The Community Foundation of Broward’s new $1 million BE BOLD Prize, recently awarded to Broward College, will empower hundreds of unemployed and underemployed residents to achieve life-changing career opportunities.
The Community Foundation in January created this $1 million prize to find a dynamic strategy to boost local employment – especially for minority residents in long-struggling neighborhoods who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic’s economic crisis.
Now the $1 million prize will jump-start Broward College’s groundbreaking efforts to help underserved residents overcome barriers to higher education and connect them to new jobs through the EMPLOYS Program.
EMPLOYS stands for Employment Management Program for Labor Opportunities that Yield Success. It’s an exciting new component of the college’s Broward Up initiative to increase access to post-secondary education and workforce training for residents in local zip codes most affected by unemployment and underemployment.
As Broward Up expands career training and industry certification opportunities in more neighborhoods with unemployment deficiencies, EMPLOYS will provide wrap-around services to help program participants find new jobs that make the most of their improved skills.
The $1 Million BE BOLD Prize provides the seed money to launch the first two years of EMPLOYS, which will enable the placement of up to 400 program participants into good jobs in the local workforce. After the kickstart provided by the BE BOLD Prize, Broward College will continue the program through the endowment of a $30 million grant the school recently received from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott.
Also, EMPLOYS will provide incentives to community partners to become job placement agents for program participants. Community partners will include the Urban League of Broward County, Hispanic Unity, South Florida Anchor Alliance, Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council and others.
“The EMPLOYS Program of Broward College is the perfect combination of BOLD innovation and targeted results needed to implement the $1 million BE BOLD Prize,” said Community Foundation President/CEO Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D. “The Community Foundation wants to get Broward residents back to work, whether they have been impacted by job losses related to COVID-19 or are victims of chronic unemployment or underemployment in certain segments of our community.”
The Community Foundation created the BE BOLD Prize with the goal of encouraging new ways of thinking that move beyond traditional workforce development programs and embrace an innovative idea and solution for transformative community impact.
The hunt for innovative job creation proposals resulted in 10 BE BOLD Prize applications that met the qualifications for consideration. A distinguished panel including Community Foundation Board Members, local and statewide business and community leaders, as well as nonprofit executives, evaluated the applications. The panel reviewed applicants based on the following criteria: innovation, community impact, collaboration, commitment to equity, reach across the community, program sustainability, and the capacity of an organization to execute its proposed program.
On June 25, Community Foundation Board of Directors reviewed the feedback from the panel awarded the BE BOLD Prize to Broward College.
This fall, the Community Foundation and Broward College will team up for an event to showcase the BOLD impact the EMPLOYS program will have for residents in our community.
“Preparing our students for post-completion success is critical,” said Broward College President Gregory Haile, J.D. “It’s not enough to get students into the classroom and have them earn a credential. We have to support them through the employment process. We are very grateful to receive the BE BOLD Prize, which will have a tremendous impact on our ability to create a seamless transition from higher education opportunities to placement in Broward County’s workforce.”
For more information about the $1 million dollar BE BOLD Prize grant, please contact Kirk Englehardt, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Community Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954-761-9503.