In every community in America where workers are struggling to support their families, there are people working to help. These local, community-driven solutions are often creative, thoughtful and impactful—but often, they’re also underfunded and unknown.
“I’ve seen firsthand the power of local organizations. As founder and executive director of WorkLife Partnership, I’ve worked in Denver for over 9 years to implement strategies aimed at expanding economic opportunity and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods,” says Romero. “We’ve been able to help thousands of workers get access to resources such as affordable child care, fuel assistance, and access to affordable credit through the Sustainable Workforce Model.”
Throughout the country, local governments, businesses and nonprofits are turning towns and cities into laboratories of opportunity. Successful experiments show the potential value of growing these programs to reach more people in more communities. But too often, these small, local programs are overlooked by funders with the resources to strengthen and scale promising solutions. To help more people find stability and share in our country’s economic growth, we need to start paying more attention to these local solutions.
That’s the inspiration behind the Communities Thrive Challenge, a partnership between The Rockefeller Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, with guidance from leaders across the country. The Communities Thrive Challenge is a $10-million funding opportunity open to organizations in the United States that are working to expand economic opportunity for low-income and financially insecure people and communities. Up to 10 grantees will receive a $1 million grant, best-in-class technical assistance, and an opportunity to share their story on a national stage.
Finalists will be chosen by a panel of expert reviewers from a range of organizations and industries, including WorkLab Managing Director Liddy Romero. Marrying local expertise and insight with financial and technical assistance, the Communities Thrive Challenge will uncover and expand proven approaches like the ones developed through the work of WorkLife Partnership. Community-driven approaches like these can help people develop skills, find and retain well paid and meaningful work, achieve financial security and create thriving neighborhoods that share in our prospering economy.
In every community in America where #workers are struggling to support their families, there are people working to help. These solutions are often creative, thoughtful and impactful—but often, they’re also underfunded and unknown.