Citi Foundation’s Launches $50 Million Jobs Initiative for Youth and Young Adults

The New York-based Citi Foundation has announced a three-year, $50 million commitment to help unlock economic opportunities for young people.

The Pathways to Progress initiative will provide youth, aged 16 to 24, with career development opportunities in ten U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

This is the largest single commitment ever made by the Citi Foundation.

“Pathways to Progress aims to jump-start economic opportunity for 100,000 low-income young Americans in cities across the United States,” said Citi Foundation Chief Operating Officer Brandee McHale. “Through a combination of entrepreneurship training, civic engagement and summer employment linked to financial education, we aim to improve youth career readiness by developing critical leadership and workplace skills.”

The initiative is launching with three major program elements in partnership with 3 leading nonprofit partners:

ServiceWorks is a national program implemented in collaboration with the Points of Light Foundation and the Corporation for National & Community Service. ServiceWorks is the nation’s largest corporate-sponsored AmeriCorps VISTA program. It will place 225 national service members in programs to help low income youth and young adults develop the skills they need to succeed in today’s workplace.

Summer Jobs Connect is a program developed with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to provide 1,800 youth in five cities with meaningful summer employment. Youth in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco will receive financial education and training in addition to their work experience. The program will also create relationships between municipal agencies and community partners to better understand youth unemployment.

The Make Your Job component is a collaboration between the foundation and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. The Make Your Job piece is an intensive program aimed at empowering youth to develop entrepreneurial mindsets. The program will create 18 new entrepreneurial camps, focusing on innovation and promoting the growth of participants’ business and technical skills.

The program also uses technology and web-based services to engage youth. The Make Your Job component will serve approximately 450 young people in the cities of Baltimore, Bridgeport (CT), Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Additional elements will be developed under the Pathways to Progress program, during the course of the three-year campaign.

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Judith Fenlon
About Judith Fenlon 167 Articles
Money & Business Editor for The Chronicle of Social Change