BALTIMORE, MD – Urban Alliance, a national youth workforce development organization, was awarded a two-year, $400,000 grant by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to support workforce readiness training and paid professional internships for over 200 high school students from low-income communities of color in Baltimore, MD and Chicago, IL.
The Weinberg Foundation’s new grant will support Urban Alliance’s signature High School Internship Program, which helps to prepare high school seniors from under-resourced communities for a lifetime of self-sufficiency through paid internships; job skills training; one-on-one mentoring; and college and career-planning guidance. The goal is to advance racial equity in the workplace by empowering youth of color to access upwardly-mobile careers, expanding their idea of what’s possible for the future while supporting the development of diverse talent pipelines and preventing disconnection from school or the workforce.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hit youth from communities of color especially hard, with unemployment and disconnection rates far exceeding any other age group. 80% of Urban Alliance students contribute a portion of their paycheck toward household expenses, serving as vital sources of income for their families. In response to this increased need, the Weinberg Foundation – an Urban Alliance funder since 2004 – has doubled down on their support, awarding the nonprofit its largest grant to date.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has brought home to us just how important the fight for equal access to opportunity is in the world of work,” said Eshauna Smith, CEO of Urban Alliance. “Urban Alliance is incredibly grateful for champions like the Weinberg Foundation whose continued support helps to ensure that Black and Brown youth are still able to access the tools, networks, and experience needed to make a lasting connection to economically-mobile jobs.”