Foundation grantmaking focuses on four major program areas.
These programs touch upon a number of major issues.
Each grantmaking program also works within clearly stated geographic parameters or regions.
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The Sector Skills Academy, a project of the Aspen Institute, will expand the ranks of practitioners who are knowledgeable about sectoral employment strategies and want to become leaders in their field. Individuals from a variety of institutional settings will participate in this eighth class. The academy will draw upon the experiences of leading sectoral practitioners who have direct knowledge of a wide range of approaches to effecting change that will benefit low-income workers. Through a curriculum based on structured, experiential, and group learning, participants will gain the skills to lead the sector field as it expands in breadth, scope, and impact.
This grant will provide partial support for a series of roundtable discussions that will examine low-wage work in several different industry sectors including food service, retail trade, and construction. The forums will provide the opportunity for in-depth discussions on improving job quality, compensation, benefits, and advancement opportunities for low-wage workers and their families. The goal of the project is to increase awareness and illuminate strategies for improving opportunities and conditions in traditionally low-wage industries among policymakers, the business community, and workforce practitioners.
This grant will continue support to the Interfaith Education Fund to replicate and expand the scale of its sectoral employment initiatives throughout the southwest. The grantee's sectoral employment initiatives define the skills required to succeed in targeted, hard-to-fill occupations with viable career ladders, and then recruits, trains, and develops low-income adults so they are qualified and ready to fill employers' needs for skilled workers. Multiyear funding will enable the Interfaith Education Fund to replicate its work in Phoenix; Houston; Monroe, Louisiana; and Los Angeles, and increase the number being served by initiatives in San Antonio, El Paso, Austin, the Lower Rio Grand Valley, Texas; and Tucson, Arizona.
Eduployment: Creating Opportunity Policies for America's Youth
The Mott Foundation has long believed that employment is an important pathway out of poverty. To that end, the Foundation supports programs, initiatives and partnerships around the United States that seek to help low-income, low-skilled workers overcome their barriers to employment, enter the labor market and increase their earnings over time. Grantmaking includes funding for educational initiatives, particularly at the community college level, that help people gain the knowledge, skills and experience that employers are looking for.
Grantmaking is done primarily through Mott’s Expanding Economic Opportunity program area. Related funding through the Flint Area program targets the Foundation’s home community of Flint, Michigan.
Focus: HOPE was founded in Detroit in 1968 to help battle such social ills as racism, poverty and injustice. Since then it has taken its place among the country’s most dynamic and effective anti-poverty and civil rights organizations.
Today, Focus: HOPE provides the Motor City’s low-income residents with job training in machining and information technology, and programs that help adult learners succeed in the classroom. The organization also operates one of the country’s largest food distribution centers, as well as a state-of-the-art child-care facility for working parents.
Since its founding, Focus: HOPE has received $17.77 million in grants from the Mott Foundation through its Pathways Out of Poverty program, which seeks to help people obtain the tools, including job training, to lift themselves out of poverty.
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Crystal Riggs credits St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center with providing her with the educational and work opportunities she needed to turn her life around.
Crystal Riggs - St. Luke N.E.W. Life Enterprises
Video edited/produced by Duane M. Elling
“My whole life has changed — tremendously,” said Riggs, 50, a soft-spoken Flint woman who now works full-time at North End Women’s (N.E.W.) Life Enterprises, a scrub uniform and accessories business on the city’s northwest side.
Riggs is one of 14 women working as seamstresses at N.E.W. Life Enterprises, which operates out of the N.E.W. Life Center, a faith-based venture housed in a former elementary school and founded in 2002 by two Flint nuns.
In response to the great needs they encountered daily in their work in the community, Sister Carol Weber and Sister Judy Blake initiated literacy and adult education, emergency assistance, and computer and life-skills training for low- and no-income women caregivers. More recently, the program began serving men as well. The goal is to help clients secure financial independence.
In 2009, with Flint and much of the rest of nation mired in economic recession, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation provided $15,000 in support to help the center launch N.E.W. Life Enterprises. Business advisers say that it has the potential to become a $1-million operation within five years.
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