• facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • youtube

Citi Foundation Youth Workforce Fund


Contact: Paulina Velez, Youth Services Coordinator, Youth Co-Op, Inc.

Youth Co-Op, Inc. Selected as Citi Foundation Youth Workforce Fund grantee to Boost Access to Jobs Among Youth in Miami.

$4 million fund to support youth employment organizations across 15 U.S. cities

Miami (October 23, 2017) – The Citi Foundation recently announced that Youth Co-Op, Inc. has been awarded a grant from the 2017 Youth Workforce Fund, as part of its Pathways to Progress initiative to provide youth both in the U.S. and around the world with the training and access to jobs, including paid apprenticeships and internships. In partnership with America’s Promise Alliance, 15 nonprofit organizations across the U.S. will expand their programming to provide a range of employment opportunities in areas including environmental sustainability to robotics and culinary arts to coding. Collectively, the Youth Workforce Fund is expected to reach more than 5,000 youth across the country.

Youth Co-Op, Inc. will receive a grant of $250,000 to equip youth with soft and hard skills through workforce readiness training and connect them to full- or part-time employment and internship opportunities that meet their interests and the needs of the local labor market.

“The Youth Workforce Fund grant goes hand-in-hand with our interest in empowering economically disadvantaged youth and families, expanding the services we are providing to bring hope for a better future for them. First-hand, real world job training and experience in Miami’s growing industries will have a significant impact on the lives of our young people and contribute to the vitality of our city and its economy. We are thrilled to have this opportunity and encourage our community to embrace the program and get involved in working toward our mission,” said Maria Rodriguez, President of Youth Co-Op.

“The Youth Co-op does an incredible job serving our community and its partnership with the Citi Foundation will help increase the number of Miami-Dade County residents trained to compete for highly skilled careers, said Rebeca Sosa, Commissioner of Miami-Dade County. I commend the Youth Co-Op for helping to develop our homegrown talent and look forward to continue working with them in the future.”

“Through this opportunity, Youth Co-Op will be able to provide 175 youth with job opportunities in the field of their choice, preparing them to enter careers in high growth industries, said Wilfredo (Willy) Gort, Commissioner of the City of Miami and one of the founders of Youth Co-Op, Inc. “This will complement and increase our citywide efforts to help create and advance critical opportunities for local youth.”

Access to apprenticeships, internships and vocational training is essential to empowering youth and preparing them to compete in today’s economy. According to the Citi Foundation’s Global Youth Survey 2017: Economic Prospects & Expectations, 78% of young people surveyed believe that internships and apprenticeships are critical for career success; however, 60% say there aren’t enough of these opportunities.

“While there is much focus on the skills mismatch among today’s youth and the jobs available, there are a lot of community organizations across the U.S. that are changing the dynamics around youth employment in their communities,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation. “Through the Youth Workforce Fund, we’re supporting those organizations that are expanding the skills of young people, building their networks, and connecting them to jobs.”

America’s Promise Alliance, the largest coalition of youth-serving organizations across the United States, will help us promote the adoption of new ideas that arise from Youth Workforce Fund programming. “We know that for many youth there is not one straight line to success and that the more opportunities young people have to work in real-world environments, the better chance they have for future economic mobility and success” added John Gomperts, President & CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “The programs supported by the Youth Workforce Fund reflect different pathways into the workforce that are essential for helping more young people beat the odds.”

About Youth Co-Op, Inc.
Youth Co-Op has been serving South Florida for over 44 years. It was founded to promote the social wellbeing of youth in 1973. Since then, it has successfully operated numerous programs that support youth and families to become productive members of the community. Some of these include workforce programs, refugee resettlement, dropout prevention, tutoring, crime prevention, after-school services, and a K to 12 charter school, and immigration and legal services to vulnerable individuals.

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce. For more information, visit www.americaspromise.org.