The Citizens Charitable Foundation announced today a $1.25 million grant to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to fuel digital inclusion in historically marginalized communities, helping residents build the skills they need to compete for jobs.
Supporting work at eight LISC Financial Opportunity Center® (FOC) partners, the funding will help launch and expand digital services that prepare people for growth industries, including the information technology field. LISC FOCs are community-based programs that integrate services related to employment training and career coaching, job placement, financial coaching, and wrap-around social support like child-care, housing and transportation so that people can achieve long-term financial stability.
Since FOC services are delivered by experienced community-based nonprofits, the digital training is tailored to local economic and employment conditions, with a particular focus on people and communities where job loss, discrimination and underinvestment have limited opportunities. Importantly, the experience gained from these efforts can then be replicated throughout LISC’s national network of more than 120 FOCs, which serve 25,000 people each year.
The funding directly benefits people who face the steepest structural barriers to opportunity. More than 83 percent of FOC clients are people of color, and 60 percent are women. They take advantage of a range of FOC programs—including the Bridges to Career Opportunities program, which focuses on foundational skills like math and reading, as well as technical training—so they can move into better-paying jobs and build a more stable financial future.
Citizens has been a long-time supporter of LISC and FOCs, with more than $4 million in funding since 2018.