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CLA Foundation Grants $400,000 to Advance Career Opportunities Across the Nation
September 19, 2016 — The CLA Foundation has just completed its second grant cycle and awarded $300,000 to 17 organizations in communities across the United States that match its mission: To promote and support diverse individuals and organizations by connecting networks, advancing work readiness, and creating career opportunities. The recent grants are in addition to its initial $100,000 in grants made in 2015.
“We believe the CLA Foundation’s mission will kindle a spark of entrepreneurship, create jobs, generate growth, and lay the foundation for even greater opportunities throughout our communities and our country,” says CLA Foundation Board Chair Jan Kruchoski.
“We challenged ourselves to award $100,000 in meaningful grants by the end of our first year, and we did it,” continues Kruchoski. “In December 2015, we granted $80,000 to five organizations and another $20,000 to four business plan competitions across the United States. To date in 2016, we have granted an additional $300,000. Grantees range from programs that support entrepreneurs to programs that teach youth what it takes to be successful in college and in their profession.”
The 2015 and 2016 CLA Foundation grant recipients include American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation; Breakthrough Collaborative; Brevard Achievement Center; Eleva-Strum High School Cardinal Manufacturing; Elpis Enterprises; Genesys Works; Girls, Inc. of Greater Los Angeles; Groundwork Denver; Honor Courage Commitment; Hope House of Colorado; Idaho Youth Ranch; Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay; LIFESPAN, Inc.; Mission: St. Louis; Native American Finance Officers Association; Rawhide Ranch; School’s Out Washington; Vernon Economic Development Association; Viscardi Center; WomenVenture; World Savvy; Yakima County Development Association; and four statewide business plan competitions in Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Washington.
Grant helps Genesys Works prepare next generation of leaders
A grant from the CLA Foundation is enabling Genesys Works to expand their program to new cities acrosss the U.S. — enabling economically-disadvantaged high school students to enter and thrive in the economic mainstream by providing them the knowledge and work experience required to succeed as professionals.
“Through the program we’re proud to say that 100 percent of our students have graduated from high school, with 94% enrolling in college,” says Genesys Chief Strategic Growth Officer Jeff Tollefson. “Within five years after ending our program, the average annual earnings for our alumni students is $50,000.”
Genesys Works, a national nonprofit organization, operates like a for-profit staffing company. After students complete an eight week technical and professional skills training, they are hired as employees of the nonprofit, and contracted out as paid IT technicians working at its corporate partners. Genesys Works pays students about half of the hourly rate charged to clients. The other half covers more than 80 percent of the program operating costs.
“It becomes a win-win for everybody we serve,” says Tollefson. “Clearly, students get a life-changing opportunity as they begin to break the cycle of poverty in their family. Companies receive value added services today while building a more diverse workforce for tomorrow. Schools help show that learning needs to take place beyond the classroom and in the workplace. Our communities benefit from closing economic opportunity gaps that can fragment our populations.
“In the end, companies no longer have to choose between what’s good for the bottom line or what’s good for our community. We provide an easy way to do both.”
The Genesys Works vision is that one day, all students, regardless of their socio-economic background, will have the mindset, behavior, skills, and opportunity to embark and succeed on a path toward professional and life success. This makes it a natural fit for the CLA Foundation, which exists to change lives through education, employment, and entrepreneurship.
“The generosity of the CLA Foundation is allowing us to expand,” concludes Tollefson. “We plan to grow and serve 20 cities and we’re on our way to make that happen.”
About Genesys Works
Genesys Works brings corporations, schools, and communities together to prepare this country’s next generation of leaders. The program improves professional prospects for disadvantaged youth and introduces a new pipelines of diverse workers to corporate America. Since its founding as a small Houston program serving just 10 students, Genesys Works has grown into a national organization that has empowered thousands of high school students in four cities across the U.S. Today, Genesys Works operates out of Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Francisco/Oakland, and Washington DC. Learn more at GenesysWorks.org.
About the CLA Foundation
The CLA Foundation is unique as it does not accept grant proposals directly from outside organizations. All grant nominations originate with CLA team members — each year CLA team members are invited to nominate organizations they believe are making a difference in their community and match the foundation’s mission to promote and support diverse individuals and organizations by connecting networks, advancing work readiness, and creating career opportunities. The CLA Foundation does that by granting in three categories:
- Education — a focus on education and youth development programs that prepare today’s students to thrive in tomorrow’s world
- Employment — a focus on career-building programs that connect individuals with life changing opportunities
- Entrepreneurship — programs that help the entrepreneurs and small business owners that support us and our communities
The CLA Foundation then reviews all team member grant nominations and invites organizations that best match our mission to submit a grant application.
CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) is a professional services firm delivering integrated wealth advisory, outsourcing, and public accounting capabilities to help clients succeed professionally and personally. Our professionals are immersed in the industries they serve and have deep knowledge of their operating and regulatory environments. With more than 5,000 people, more than 100 U.S. locations, and a global affiliation, we bring a wide array of services to help clients in all markets, foreign and domestic. Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.