As students of all ages head back to school this season, Thomas Orr, a senior program officer in charge of workforce development programs for LISC Indianapolis, delves into the outdated ways we gauge the value of higher education. At a time when millions of people are in need of living-wage jobs, while millions of middle-skills jobs sit vacant, apprenticeships and other alternative pathways to satisfying careers make more sense than ever..
In honor of Mother’s Day, we are sharing the story of Paulette Arnold, a single parent of four who is turning her family’s financial life around—and building a rewarding career—after completing a LISC-supported Bridges to Opportunity program in San Diego.
Seasonal job insecurity meant financial stability was usually just out of reach for Antonio Gregory and his family. But last year, after connecting with a LISC-funded Bridges to Career Opportunity program in Detroit, Gregory got the certifications, financial education and support he was looking for, to advance in work and in life.
Developing the right skills to compete in growing employment sectors is critical to families and to local economies. But what really works to build up long-term financial stability? LISC’s Chris Walker takes a look at the outcomes of research on workforce development programs—especially those that bundle education, training and placement with a broader array of financial counseling—and finds compelling evidence for how to help low-wage workers move past employment barriers and into new opportunities.
Tuesday might have been President Obama’s last State of the Union address. But he made it clear that the work needed to lift families out of poverty is ongoing. LISC’s Matt Josephs considers the president’s remarks from a community development perspective, looking at programs that improve the quality of life in places where Americans struggle to make ends meet.