COMMUNITY INVESTMENT PROGRAMS (a.k.a. Growing Opportunity and Local Hiring)
The need for an evidence-based, comprehensive approach to ending Charlottesville’s chronic poverty (that disproportionately burdens our Black and Brown communities) became clear in response to then City Councilor Kathleen Galvin’s request for a work session on the subject.
The subsequent 2013 Growing Opportunity Report called for a centralized job center with workforce development programs tied to local employers and a dedicated workforce development specialist tasked with forging partnerships between local government, employers, non-profits, and the community college. All three components were funded, and there are now over 20 Growing Opportunity (GO) programs.
“Nearly half the children born into poverty stay in poverty the rest of their lives. Ending the cycle of poverty, must include providing a pathway to self-sufficiency for parents.” (A Declaration of Independence: Family Self-Sufficiency in Charlottesville, VA, by Ridge Schuyler and Meg Hannan, September 10, 2011, page 4.)
Image Citation-Courtesy of Charlottesville Downtown Job Center