADVANCING GOOD JOBS AND FINANCIAL CAPABILITY

More than $2.7 million in Foundation funding in the third quarter supported 17 nonprofits advancing good jobs and financial capability in our region.

Nearly all of these organizations are community based, including three grantees from our Work Opportunity portfolio.

Good Jobs Pathway Initiative advances equity in Minnesota’s workforce development system

Work in this portfolio is currently focused on Minnesota. Grantees are collaborating on the Good Jobs Pathway Initiative, which supports advocacy and practices that open up good job opportunities for Native Americans, communities of color, immigrants, and refugees.

Much of this past year’s work addresses Minnesota’s implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which aims to improve the federal workforce development system on state, regional, and local levels. WIOA offers new possibilities to respond to the system’s racial disparities. A cohort of grantees is working to ensure this happens through joint advocacy (see an entry on an effort earlier this year), programming, and learning.

Q3 grant supports solutions offered by three organizations within the Good Jobs Pathway Initiative

Three grantees from this cohort are receiving Q3 funding to implement new programming and strategies based on their learning together. We’re excited about the proven practices and promising innovations these grantees are leading:

American Indian OIC is expanding its adult basic education (ABE) services to include employment opportunities for Native Americans and people from other communities of color while they’re pursuing their GED or completing remedial adult education. Its ABE services will introduce a curriculum that provides strong training and education in a culturally appropriate context while also providing job placement and access to additional training.

CAPI USA is growing its workforce programs and outreach efforts for low-income immigrants, refugees, and communities of color. This will help increase the reach of CAPI USA’s credentialed training programs and provide soft skill and financial education training.

Hmong American Partnership (HAP) is assessing its infrastructure, talent, resources, and core operations to ensure its workforce programming meets the needs of its clients, 95 percent of whom are communities of color, immigrants, or refugees. HAP is also strengthening its ability to advocate for changes to the workforce delivery system to better respond to immigrants and refugees.

We invite you to look up the grantees’ websites and take a closer look at their work.

A Time for Uncertainty, and Reaffirmation

Kevin Walker, NWAF President and CEO

After a bruising election season, we find ourselves searching for clarity on a basic question: What holds us together as a region and a country? So much of the recent campaign focused on our divisions. But the genius of the American character lies in beliefs we share, not arguments that divide.

What are those shared beliefs? We believe in the intrinsic worth of each person. We believe people and communities have the right to thrive: to be who they are and to share their gifts with society. And we believe, as Dr. King said, that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.

This is a challenging moment for our grantees on the ground working to advance good jobs and financial capability. Our priority communities—including Native Americans, people of color, immigrants, refugees, and people in rural areas—seem newly vulnerable. But our commitment to them is steadfast. We will work harder than ever to ensure that our grantees can continue to expand opportunity and help communities thrive on their own terms. Whatever new paths and obstacles emerge, we will travel alongside our grantees as a true ally, responsive and resolute.