As Washington, D.C. enters another season with double digit unemployment, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and Walmart today announced $1.25 million in multi-year strategic workforce development grants. As a part of The Community Foundation’s Walmart Washington@Work Initiative, the grants are designed to help D.C. residents get the skills and training they need to find employment.
In August 2011, Walmart announced a strategic partnership with The Community Foundation and the University of the District of Columbia Community College (CCDC) on a workforce development initiative which invests $3 million locally to prepare D.C. residents for jobs in the customer service and retail sectors. The program will offer literacy, customer service and retail training to 2,000 District residents.
“The District needs the kind of partnerships that Walmart and The Community Foundation have forged,” says Terri Lee Freeman, President of The Community Foundation. “Through these investments we will be helping more than a thousand District residents build their skills, improve their lives and become employed.”
As a part of the workforce initiative developed by Walmart, The Community Foundation and CCDC, The Community Foundation has overseen an open grant competition for $1.25 million from the Walmart Foundation. The grant will support local community-based organizations, including Goodwill of Greater Washington, Covenant House, Carlos Rosario International School, Latin American Youth Center and So Others Might Eat.
“We set out to help thousands of D.C. residents gain the skills they need to be more competitive for jobs,” said Michelle Gilliard, senior director at the Walmart Foundation. “Today’s announcement is a significant step forward and we look forward to working closely with our new partners to help put folks to work, whether as Walmart associates or employees at other businesses across D.C. and the region.”
The funding will support programs that reach all eight D.C. wards and are designed to improve residents' skills such as English as a second language, computer literacy, math and customer service training. All participants in the programs will have access to job recruitment, career counseling and job placement services for customer service opportunities at companies across D.C., including future Walmart stores.
“We are excited to be awarded this grant and to be part of Walmart’s investment in Washington, D.C.,” noted Allison R. Kokkoros, Chief Academic Officer of the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School. “This award enables us to take 250 students off of our waiting list of over 1,000 applicants and equip them with the job skills, certifications, and support necessary to enter into careers in the Retail and Hospitality industries.”
As an additional aspect of the workforce development initiative, CCDC will provide job readiness training to more than 1,000 D.C. residents and develop a Retail Academy that will prepare individuals for entry level positions in the retail industry.
About The Community Foundation
Since its founding nearly four decades ago, The Community Foundation has helped its neighbors in need by promoting and supporting effective giving and by finding innovative solutions to the region’s most challenging problems. The Foundation is a “community of givers”–individuals, families and corporations who have established more than 800 charitable-giving funds with assets of more than $340 million. In FY2010, The Foundation and its donors awarded some $54 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. region and beyond. The Community Foundation’s long-term goal is to make the Washington region a community where equity, access and opportunity are available to all.
The Foundation pursues this goal by investing in effective safety net, education, and workforce development programs, helping low-income families and individuals gain the knowledge, skills and security they need to be economically stable and engaged in community life. The Foundation has two regional affiliates–The Community Foundation for Montgomery County and The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County. For more information, visit the community foundation website.
About the Walmart FoundationWalmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit the Walmart Foundation website.
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