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City of Seattle
Mike McGinn (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Mayor details 'Career Bridge' project for low-income adults

10/2/2012  11:00:00 AM
Rachel Schulkin  (206) 684-8020

Mayor details 'Career Bridge' project for low-income adults
Pilot project will support job seekers who face barriers to employment

SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn detailed support in his Proposed 2013-2014 Budget for the Career Bridge pilot project, an innovative partnership among the City of Seattle, the Seattle Jobs Initiative, and grassroots community groups to help individuals who face significant barriers to employment begin on a pathway to a living-wage job and career.

"We are committed to building a city where everyone in our community has the opportunity to prosper," said Mayor McGinn. "Career Bridge will work with community partners to provide personal support and mentoring, needed services, job search skills, and career development to help low-income adults find good jobs and become self-sufficient."

Career Bridge will work with city residents with barriers to employment such as:

  • Limited work experience
  • Lack of post-secondary credential
  • Criminal history (including juvenile record)
  • Need for other basic supports (housing, food, counseling, family support, financial counseling) to maintain stability
  • Financial obligations and need for immediate income

Because of the complexity of barriers, these populations are in need of a range of comprehensive services and support to prepare for and access good paying jobs with long-term career pathways. Without this support, they may be unable to access the existing employment and training system, which is primarily focused on post-secondary education.

The project is being piloted this year, and over the next two years, this partnership will serve an estimated 360 individuals, providing them with training, wrap-around supports, and job placement services help them find meaningful, good-paying jobs that are in demand in our growing economy. In 2013 and 2014, Career Bridge will be expanded to serve individuals whose limited English language skills are themselves a significant barrier to training and employment.

The Mayor's Proposed Budget includes $60,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) resources in 2013 and $800,000 in 2014 to implement the Career Bridge pilot program. The program is anticipated to support 240 people in 2014. The 2013 CDBG amount of $60,000 is supplemented by $150,000 of redirected General Fund in OED's budget for the Seattle Jobs Initiative to provide support to this program. The total funding level for 2013 is $210,000.

Pilot is Part of Pathways to Careers Initiative

The Career Bridge pilot project is part of the Pathways to Careers Initiative a partnership among the City (OED in the lead), the Seattle Community College District, business, labor, nonprofit organizations and philanthropy to create a world-class system of professional educational and training that allows all working or unemployed adults, regardless of income, to obtain the skills necessary to fill the jobs openings in demand by our employers.

Over the next three years, Pathways to Careers will reach 1,500 students and double student completion rates within four sectors: health care; manufacturing and industrial skills; international trade, transportation and logistics; and business information technology

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Office of the Mayor

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