West/Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation organizations are pioneering workforce initiatives that bring working people out of poverty level jobs and into living wage careers. By building the political will for investment of public monies in long-term training, local organizations have successfully brought together employers, community college officials and community leaders to create long-term workforce development and education programs for actual jobs in high demand occupations.
Inspired by the success of the oldest of these labor market intermediaries, Project Quest in San Antonio, leaders established an additional nine projects in the West and Southwest US: Capital IDEA in Austin, Texas; Project ARRIBA in El Paso, Texas; VIDA in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas; JobPath in Tucson, Arizona; NOVA in Monroe, Louisiana; Capital IDEA-Houston in Houston, Texas; Project IOWA; and Arizona Career Pathways in Phoenix. In 2014, DuPage County United launched its own labor market intermediary, Career Connect Metro West, just outside Chicago.
Collectively, these institutions have trained and placed over 16,000 adults in living wage jobs which pay, on average, $40,000 annually plus benefits and a career path. This number is expected to grow as the West/Southwest IAF expands into Phoenix, Des Moines, Albuquerque and DuPage. (Excerpt taken from West Southwest IAF Website)
Since 1992, Project QUEST has worked to meet the pace of innovation.
Today, we connect San Antonians to emerging careers in healthcare, manufacturing and trades, and information technology. Our nationally-recognized workforce and skills training program has helped thousands find amazing in-demand careers.
Our support means we go the extra mile to ensure program participants reach their goals. With wrap-around services that can include rental assistance, scholarships, job interview prep, funds for tuition and books, and more, our workforce program has one of the highest completion rates in the country. At QUEST, we strengthen the economy and transform lives by preparing individuals for in demand, living-wage careers.
Capital IDEA’s mission is to lift working adults out of poverty and into living-wage careers through education and career advancement.
We envision a thriving Central Texas where non-traditional students have the opportunity to get an education, enter a skilled occupation, earn a living wage, and reach their full potential. At the same time, we aim to make it easier for our leading employers to stay, grow, and hire locally from a diverse pool of motivated workers properly trained for the best careers of today and the future.
Our mission is to invest in underemployed adults by funding educational pathways to attain thriving careers and financial self-sufficiency.
Capital IDEA Houston was born out of the political will and organizing efforts of The Metropolitan Organization (TMO). TMO is a part of a larger network of organizations known as the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a nationwide network of broad-based organizations building power to revitalize our democracy for constructive social and economic change. In 2008, TMO launched a workforce strategy to create a Labor Market Intermediary organization that would provide education opportunities leading to living wage employment for the Greater Houston residents; this is how Capital IDEA Houston was started.
Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement (VIDA) is a community-based, nonprofit 501 (c)(3) agency. Created in 1995, VIDA is the result of a local effort led by community leaders of Valley Interfaith and private-industry business leaders. The impetus was the need to empower the underserved residents of our region with the tools, education, and training needed to become self-sufficient while fueling the growth of existing employers and increasing recruitment of new investment to the area by developing a highly skilled workforce.
Our mission is to formulate new institutional relationships in the Rio Grande Valley that simultaneously address employers’ needs for skilled workers and prepare the area’s unemployed and underemployed residents with high-skill, high-wage jobs identified in the region.
Founded in 1998 by Pima County Interfaith Council and devoted community members, JobPath is a workforce development and advocacy agency that helps adult students succeed in job-training programs and start meaningful and lucrative careers. We are coaches, administrators, business experts, workforce specialists, and alumni who care about helping students build their path to success.
JobPath’s mission is to improve the economic status of underserved adults by removing barriers to educational achievement so that they can lead healthier and more prosperous lives.
A job intermediary that connects the needs of employers with training entities and local residents who are looking for living wage employment with benefits and a career path. An Employer-Driven initiative.
The need for Project IOWA started from a series of community meetings started by AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) in 2008 to learn more about what barriers and challenges individuals faced in trying to realize the American dream in Central Iowa. The overwhelming response at these meetings was that people struggled with finding a livable wage job that enabled them to take care of their families. Yet despite this obvious need for better employment, many central Iowa businesses were facing a shortage of skilled workers to fill many positions.
Project IOWA was established in 2011 to address the skilled workforce gap that was negatively affecting both individuals and businesses in Central Iowa.
Our mission is to demonstrate the substantial social and economic benefits that are achieved through investment in long-term credential and degree attainment for those who otherwise would not have the opportunity. We seek to improve the quality of life, raise the standard of living, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of Maricopa County.
Since 2010, our proven workforce development model has provided low-income students with the skills training they need for the most in-demand jobs in our community.