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Welcome New ECMC Foundation Grantees and Investees

An Announcement from Lynn Alvarez, Vice President, Programs and Strategy

May 13, 2022

As part of our commitment to strengthening higher education and career success among underserved populations, ECMC Foundation is proud to announce a new series of grants and investments made from February 15, 2022, to May 12, 2022. This round of recently approved grants and investments aims to improve postsecondary career and technical education (CTE), accelerate student success and advance critical education-to-career pathways. The total funding is $7,095,703.

A selection of grants and investments made are detailed below. For a full list of the Foundation’s active and inactive grants, please visit ECMC Foundation’s website at

Career Readiness

The Aspen Institute ($800,000) and its College Excellence Program (CEP) will assist 10 community colleges in strengthening post-completion outcomes, evaluate which reforms enable equitable post-graduation success, and create resources to share learnings to inform practice and policy. The program aims to close race- and income-based equity gaps by increasing the number of students from underserved backgrounds who complete programs with high post-completion value as compared to upper income and white students.

California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy ($500,000) will help a coalition of four Los Angeles County community colleges (El Camino College, Los Angeles Southwest College, West LA College, and Compton College) implement campus-wide strategies and partnerships to strengthen the pathway from education to employment for underserved postsecondary CTE students. The investment supports a cultural shift toward sustained cohesiveness and intention around career readiness and workforce alignment.

Institute for Leadership Education, Advancement, and Development, Inc. (I-LEAD) ($200,000) will launch, support and evaluate 10 new Achieve College Education (ACE) program partnership sites outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I-LEAD’s goal is to demonstrate proof of concept for expanding and refining the business model to sustain and scale the ACE program nationally.

Jeremiah Program ($500,000) will revamp its data infrastructure to collect and analyze high-quality data to better understand the journey single mother students take from program participant to alumna to better support their persistence and completion. This investment will further allow Jeremiah Program to share learnings with the field.

JobPath, Inc. ($422,000) will grow beyond its longtime geographic boundary of Pima County, Arizona, to better serve the highly mobile workforce in the surrounding communities of Southern Arizona, which are heavily rural and economically interdependent. The investment will also give JobPath a greater role to play in the region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Association of Counties Research Foundation (NACoRF) ($390,500) will support the development of action plans focused on improving postsecondary outcomes by engaging representatives from county governments, postsecondary institutions, human services agencies, and workforce development organizations. The investment will allow NACoRF to equip leaders from eight counties to engage in cross-sector partnerships to align postsecondary institutions with safety net programs and improve outcomes.

The National Conference of State Legislatures ($200,000) will conduct research and identify policy options that support postsecondary CTE programs and students, identify best practices and legislative examples related to promoting success for students seeking postsecondary CTE credentials, and share learnings via events and publications. This body of work will ultimately ensure state legislators and legislative staff are prepared to craft state policy and oversee state appropriations for postsecondary CTE programs.

WorkingNation ($200,000) will conduct an environmental scan of programs with innovative approaches and promising postsecondary outcomes and produce, market and distribute “SingleMothers: WorkingForward,” a five-part series of documentaries focused on single mother student success. The project’s goal is to raise awareness about the experiences of single mother students and customize solutions to improve outcomes. 

College Success

College Now Greater Cleveland ($240,000) will pilot and evaluate campus-level interventions that reduce barriers for students who are punished for financial issues with the withholding of academic transcripts or degrees. This work will help participating colleges institutionalize effective practice for debt management and forgiveness leading to higher retention and graduation rates.

Education Commission of the States ($209,000) will continue to support the Catalyzing Transfer Initiative (CTI) partners and work toward developing a National Transfer Network. This investment will enable the continued convening and facilitation of interested philanthropic partners, leveraging collective action to transform the transfer reform landscape — from investments to policy to implementation.  

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities ($700,000) will partner with Greater Twin Cities United Way to implement a basic needs resource hub available to postsecondary students across the System, which will connect students with the United Way 211 program. Through this work, students will have better access to critical services such as housing assistance, food programs and childcare.

The National College Attainment Network ($75,000) will expand professional development and capacity-building in the college attainment field and advocate for more equitable policies to increase postsecondary attainment. This investment supports higher education systems change that strengthen the postsecondary pipeline.

Special Opportunities

City Year ($2,000,000) will support teams of Student Success Coaches in 10 cities to build inclusive and equitable learning environments and help students reconnect to their learning in the wake of the pandemic. With this investment, City Year will focus on sustaining its evidence-based service model through recovery from the disruptive effects of COVID-19 for millions of students, especially those from systemically underserved communities for whom the pandemic exacerbated and compounded inequities.

University of Southern California’s Pullias Center for Higher Education ($159,203) will develop a grantmaking initiative at ECMC Foundation supporting Men of Color in higher education. The investment enables Center staff fully assess the academic, nonprofit and funder landscape to determine opportunities to deepen efforts in this space.

Education Innovation Ventures

AlliedUP ($500,000) will expand and grow their cooperative staffing model, with plans to expand within the allied health sector and extend to the nursing sector. The goal is to leverage their worker-owned cooperative model to bring high wages, job flexibility, ongoing education and opportunity to help allied health workers and nurses achieve success. ECMC Foundation funding supports the addition of new recruiters and provides the working capital needed to scale the cooperative model.




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