Communityworks Endowment Fund

Access 2016 Request for Proposals Here

History: Charitable Goals of Communityworkscworks_logo_4web

Your Community Foundation successfully secured three rounds of support from Grand Victoria Foundation, a state-wide private foundation based in Chicago, to help our community address three important issues:

  • childcare and early childhood education,
  • workforce development, and
  • land use and protection.

The Community Foundation led a two-year effort to identify the challenges and opportunities in our communities in the three target areas.  An impact plan and goals were developed as a result of discussions, community meetings, and review of findings by a 36-member Advisory Team with representatives from all four counties. From that effort, issues and opportunities for leadership and grantmaking to affect change in Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike counties were identified and are taking place.  Improving the early care and education of children and jobs were identified as the most important issues to address in the near term.

Your Gifts in Action: Quality Child Care…Priceless!video 1 (68)

In 2007 the Community Foundation partnered with West Central Child Care Connection to improve the quality of childcare by increasing the pool of educated providers, improving retention and revenue streams of child care workers, and demonstrating to parents the benefits of choosing quality care.

Since then, the Community Foundation has invested in grants to West Central Child Care Connection for evaluation and mentoring of family home child care providers. The program has now impacted 69 home care providers. 590 children and their families have experienced increased quality of care, building the foundation for future academic, workforce, and community success.

In turn West Central Child Care Connection has leveraged an additional $99,000 in matching and state funds to expand the program. Child care providers successfully completing the mentorship have leveraged an additional $55,000 in Illinois Quality Counts Grants to continue to increase the quality of care.

The outcomes and impact of the program are being further evaluated. Mentors are revisiting and evaluating the improvements in quality and the long-term impact of the children in their care.

Expanding into Workforce DevelopmentJWCC Workforce

The Community Foundation partnered with John Wood Community College Adult and Community Education Department to develop a program to build a stronger, better prepared workforce in the Quincy area. The Community Foundation provided  grants to develop a fast-track, soft skills training and mentoring program for General Education Development (GED) students. All GED classes address skills identified by local employers as the most needed in our workforce based on existing and new opportunities in the job market. In addition, each GED student is paired with mentors to assist the student in seeking employment or further education after completing the GED. The program has trained 140 students and leveraged more than $22,500 in funds. The program is now self-sustaining and integrated into the GED program curriculum.

During the second phase of the workforce initiative the Community Foundation partnered with the new workforce consortium made up of workforce organizations and educational institutions with the goal of improving the workforce pool in Quincy and surrounding areas. The Community Foundation provided grants to the project to supplement funding received from a federal grant and private foundation grant. The consortium is coordinating area high schools to identify students who would benefit from WorkKeys testing and career guidance services. WorkKeys, a job skills assessment test provided by ACT, helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. Students who will likely not seek further education after high school receive a WorkKeys certificate to help them gain living wage employment or enter a job skills training program. Bridging high school students into appropriate career choices is critical to the success of area businesses and to improving the overall economic outlook for our region.

 

Anyone can make a gift to any fund at any time to help it grow. To make a gift to the Communityworks Endowment Fund, please click here.