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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:


Wednesday February 10, 2016
By guest
Originally posted on Andrus Family Fund's blog on February 5, 2016. In our last blog post, we identified the skills gap that contributes to America’s double digit youth unemployment rate. We also saw how grantee partner LeadersUp is closing the skills gap and connecting opportunity youth with career pathways. However, addressing skills alone cannot solve the workforce inequities we see today. While the Nation’s unemployment rate has improved, recent data shows that the unemployment rate for African American youth under the age of 20 is significantly higher than their white counterparts....
Tags: Opportunity Youth, Dropout Recovery
Tuesday February 9, 2016
By guest
The NatureWORKS team would like to thank William L. Allen III for contributing to this guest post. Will Allen is the Vice President of Conservation Planning & Integrated Services at The Conservation Fund and a member of the NatureWORKS advisory group. Today, nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in mega regions making the conservation of nature both more challenging and more urgent. Investments in green infrastructure are critically important to protect and restore the natural systems that provide communities with clean air, water, and other “ecosystem services.” One way to make...
Tags: Green Skills
Wednesday February 3, 2016
Originally posted on Education Week's blog on January 26, 2016.  As the historians David Tyack and Larry Cuban pointed out many years ago, American education suffers from a bad case of what the late baseball legend Yogi Berra called "déjà vu all over again." School reformers don't really come up with new ideas so much as they recycle old ones, forever moving back and forth between calls for Deweyan progressivism and "the basics"; student-centered instruction and teacher-centered classrooms; site-based management and top-down leadership; and so on. And all the while, note Tyack and Cuban,...
Tuesday December 15, 2015
In 1992, I was a first-year law student at the University of Texas School of Law. Cheryl Hopwood, a white woman, sued the law school because she wasn't accepted as a student that year. She argued that she would have been accepted if it weren't for the blacks and Latino/a students being enrolled under affirmative action. She won her lawsuit. The approximately 50 of us (out of 300) who were black and Hispanic were on display for three years, having to defend our place in the law school despite our scores, grades, and achievements. The 250 white students were assumed to have earned their place...
Monday December 14, 2015
By guest
By Kevin Doyle This fall, I’ve visited with urban green infrastructure (GI) leaders in Charlotte, Lincoln, Denver, and Ann Arbor as part of JFF’s two-year NatureWORKS Initiative. This project aims to better understand the GI workforce and training needs, and to examine the potential for job growth associated with green infrastructure investments.  My most recent trip was a three-day visit to Ann Arbor that included a GI tour with leaders from the City of Detroit, City of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, The Nature Conservancy, Erb Family Foundation, and leading contractors.   Touring rain...
Tags: Green Skills