Our nation is at a turning point. The economy is flourishing, businesses are growing, unemployment is at a record low. Too many Americans, however, still do not have access to those opportunities and so cannot reap the benefits of our current prosperity or take part in propelling it forward. There are millions of people brimming with talent, and communities blessed with extraordinary assets, poised to contribute to all the things that make this country hum and keep us competitive on the world stage. Our challenge is to push aside the obstacles and catalyze opportunity for all.
Because no single factor drives the opportunity gap, no single fix will bridge it. That's why LISC has long deployed a comprehensive strategy for helping residents connect to safe, affordable housing, quality education and job training, financial coaching and much more--all the requisites for the successful, satisfying and healthy life that everyone deserves.
Over the next three years, we aim to invest more than $3 billion to catalyze opportunity for residents and communities.
Now, we are digging into this work even more deeply, and with a sharpened focus on strategies that our experience show us work best.
Over the next three years, we aim to invest more than $3 billion to catalyze opportunity for residents and communities for whom the American Dream has remained a dream—when it should be reality.
And we'll be directing 20 percent of that financing to rural places and Native communities, which often face extra hurdles to engaging in the mainstream economy and reaping its rewards.
These investments, in turn, will power our work to support these four imperative efforts:
People are our country's greatest source of strength. Connecting residents in under-served communities with the skills and resources we all need to build productive, fulfilling lives has long been part of our mission. We do this through job skills training, career development and financial coaching as well as via investments in educational facilities and access to healthcare, good food and recreation spaces.
Communities rich with opportunity and physical assets are a prerequisite for healthy, happy lives and a strong society. We work with partners to support vital local economies and safe, affordable places to live, work and go to school. This takes many forms, including preservation and construction of affordable housing, commercial and industrial district development, creative placemaking, transit-oriented development, sustainable building and disaster resiliency and community-law enforcement partnerships.
Without flourishing commerce, communities cannot thrive, and our national ultimately loses its competitive edge. Our approach to economic development embraces small business lending and coaching, building capacity for local partners, leadership development and deployment of AmeriCorps members with community organizations across the country.
The elements of our strategic framework can only be successful with effective local leadership and innovative problem-solving. We promote resource advocacy and coalition building, help forge collaboration across sectors, and advocate for polices and practices that sustain and protect this work at the national, state and local levels.