June 14, 2016
Jun 14

More Than 50 Commitments to Action Announced at Sixth Annual CGI America Meeting to Improve Lives of More Than 477,000 People in the United States

Atlanta, GA
Press Release

New commitments made by CGI America attendees include national efforts to expand summer book distribution; transform energy savings into college savings; and bolster access to financial services for low-income families; as well as Atlanta-based efforts to address environmental challenges, increase green infrastructure, and support employment opportunities and poverty alleviation

Today, President Bill Clinton concluded the sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, which convened nearly 1,000 attendees from business, foundation, nonprofit, and government sectors to advance solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. Throughout the meeting, attendees formed partnerships to create Commitments to Action—new, specific, and measurable plans and projects—that will make a tangible difference across the country.

“The work CGI America attendees have accomplished over the past two days proves that networks of creative cooperation work better than conflict,” said President Clinton. “I’m proud that new commitments made will impact so many lives because you chose to work together to create a better future.”

Since CGI America was first established in 2011, participants have made nearly 600 Commitments to Action that will impact more than 4.9 million people. New CGI America 2016 commitments, alone, will ensure that:

  • More than 350,000 people in underserved communities will be positively impacted by services ranging from improving college readiness to supporting business and workforce development programs;
  • More than 129,000 girls and women will be positively affected by programs that support early childhood development and increase access to employment and skills development opportunities;
  • More than 3,500 veterans will be positively impacted by programs improving the connectedness of military families facing deployments, as well as providing veterans with job skills and financial services; and
  • More than 3,000 educators will participate in professional development programs, equipping participants with effective educational tools.

In a press conference on Monday, June 13, highlighting Commitments to Action that will benefit the City of Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed said, “I’m deeply honored that the Clinton Global Initiative chose Atlanta to host the 2016 America meeting. I think that anybody who has been a part of the meetings today knows why I was so enthused about them coming to our city. It’s an honor to stand here today to showcase the impact that the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting will have right here in the City of Atlanta.”

This year’s meeting closed with a one-on-one conversation between President Clinton and President Carter on how CGI America attendees can strengthen the American economy. Additional feature conversations throughout the meeting included:

  • America in the World: Staying Ahead, where President Clinton spoke with leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, including Ian Bremmer, Sandy Douglas, and Shirley Ann Jackson, to explore how attendees can improve U.S. competitiveness;
  • Communities in Transition: Building a Sustainable Future, a discussion in partnership with Quartz, moderated by Kevin J. Delaney, Editor in Chief and President of Quartz, with Donnel Baird, W. Paul Bowers, and Adrianna Quintero, which addressed how attendees can invest in resilient preventative measures to mitigate and adapt to resource changes and ensure socially and environmentally sustainable growth;
  • Addressing the Opioid Crisis, a one-on-one conversation between President Clinton and Senator Joe Manchin on strategies to address the devastating human impact and staggering economic cost of prescription opioid abuse across the nation;
  • Overcoming Poverty; Improving Opportunity, a discussion with Michael McAfee, Patrick T. McCarthy, Randi Weingarten, and Marian Wright Edelman on creating preventative approaches to alleviate poverty while supporting children to realize their full potential; and
  • Now What? Investing in the Long-Term, a conversation hosted by Bloomberg TV with David Westin, Anchor at Bloomberg TV, moderated a discussion with Robert L. Johnson, Steven Sugarman, and Alex Taylor, Executive Vice President of Cox Enterprises, Inc., who discussed smart investments they believe will have a lasting return for all Americans and make the nation more competitive globally. President Clinton also joined the session and highlighted several CGI America commitments impacting lives around the country.

All CGI America 2016 plenary sessions are available at live.cgiamerica.org.   

Follow CGI on Twitter at @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative for meeting news and highlights. The event hashtag is #CGI2016.

Support for CGI America 2016 is generously provided by Banc of California; The Coca-Cola Company; Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Delta Air Lines, Inc.; The Kresge Foundation; Peter G. Peterson Foundation; Southern Company; Toyota Motor North America, Inc.; American Federation of Teachers; The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; Freeport McMoran; United Parcel Service; Invesco Investment Services Inc.; and APCO Worldwide; and media partners include Bloomberg TV, Cox Enterprises, Inc., and Quartz.

**See below for new commitments and progress reports announced during CGI America 2016 plenary sessions:

The following new commitments and progress reports were announced on Monday, June 13, in the Opening Plenary Session, “America in the World: Staying Ahead”:

Mobilizing for 20,000 Excellent STEM Teachers

Commitment by: Carnegie Corporation Of New York
Partner(s): Chevron Corporation, University of Chicago Urban Education Institute, American Museum of Natural History, The National Science Foundation, Relay Graduate School of Education, The New Teacher Center, Citizen Schools, Good Corps, Baltimore City Public Schools, IDEA Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, EnCorps, CA Technologies, Google Inc., Ashoka Changemakers, The New Teacher Project, KIPP Houston, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, New York Hall of Science, S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation
Video Progress Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qej2QFQNrb4&feature=youtu.be
In 2011, the Carnegie Corporation, along with a wide range of partners, committed to identifying and funding programs that focus on recruiting and train 20,000 new STEM teachers within three years, while supporting existing STEM educators. To do this, Carnegie and its partners will create a funding pool valued at a minimum of $20 million and will invite relevant programs to apply.

Play Time is Talk Time: Early Literacy in Playgrounds
Commitment by: Shane’s Inspiration
Partner(s): Landscape Structures, Inc., Too Small to Fail

In 2015, Shane’s Inspiration, in partnership with Landscape Structures, Inc. and Too Small to Fail, is committing to develop 20 new “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” themed playgrounds in resource-poor settings nationwide, as well as a new educational playground booklet, which will reach almost 1,000 families. The playground signs and panels - which will reach an estimated 36,000 visitors per playground each year - will incorporate visuals and messages designed to boost a child’s early brain development by prompting fun, vocabulary-rich conversations, stories, and songs while adults and children play together. Between June and September 2015, Shane’s Inspiration identified project partners and sites in the targeted regions; began community engagement strategies; provided project development guidance; held project promotion design meetings; reviewed the site plan and executed final play equipment design; and lead coordination between landscape architects, play equipment manufacturers, and general contractors.

Community-Based P3: A New Water Investment Model
Commitment by: Corvias Group, Prince George’s County, Maryland
Partner(s): US Environmental Protection Agency
In 2015, Prince George’s County and Corvias Solutions, in partnership with EPA Region III, committed to undertake a multi-year benchmarking study of the innovative green stormwater infrastructure finance pilot they recently launched to address water quality in the Chesapeake Bay area. This study aims to produce tangible proof points of the pilot’s environmental, budgetary, and community benefits to spur further adoption of this new approach to stormwater management. As part of this pioneering solution to turn a regulatory obligation into an improbable opportunity, more than 40 local young students have earned paychecks learning about the importance of using green infrastructure to improve water quality and, as a result, improve local food supplies. In addition to the socio-economic impacts, a great deal of progress has been made in clearing the watershed of harmful debris, nutrients, and contaminants.

Women Investing in Successful Entrepreneurs (WISE)
Commitment by: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Partner(s): Invest Atlanta, Calvert Foundation, Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund, City of Atlanta, Atlanta Business League

In 2013, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) committed to launching the Women Investing in Successful Entrepreneurs program to provide access to capital and business advisory services for women who are starting or expanding a business in rural north Georgia and the Atlanta metropolitan region. Over the next two years, ACE will create a $2.5 million revolving loan fund specifically for women entrepreneurs and offer training support through individualized business consultation, mentoring, and educational opportunities to more than 225 women entrepreneurs. This program marks the first time ACE has created an initiative tailored specifically for women entrepreneurs and their distinct needs. In November 2014, ACE hosted the first of two WISE Speed Coaching Events to create one-on-one coaching opportunities in the areas of marketing, access to capital, social media, and business development. Thirty-seven coaches participated in the event, coaching over seventy-six women. The 2nd Speed Coaching event was held in October 2015 with over forty coaches serving ninety-fine participants.

Job Creation and Community Revitalization Fund
Commitment by: Morgan Stanley
Partner(s): Kevin Boes, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), CDC Small Business Finance

In 2014, Morgan Stanley, along with its partners, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and CDC Small Business Finance, committed $25 million for an expansion of the Job Creation and Community Revitalization Fund. This fund is the first of its kind to combine the benefits of the SBA 504 program with New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs). The innovative fund structure allows for investments that are smaller than those associated with typical NMTCs, making the capital more flexible and responsive to the needs of small businesses in distressed areas of the U.S. This program allows small businesses to access affordable capital that otherwise would not be available to build and grow businesses - and consequently is expected to create more than 150 new jobs. To date, the expansion of the Job Creation and Community Revitalization Fund has completed approximately $13 million in loans, more than half way to the original commitment goal of $25 million.  As of March 2016, the fund has three additional commitments, totaling approximately $2 million, expected to close in 2016.

Detroit Collective Impact – Pathway to Education & Work
Commitment by: Cengage Learning
Partner(s): Matrix Human Services, Michigan Virtual University, Smart Horizons Career Online Education, Walmart, McDonald's Corporation
In 2015, Cengage Learning and its partners committed to mitigate the consequences of chronic high unemployment in Detroit by helping disconnected older youth and adults, who lack a high school education, earn a high school diploma, and develop their career skills. Together, the partners will build awareness and provide the support necessary for students to succeed in the Career Online High School (COHS), such as outreach, tuition assistance, career counseling, and mentoring. The goal is to support 1,350 older youth and adults to earn a high school diploma and workforce certificate. Since the initial Career Online High School (COHS) commitment in Detroit was made, the commitment-makers have implemented partnership agreements with Matrix Human Services, local owner-operators of McDonald's in addition to the McDonald's US operation, Wal-Mart, and the Michigan Virtual University among others. Matrix's initial outreach strategy to parents of Head Start children was expanded last fall to the entire population served by Matrix in the Detroit area. McDonald's Corporation was first introduced to Cengage Learning at CGI America in 2014, and continues to expand this successful partnership.

Investing Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow
Commitment by: Cox Enterprises, Inc.
At this year’s CGI America meeting, Cox Enterprises committed to invest $25M in sustainable companies and technologies by 2020. The commitment will be implemented by actively identifying sustainability initiatives through Cox Enterprises’ Corporate Strategy and Investments and Cox Conserves teams. Through this commitment, Cox seeks to divert 3,000 tons of waste from landfill and prevent 20,000 tons of carbon from entering the environment. Cox Enterprises’ financial support will help bring the concepts to scale and provide backing for further innovation in the sustainability space. The organizations will have the opportunity to learn best practices from Cox Enterprises’ sustainability experts and potentially pilot their technologies within one or more of the Cox companies.

Detroit Home Mortgage: Bringing Lending Back to Detroit
Commitment by: Community Reinvestment Fund
Partner(s): The Ford Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Fifth Third Bancorp, Talmer Bank and Trust, FirstMerit Corporation, Huntington Bank, Liberty Bank and Trust Company, City of Detroit, Detroit Land Bank Authority, The White House, State Of Michigan, Southwest Solutions, U-SNAP-BAC, Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, The Family Tree Agency, National Faith Homebuyers

In 2015, Community Reinvestment Fund, along with local, state and national partners committed to launch the Detroit Home Mortgage to provide $40 million in second mortgages to fund necessary repair and rehab activities for 1,000 homebuyers in Detroit over the next three year. At the initial launch, six regional banks committed to originate the Detroit Home Mortgage alongside a traditional first mortgage product. An estimated $75 million in first mortgages will be unlocked in Detroit as a result of this commitment. To help secure the investments in the Fund, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority has committed up to $6 million in affordability enhancements, and the Kresge Foundation has also committed a $6 million Program Related Investment to support guarantees and credit support. Through this Commitment, homebuyers will also receive essential borrower and home rehab education programing, provided by six local technical assistant providers.

Igniting a Learning Revolution Through Innovation
Commitment by: The Henry Ford Foundation
Partner(s): Litton Entertainment, New Economy Initiative, Robert and Toni Bader Foundation, Shell Oil Company, Public Broadcasting Service
Video Progress Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYpFHhp7Hc8&feature=youtu.be
In 2013, The Henry Ford (THF) committed to train 5,000 teachers through the scaling of its Innovation Education Incubator program. THF's program will train teachers on how to teach innovation and will enable up to 125,000 students to learn the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that lay the foundation for social, technical, and business innovation.

The following new commitments and progress reports were announced on Monday, June 13, in the Plenary Session, “Strengthening America’s Communities”:

Toyota Shares its Manufacturing Know-How

Commitment by: Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
Partner(s): New Orleans' SBP
Video Progress Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJx1gPKFY2I&feature=youtu.be
In 2011, Toyota committed to share its manufacturing know-how more broadly. As part of its longstanding efforts to help strengthen community organizations across the U.S., Toyota will enable nonprofits and small to mid-sized manufacturing companies to learn and adapt basic concepts of the Toyota Production System (TPS) so they can optimize operations, extend the reach of their missions, and maximize impact. Toyota advisors will share and oversee the implementation of TPS, the global gold standard in operational efficiency, as an organizational culture to help over 20 nonprofits and other organizations annually. Toyota's model helps project companies improve their operations and better serve their employees, customers, and communities more effectively, now and for the long-term.

Westside Financial Capability Center
Commitment by: National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
Partner(s): Equifax, MetLife Foundation, Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners

At this year’s CGI America meeting, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation) committed to launching the West Side Financial Empowerment Center. The West Side Financial Empowerment Center will open its doors in early 2017 in the West Side of Atlanta. Access to affordable financial services is extremely low in the West Side neighborhoods of Atlanta, GA where 44% of adults live below the poverty line. The Center will provide financial counseling well as access to responsible financial products such as accessible checking and savings accounts, payday alternative loans, and microenterprise loans to 600 low-income residents of the West Side by May 2019. This commitment was made possible by Equifax, which has provided $450,000 in grant funding to design and launch the Center.

Construction Ready: Putting Atlantans to Work
Commitment by: Construction Education Foundation Of Georgia (CEFGA)
Partner(s): The Center for Working Families, Inc. (TCWFI), Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA), Annie E. Casey Foundation, Atlanta CareerRise/United Way, Georgia Ready Mixed Concrete Association, HB NEXT

At this year’s CGI America meeting, CEFGA, in partnership with TCWFI, committed to replicate their proven construction and ready mix driver training model in communities south of I-20 in Atlanta. Over a period of three years, these training programs will lead to full-time living wage employment for over 250 metro Atlanta residents from communities where more than 20% of the population is unemployed and many have significant barriers to employment. Of the 250 participants, this program aims to serve 150 formerly incarcerated individuals and increase the participation of females in the program from 10 to 15%. CEFGA plans implement at least 14 20-day boot camp style training programs (known as Construction Ready) and 10 40-day ready mix driver training programs (known as Driver Ready) by June 2019.

Building Community with Green Infrastructure & Parks
Commitment by: Park Pride
Partner(s): City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, The Conservation Fund, City of Atlanta Office of Sustainability, University Community Development Corportation & AUC/Vine City/English Avenue EcoDistrict (Atlanta University Center), Proctor Creek Stewardship Council, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Greening Youth Foundation

At this year’s CGI America meeting, Park Pride and partners committed to converting several blighted urban lots into a positive and vibrant public park, known as Boone Park West. The space will engage and educate the community in green infrastructure solutions, increase public access to recreational opportunities, provide jobs and workforce training for residents, improve environmental quality, restore natural habitat, and act as a catalyst for economic revitalization. The park’s centerpiece will be a green infrastructure demonstration component designed by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper to capture and clean 37,500 cubic feet of stormwater runoff from local neighborhoods. Additionally, the Atlanta University Center and Proctor Creek Stewardship Council will lead education tours; Park Pride and The Conservation Fund will facilitate a community-led process to develop the park plan; and the Greening Youth Foundation will recruit local young adults to apprentice during park construction. The partners aim to achieve direct economic, environmental, and social benefits for local residents.

West Side on the Rise: Developing Mims Park
Commitment by: The Arthur M Blank Family Foundation and City of Atlanta
Partner(s): Trust for Public Lands

At this year’s CGI America meeting, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation (AMBFF), City of Atlanta, and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) committed to develop Mims Park in the historic Vine City neighborhood in Atlanta’s Westside. This development will be a catalyst for community redevelopment at the headwaters of Proctor Creek, one of Georgia’s most degraded urban streams. Building Mims Park will meet a critical community need by creating a unique park that manages stormwater, improves water quality in the Proctor Creek watershed, provides an intergenerational and safe recreation space, and honors the civil rights leaders who called Vine City home. Park development includes hiring a design consultant team, community engagement in park design, identifying construction job opportunities for local residents, and creating amenities to complement an innovative green infrastructure system. Mims Park will provide a vibrant community asset that fosters a positive change in health, education, employment, and environmental conditions in the Westside community.

Creation Care Education and Energy Stewardship Initiative
Commitment by: Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church: Creation Care Ministry
Partner(s): Southeast Energy Alliance, Center for Sustainable Communities, Bloc Power, Creation Care Ministry EBC, Green Faith
At this year’s CGI America meeting, the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, home of civil and human rights champions Martin Luther King Jr and Sr., committed to a one-year education and energy stewardship initiative with multiple partners led by its award-winning creation care ministry. Partner BlocPower will kick off the commitment by conducting a comprehensive energy audit of the worship, educational and community buildings, recommending energy savings and solar generation measures. In support of the building upgrades, the church, with its partner Green Faith, will design an educational program about energy efficiency and renewable energy in the context of the call for people of faith to care for God’s creation, with an emphasis on how congregants can implement energy efficiency at home. Other supporting partners include the Center for Sustainable Communities and the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
Commitment by: Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
Partner(s): Federal Interagency Workgroup on Healthy Homes, Open Society Foundations, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Council on Foundations, Harvard School Of Public Health
In 2012, the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning committed to scaling its Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) to 25 new cities in the next three years. This $11.82 million commitment will leverage $250 million in public and private investments, create 25,000 Green & Healthy Homes, and 1,550 green construction jobs. GHHI is a high quality, high impact approach to housing rehabilitation that drives public and private sector collaboration, streamlines service delivery, integrates energy and healthy housing interventions and develops new community-based green and healthy homes contractors. This commitment builds on GHHI's initial 15 pilot cities that have successfully enrolled 7,000 housing units. GHHI has established an initial goal to have at least 20 percent of the contracting pool include women or women-owned businesses. GHHI has successfully met all of its CGI Commitments. Since 2012, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative has expanded its work and is now active in 25 GHHI sites including: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Dubuque, Flint, Greater Syracuse, Jackson, Lansing, Lewiston-Auburn, Marin County, Memphis, New Haven, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Salt Lake County, San Antonio, Springfield, Staten Island, and the State of Rhode Island. These GHHI sites are completing integrated health, rehabilitation and weatherization/energy efficiency housing interventions to create green and healthy homes.

Empowering Collegeville through Neighborhood Renewal
Commitment by: City of Birmingham
Partner(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, University of Alabama, Birmingham, State of Alabama

Video Progress Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szYildVFoag&feature=youtu.be
In 2014, the City of Birmingham, and their partners including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, the Alabama Department of Transportation, and the UAB Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, committed to empowering and renewing the community of Collegeville through sustainable, resilient development. The partners will remediate soil and revitalize the EPA Superfund site underneath the community, develop land around historic Bethel Baptist Church into green space, construct a vehicular/pedestrian bridge for safe passage for residents, renovate Maclin Park, resolve significant floodplain issues in the area, and develop vacant Carver High School site into affordable housing.

The following new commitments and progress reports were announced on Tuesday, June 14, in the Plenary Session, “Overcoming Poverty; Improving Opportunity”:

Eliminating Bank Deserts in the Mid-South by Hope Credit Union

Commitment by: Hope Credit Union
Partner(s): Hinds Community College, Rainbow Food Cooperative, Circle Foods Grocery, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Video Progress Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u932MHRfjA0
In 2012, Hope Credit Union (HOPE) committed to doubling its presence and impact in underserved and distressed Mid-South states. In response to the decline in traditional financial services in low-income communities across the region, HOPE will merge with other credit unions, acquire bank branches, open new branches, and roll out mobile financial services to reach the most underserved households in remote locations. Through these activities HOPE will add 11 new branch locations and increase its membership from 26,000 to 51,000 individuals, providing residents with access to retails products and services, and loans for small businesses, mortgages, and other purposes that stabilize lives and neighborhoods.

Stop Summer Slide! Among Georgia’s Most Vulnerable Students
Commitment by: Books for Keeps
Partner(s): Clarke County School District, Atlanta Public Schools, Elbert County School District, Scholastic Book Fairs, First Book, Family Connection-Communities in Schools of Athens, Everybody Wins! Atlanta, Wee Read/United Way of Northeast Georgia, Learning Ally Athens

At this year’s CGI America meeting, Books for Keeps and its partners committed to expand its flagship book donation program, Stop Summer Slide!, to serve 25 elementary schools annually within three years, more than doubling the 11 schools currently served. Stop Summer Slide! helps children maintain reading skills during summer by inviting each student to choose 12 new books to keep every year. BFK will distribute 315,000 books to 14,400 unique students over the three-year period. BFK will serve 11,000 students annually and reach every child in grades K-5 enrolled in an Athens public school, along with several schools in Atlanta and rural Georgia. Scholastic will handle book inventory and delivery for Books for Keep’s free book fairs outside of BFK’s core service area of Athens. BFK is also launching quarterly family engagement sessions in its service areas to teach interactive reading strategies and provide information on additional free book and e-book services.

The Initiative Score – Facilitating Direct Investment Family Independence Initiative
Commitment by: The Family Independence Initiative (FII)
Partner(s): Invest Cloud, New Profit, Inc., Noorda Foundation, KivaZip, Mission Asset Fund, Puddle
At this year’s CGI America meeting, Family Independence Initiative (FII) committed to providing 5,000 American families access to a Resource Hub of financial benefits and services based upon their Initiative score. The Initiative score, which was launched as a CGI Commitment to Action by FII in 2014, uses over 200 unique data points such as participation in lending circles, volunteerism, and density of social networks to evaluate the “investability” of low-income families. Working class American families have traditionally been asked to demonstrate their isolation, poverty and vulnerability in order to access working capital. The Initiative Score inverts this model; it is a strength-based evaluation of families’ financial resourcefulness. FII will analyze the data collected through the Initiative Score, and deploy between $500 to $5,000 in savings matches, zero-interest loans, scholarships, social-justice grants, and other financial products and incentives to qualifying families in the program based upon their Initiative Score. 

CMT Empowering Education Community College Initiative
Commitment by: CMT (Country Music Television)
Partner(s): Rural Community College Alliance, Community Colleges of Appalachia, Achieving the Dream, Inc., American Association of Community Colleges, Appalachian Regional Commission
Video Progress Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T6fAPw4UOs&feature=youtu.be
In 2014, CMT (Country Music Television) committed to launch the CMT Empowering Education Community College Initiative (CMTEE-CCI) by partnering with the American Association of Community Colleges' Center for Workforce and Economic Development (AACC CWED); the division within AACC that focuses on student engagement, persistence and completion in industry-recognized credentialed programs. Over 3 years, CMT will work with AACC member colleges to encourage prospective students, specifically nontraditional and adult students, to overcome their fears and obstacles of pursuing further education.

The following new commitments and progress reports were announced on Tuesday, June 14, in the Closing Plenary Session, “Investing in Quality Jobs”:

Make Work Pay: Employer Partnerships Put People to Work

Commitment by: REDF
Video Progress Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct9zV5WI--E
In 2015, REDF and its partners committed to employ 1,000 individuals, such as ex-offenders, at-risk youth, and individuals with disabilities, who face significant barriers to employment in social enterprises that provide transitional jobs and skill building. REDF will provide financial support to the social enterprises in order to scale up their training and support programs, while also advising mainstream employers on how to source procurement and employee talent from the enterprises, connecting mainstream employers with a pipeline of well-prepared employees by taking a demand-driven approach that ensures programs are tailored to employer preferences. At the same time, REDF and its partners will provide resources for helping employees succeed, such as job readiness skills, career counseling, and access to social supports, which will continue even after the employee has left the social enterprise.

Transforming Energy Savings into College Savings
Commitment by: WattzOn
Partner(s): El Monte Promise Foundation
At this year’s CGI America meeting, WattzOn and El Monte Promise Foundation committed to a partnership program that helps participants turn everyday energy-saving habits into utility bill savings, and enables transfer of the money saved into a college savings account, enrolling 300 households with outreach to an additional 4,000 households over two years. WattzOn will hire staff to enroll families and assist the Promise Foundation to configure light-touch technology solutions that make it easier to create and link financial accounts and provide its software application to enable participants to track energy use, learn how to conserve energy, and send payments to college savings accounts. A feature of the app will allow multiple households to direct their energy savings to the same college savings account, creating a mini-community of friends and family supporting each child. The partners will provide quarterly webinars so other communities can learn about the program and bring it to their community.

College Possible: Closing the Degree Divide
Commitment by: College Possible
Partner(s): Corporation for National & Community Service, Travelers, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, AT&T, St. Cloud State University, Augsburg College, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, University of Nebraska - Omaha
At this year’s CGI America meeting, College Possible committed to implementing a transformational growth strategy focused on capacity-building rather than direct service, which will enable colleges and universities to better support low-income students – from matriculation through graduation. College Possible will partner with five college/universities who will receive support to build College Possible’s proven curriculum into their own infrastructure. College Possible will train and support their post-secondary partners in hiring and managing near-peer coaches who are recent college graduates, thus optimizing college’s high-quality existing staff to implement the College Possible model and decrease less effective efforts spent toward improving graduation rates. This will rapidly scale College Possible’s proven model, dramatically impact the college degree attainment rates of low-income students, and effect systems change across the higher education sector.

Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
Commitment by: Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University
Partner(s): New Start New Jersey (NSNJ), AARP NJ, AARP Foundation, New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, United Way of Northern NJ, Mental Health Association of NJ, IBM Institute for Business Value, Garden State Council SHRM, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, LinkedIn, BioNJ, Fund for New Jersey, New Jersey Business and Industry Association, PSEG, UPS, NJ Resources, New Jersey Library Association, Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, Jersey On, NJ Shares, Direct Employers Association
At this year’s CGI America meeting, the Rutgers University’s Heldrich Center committed to greatly expand the New Start Career Network (NSCN), a unique model to help older long-term unemployed job seekers in New Jersey. NSCN will triple its current efforts, with a goal of reaching 9,000 job seekers statewide by the end of 2019. NSCN is deploying innovative strategies to efficiently and effectively serve older (45+), long-term unemployed job seekers that include: providing information and advice about the labor market and job search strategies via a website and tutorials, one-on-one coaching provided by trained volunteers and access to peer-support and job clubs, access to incentives that encourage employers to offer trial employment and on-the-job training, employer engagement by employers who commit to focus on older, long-term unemployed job seekers, and access and referral to a broad range of services through NSCN’s 25 partners, including education, training, mental health counseling, and financial advising.

Empowerment Thru Employment
Commitment by: The Empowerment Plan
Partner(s): Carhatt, Level One, Pro Literacy Detroit, COTS, GM Foundation
In 2016, The Empowerment Plan (TEP) committed to replicating its proven employment model in three major U.S. cities to support the hiring and training of 600 homeless individuals. By opening satellite production facilities in three new cities and moving to a larger headquarters in Detroit, TEP will be able to scale up its transitional employment programs and the production of their innovative sleep coat that transforms into a sleeping bag at night, and warm coat by day. This expansion will allow for 600 formerly homeless individuals to be employed as full-time seamstresses, and 60,000 coats to be distributed to low-income individuals experiencing extreme poverty. As part of this commitment, TEP also plans to launch a retail line of products sold exclusively direct-to-consumer through e-commerce to ensure 100% sustainability of the social enterprise by 2020.