Economic Mobility

Closing wage gaps through education and job training

What we believe

Intergenerational economic mobility – the likelihood that children born into families with low wealth can achieve a higher standard of living is often hampered by high poverty rates, shrinking populations and declining economic standing. The Economic Mobility strategy is about making sure kids start kindergarten ready to learn and paving career pathways to living-wage jobs for teens and adults.

Goals

As of 2020, there were more nearly 67,000 children living in poverty in Cuyahoga County.

  • By 2023, United Way will help 40% of Greater Cleveland’s impoverished children by connecting them with academic supports, engaging their whole families in enrichment, and building parenting skills.

As of 2020, 30% of working-age adults in Cleveland and 121,588 in Cuyahoga County were in poverty.

  • United Way will connect 16,000 working-age adults with the services they need to get and retain jobs that pay a living wage.

Funding Priorities

  • Academic enrichment
  • Access to parent education programs
  • Connections to outside services
  • Family and parental engagement
  • Increasing access to early childhood services
  • Increasing financial stability
  • Increasing transportation support,
  • Workforce development programs
  • Workforce placements

Community Hub for Basic Needs Partners

In March 2021, United Way announced a new source of funding for innovative programs from diverse social service agencies: The Community Hub for Basic Needs grants.

A seven-month process of applications, interviews, and input from stakeholders ensures that the grants will fuel innovative programs to combat poverty initiatives that are aligned with United Way’s community strategies. In the same way, United Way is assured that we are partnering with forward-thinking nonprofits that are aligned with our investment principles. community investments with a focus on identifying and selecting diverse, innovative agencies and programs.

Each grant is renewable in the calendar year 2023, pending review of metrics reports, participation in the Center for Excellence in Social Services, and the performance of United Way’s Annual Workplace Campaign.

The inaugural Community Hub for Basic Needs grant recipients for Economic Mobility are:

Lexington-Bell Community Center
Helps parents, family members, and home‐based caregivers provide quality learning experiences for children from their earliest days.
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Ravenwood Health
Empowers individuals and families through mental health and addiction services.
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Spanish American Committee
Provides hands-on workforce development training and certification assistance to the Latino/Hispanic community.
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Starting Point
Gives educators the resources they need to prepare kids for kindergarten.
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Towards Employment
Helps people build skills and experience to connect to family-sustaining careers.
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Youth Opportunities Unlimited
Helps high school students navigate their career journeys.
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YWCA of Cleveland
Provides assistance for families and children under five who were disproportionately impacted by homelessness.
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Impact Institute Programs

Family Spaces

Family Spaces provides neighborhood hubs of information and for families with preschoolers. 

Scholar House

Cleveland Scholar House removes barriers to economic opportunity by providing housing and wrap-around services for single college students and their children.

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