Give Self-Sufficiency in USA via Skills Training
You can help provide one-stop support to low-income/low-skill individuals to help them reach economic self-sufficiency through a living wage career. SJI does this by providing them job skills training and connections to employers in growing industry sectors along with wrap around supports such as childcare, transportation and housing to remove the barriers they face in training and on the job.
Skills are critical to the population Seattle Jobs Initiative serves, most of whom possess reading/math skills at the 5th to 8th grade level, 83% of whom earn less than $12,000 per year, and 36% of whom are homeless/in transitional housing. By 2014, 77% of family wage jobs in Washington will require some training beyond high school according to Washington’s Partnership for Learning. Yet as of 2006, nearly half of the working age residents of Puget Sound, nearly 1 million people, had no postsecondary credential. At the same time, over the long-term experts forecast a serious shortage of skilled workers, particularly for middle-skill jobs. If low-income residents are to have an opportunity to get these typically well-paying jobs-to break out of the cycle of minimum-wage work and unemployment-they must get more skills.
Graduates of SJI's training program earn wages that average $5,000 - $10,000 more annually than prior to enrolling in SJI. Given that most participants earn less than $12,000 per year before entering the program, this is a substantial bump in earnings. Additionally, graduates earn valuable employment-based benefits such as healthcare, as well as 17-28 college credits, putting the trainees well on the way to earning college credentials that can mean additional future job advancement/wage gains.
About Seattle Jobs Initiative
Partner since November, 2010
Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) creates opportunities for people to support themselves and their families through living wage careers. Operating as a high-impact workforce intermediary since 1995, SJI provides "one-stop" support to remove the barriers low-income individuals face in securing, retaining and advancing in good-paying jobs. SJI provides low-income individuals industry sector-based cohort training as well as job-specific training in existing postsecondary programs in growing industry sectors. They creatively align support services including case management, housing, childcare, transportation and counseling to provide participants the greatest opportunity to complete training and secure and retain employment. SJI also conducts research and pilot projects to connect specific disadvantaged populations to the workforce system and to develop training pathways for low-income residents in conjunction with current economic/workforce development initiatives, such as those around green jobs.
SJI is also known nationally for its research and policy work. Currently, SJI is focused on aligning King County employment and training providers and other community agencies serving the low-income population toward college attainment for their clients. This includes efforts to create "on-ramps and bridges" to postsecondary education and credentials for those who are not yet college-ready. And SJI works with community colleges to develop and implement strategies to work more effectively with community-based agencies to improve completion and attainment rates among low-income students.