Editor's Note: The Black Community Investment Fund is co-founded by The San Diego Foundation and the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and seeded with a $1 million from The San Diego Foundation and $250,000 from San Diego Gas & Electric.
The San Diego Foundation recently announced that $400,000 has been awarded to the San Diego Workforce Partnership and The Neighborhood House Association to help build generational wealth for Black San Diegans through education and workforce training.
The Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to expand The Neighborhood House Association Youth Fellowship Internship Program and provide 80-100 Black high school and college students with high-quality, career-rich paid internships.
“Our Youth Fellowship Internship Program helps prepare young adults for future leadership roles in their careers and communities,” explained Rudy Johnson, CEO of The Neighborhood House Association. “The program provides students with professional development skills, exposure to career professionals; and valuable career-related experience in real-world environments. We are grateful to provide life-changing training and work experience to students who may not be able to find these tools anywhere else”
The San Diego Workforce Partnership will receive $100,000 from The San Diego Foundation for its TechHire program to train Black San Diegans for information, communications and technology jobs with paid work experience, subsidized training and job placement.
The Foundation and Bank of America each provided additional $100,000 grants to support the San Diego Workforce Partnership Construction Career Jumpstart program for San Diegans interested in energy, construction and utilities. The six-month program provides paid work experience and training for underrepresented San Diegans seeking careers as welders, linemen/women, electricians and other skilled positions. Program participants receive career coaching, mentorship, and help with applying and interviewing as well as succeeding on the job. To date, more than 90 percent of Construction Career Jumpstart participants have been placed in entry-level positions with several local companies.
“Both the TechHire and Construction Career Jumpstart programs provide San Diegans with valuable entry-level experience in two of our fastest-growing sectors: technology and energy,” shared Peter Callstrom, CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. “These sectors continue to thrive in our economy despite the downturn experienced during the pandemic. We are thankful to The San Diego Foundation’s Black Community Investment Fund for giving us this opportunity to advance the careers of our Black job seekers.”
“Investing into paid professional career opportunities for San Diego’s Black community can be a long-term, sustainable way to help to close the wealth gap,” said Rick Bregman, President of Bank America San Diego. “Bank of America’s grant is part of our commitment to racial and economic equality among communities of color through job creation, small business and economic development.”
The grants were made from the Black Community Investment Fund (BCIF) at The San Diego Foundation. The BCIF is led by an advisory council of San Diego leaders and focused on economic prosperity for Black San Diegans through education, employment, housing and entrepreneurism. The fund prioritizes and invests in community-led, innovative efforts that increase racial and economic equity.
“These inaugural grants of the Black Community Investment Fund come at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history,” shared Pamela Gray Payton, Vice President of Impact and Partnerships for The San Diego Foundation. “I’m optimistic about our opportunities for impact and collaboration with our community partners who share our values and strive to build generational wealth for Black San Diegans.”
The Black Community Investment Fund is co-founded by The San Diego Foundation and the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and seeded with a $1 million from The San Diego Foundation and $250,000 from San Diego Gas & Electric.
To learn more about the Black Community Investment Fund or to make a donation, visit SDFoundation.org/blackcommunity.