On July 18th, 2023, the Heckscher Foundation announced it awarded $7.6 million to 20 grantees as a part of a new initiative: the Heckscher Foundation Challenge. The grantees below are partnering with dozens of employers across New York State to train young adults from underserved communities with a goal of placing them in more than 1,100 full-time jobs.
There is a substantial gap between the skills employers require and traditional approaches to job and career training for underserved youth. Generally, there are no standard work placement requirements for employers to define, train, and hire low-income youth based on objective measures of job skills.
The Heckscher Foundation Challenge differs from traditional job placement models because it awarded grants to organizations that have secured commitments from employer partners to offer full-time employment for underserved youth.
The program also required employers to provide specific plans on how participating youth will develop necessary skills to succeed in their assigned job roles. This new initiative provides these young adults with clear paths to careers with upward mobility and financial stability – and offers a critical solution to ongoing workforce shortages.