RFP from Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance

Request for Proposals: Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance

Raise the Floor: Improving the Quality of Low-Wage Work for Workers, for Businesses and for Communities

Release Date: April 25, 2014      Due Date: June 20, 2014

The Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance collaborates with employers and other workforce stakeholders to increase employment and earnings for underprepared workers in the Chicago region. The work of the Funder Alliance is built upon the recognition that a skilled workforce creates competitive advantages for regional economic and community development. This recognition has led the Funder Alliance to identify five strategic priorities, which are:

  1. Support for new and existing workforce partnerships in high-priority industry sectors that lead to higher earnings, credential attainment and career advancement for underprepared Chicago-area residents;
  2. Aligning workforce development and economic development activities;
  3. Policy and systems reform that facilitates access to and delivery of effective education and training;
  4. Improvements to data collection, analysis and use leading to more efficient service delivery, high-quality services and better consumer information; and
  5. Workforce innovation.

Questions and Responses to: Matthew Bruce, Executive Director mbruce@cct.org / 312-565-2161 

Full RFP available here.


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NFG Blog: Voices from Our Members

Check out NFG's member blog, featuring a post from Kevin Ryan, Program Director, New York Foundation: On April 2 and 3, Neighborhood Funders Group hosted From Boston to New York: Is a More Just City Possible?, a two-day learning tour that focused on the promise of both cities’ new mayoral administrations to be more transparent and accountable, and to develop strategies that bridge the income gap between the wealthy and the poor. Read the full post here.

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Wages are a public-health issue

Edward P. Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, in the MinnPost, March 21, 2014: When people think about minimum wage, they most often think about the impact on their bank account and their job. But policies that impact employment and income are actually about health – the health of individuals, families and communities. Read the full article here.

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Factors That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Cory S. Anderson, Vice President of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, New York Times, March 13, 2014: President Obama’s approach, painting a bright red target on the problem, is the only worthwhile strategy at his level. To be clear, the targets are not boys and men of color. The targets are systematic inequities and disparate outcomes. And the My Brother's Keeper initiative aims to address them in a way that will benefit all Americans: by identifying and expanding effective programs, and by building better policy and clearer pathways to success for boys and men of color.

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Visit NFG's Event Calendar

Visit our calendar to learn about upcoming events in philanthropy and with our partners in the field. Click here for upcoming activities.

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LGBT People: Our Longing for Home, Our Right to Housing

By Robert Espinoza, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders)

There are mornings when the hour-long commute to work feels Odyssean. Today is one of those mornings. February has unfurled a litany of winter storms that have left New York City awash in slush and my Facebook feed soaked in bemoaning. As I trudge through Brooklyn and board the D train to Manhattan, I’m stirred by the resilience of people to survive winter—huddled overnight in subway trains and housing shelters, or living miles from work to afford one’s rent, a mortgage and the accumulating costs of surviving. For generations, economic injustice has been designed into the housing realities of moderate- to low-income Americans as structurally as their home floor plans; it has concentrated wealth into the privileged few and left the rest with housing instability, enduring inequality and, at its worst, homelessness. New research confirms these realities. In this context, I am privileged to afford an apartment that offers shelter through the bitter storms let loose increasingly through climate change. And I am comforted by knowing that the closest people to me constitute a home that makes the broader storms of life more bearable. Read the full article here.

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Remembering Chokwe Lumumba

The board and staff of the Neighborhood Funders Group are deeply saddened by the passing of Jackson, MS Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his community. Visit this page on the NFG site to read tributes from NFG members and friends, and post your own.

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Soros foundation grants $1.9 million to four Buffalo non-profits

Full article in The Buffalo News  

Soros foundation grants $1.9 million to four Buffalo non-profits

By Mark Sommer | News Staff Reporter on January 16, 2014 - 10:01 AM

At the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, workers at traditionally low-end jobs are paid a living wage, young people are given educational and training opportunities and there are low-cost transportation options.

In schools, resolving conflicts through “restorative justice,” rather than punitive action, is responsible for reducing out-of-school suspensions, keeping kids out of jail and helping ex-offenders re-enter society.

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For Profound Change in America, Think Local

Open Society Foundations announces awards in Open Places Initiative

For Profound Change in America, Think Local

January 16, 2014 by Kenneth H. Zimmerman, U.S. Programs

We live in an age defined by profound changes: New technology has revolutionized how we communicate and get our work done. The Great Recession has left many of us searching for jobs or struggling to gain skills that fit in the “new” economy. Shifting demographics offer promise and challenges as our neighborhoods transition. Federal and state funding cuts have left services, previously taken for granted, unstable.

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Native Voices Rising: A Case For Funding Native-Led Change

Native Voices Rising funding is informed by its report “A Case For Funding Native-Led Change,” released in June 2013, which identified 146 non-profit social change organizations led by Native Americans to benefit Native communities. Of the 146 organizations identified, 49 groups participated with in-depth NVR surveys. Data and conclusions were drawn from the responses to the survey questions.

The report provides a set of case studies highlighting the diversity of strategies and issues that Native groups are utilizing to have positive impact in their communities — these include promoting laws to provide greater environmental protections; gaining management control over food resources; ensuring racial equity in government programs; extending broadband into rural communities; and guaranteeing full access to the vote.

In addition, the researchers identified five issue areas in which Native community groups are particularly active:

  • Environmental justice
  • Subsistence in Alaska
  • Native engagement in the urban context
  • Media, and
  • Voter engagement.

“A Case for Funding Native-Led Change” also offers recommendations to funders regarding making effective grants to Native-led groups. “The report findings, which derive directly from the 49 organizations surveyed, led to a series of recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of grantmaking strategies in Native America. These recommendations are relevant to any funder interested in supporting Native communities and organizations,” noted Carly Hare, Executive Director of Native Americans in Philanthropy.

Limited copies of the report are available for purchase. Each report is $30, including shipping and handling. If you are interested, please email media@nativevoicesrising.org

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