Five community colleges and nonprofit organizations receive funds to assist older job seekers
AARP Foundation is pleased to announce the continued expansion of its BACK TO WORK 50+ initiative with five new grants to community colleges and nonprofit organizations. The new grants expand the reach of the successful program, which has now grown to include 24 locations in 15 states in the United States. The expansion underscores the commitment from AARP Foundation to helping workers age 50 and older build the skills they need to find gainful employment.
BACK TO WORK 50+ is dedicated to moving low-income, unemployed adults age 50+ to stability by increasing their income through employment in good jobs in their communities. This program works with more than 24 community colleges, workforce investment boards and nonprofits to provide older adults with training, support and access to employers. Over 20,000 people have received job search strategies and tools from BACK TO WORK 50+ since the program’s inception in 2013.
“For many low-income older adults who have been out of the workforce for a while, finding a job can be an uphill battle, that is why we are connecting them to community colleges and nonprofits,” said AARP Foundation president Lisa Marsh Ryerson. “These resources can help equip this often ignored population with the skills they need to find a job and reach financial security and stability.”
This expansion includes two community colleges that will focus on helping women age 50 and older find local jobs and build the financial capability to make sound decisions that reduce debt, rebuild savings and pave the way to greater financial stability. These community colleges were awarded grants to implement the BACK TO WORK 50+: Women’s Economic Stability Initiative, funded by the Social Innovation Fund (SIF). AARP Foundation also provided grants to three nonprofit organizations that will each offer BACK TO WORK 50+ 7 Smart Strategies for 50+ Jobseekers Workshops and coaching sessions in five locations in their respective footprint. The five new grantees will work closely with AARP Foundation to expand the reach of their programs and to evaluate best practices for bringing economic opportunity to low-income older adults.
“SIF’s data reinforces that when women have access to education and thus jobs, the entire family benefits. We are delighted to fund AARP Foundation’s BACK TO WORK 50+ initiative because this program is at the core of our mission and potentially raises the earning power of people living on low and fixed incomes,” said Damian Thorman, Director of the Social Innovation Fund. “Delivering training through community colleges is also one of the most effective ways for women 50+ to gain the necessary skills they need to be competitive in the workforce.”
BACK TO WORK 50+ grantees include:
Women’s Economic Stability Initiative (three-year grant)
- Miami Dade College — North Campus (Miami, FL)
- Jefferson State Community College (Birmingham, AL)
New BACK TO WORK 50+ Nonprofit Partners (one-year grant)
- Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (Chicago, IL)
- National Able Network (Chicago Metro Area and Dupage County, IL)
- Youth Co-Op, Inc. (Greater Miami Area, FL)
In September 2014, AARP Foundation received $3 million from the Social Innovation Fund , a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. The SIF fosters public and private collaborations to evaluate and grow innovative community-based solutions that work. In just five years, the SIF and its private-sector partners have invested more than $876 million dollars in compelling community solutions. As a result of $295 million in federal grants and more than $581 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has made grants to 39 grant-making institutions and 353 nonprofits working in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
SIF requires that each federal dollar granted be matched dollar for dollar by intermediary grantees and again by the organizations they select to receive grants. Therefore, AARP Foundation’s federal grant will leverage approximately $5.4 million in private funds.
AARP Foundation’s BACK TO WORK 50+ initiative with its community colleges is made possible through a collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
To learn more about the BACK TO WORK 50+ initiative, please visit: www.aarp.org/backtowork50plus.
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.
About the Social Innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.
About the American Association of Community Colleges
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) delivers educational and economic opportunity for 13 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.