This report summarizes lessons learned from successful workforce pipelines catalyzed by the Casey Foundation’s Making Connections initiative. It gives a detailed overview of how neighborhood-focused job pipelines can recruit, prepare, place and retain residents in well-paying jobs through mutually beneficial partnerships with employers, workforce agencies, community colleges, community-based organizations and other partners. It offers ample guidance on how this approach can overcome historic disconnects between employers and residents in low-income neighborhoods: transportation barriers, race-based hiring preferences and lack of access to informal but critical job referral networks.
Partners in a neighborhood jobs pipeline use vision-building questions to flesh out new ideas, surface underlying assumptions, and begin to identify and gather the neighborhood level data that will be need to build the case for the pipeline approach.
Workforce pipelines can help low-income neighborhoods better organize themselves to advocate for long-term improvements.
Neighborhood workforce pipelines are high-performing collaborations, where workforce agencies, employers, community-based organizations, residents and other partners share a common vision for change.
Pipelines respond to what employers want and need, and help businesses recruit and retain their employees in more effective ways.
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By screening prospective candidates, neighborhood-based organizations have been able to provide a richer pool of candidates to Airport Jobs, thereby increasing the success rate of hires from the neighborhood. Prior to implementing this project, White Center residents hired at the Airport accounted for less than 11 percent of all hires. The rate now is approaching 22 percent.
It is our belief that improvements in all of these areas—income, education, and community connections— can add up to a better life for families in some of America’s most distressed communities. Making Connections was launched in 1999 in ten sites around the country to put our ideas to work.
Vulnerable families need help to connect to the kinds of economic opportunities that can improve their lives and the prospects of their children. Neighborhood workforce pipelines can add real value to the economic landscape of tough neighborhoods and have the potential to help lift significant numbers of families and communities out ofpoverty.