The job market, and the skills to succeed in it, changes constantly. But skills training can be expensive and often hard to find locally, leaving many workers in lower-paying jobs that offer little potential for growth. Fort Lauderdale’s Broward College has partnered with cities and agencies under its Broward UP (for Unlimited Potential) program, which is designed to address these hurdles by offering workforce training and certificate-based courses free of charge — right in the communities where workers live.
Broward UP makes Broward College accessible in neighborhoods with high unemployment rates, low incomes and low educational attainment levels. “If we truly believe that we are a lever to success, we need to be in the communities that face the greatest challenges,” says Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile. Through training and classes that lead to credentials, workforce-ready certificates and industry certifications, Broward College aims to increase economic mobility in local neighborhoods.
A $200,000 Neighborhood Builders grant from Bank of America is helping expand Broward UP’s educational outreach into neighborhoods where many hospitality and tourism workers are experiencing unemployment due to coronavirus-related health restrictions. By focusing on literacy, English language comprehension and proficiency with computers, the program will prepare students for the education and workforce training they need for a post-pandemic labor market. “Bank of America will help fuel the work of Broward UP,” says Haile. “This grant exemplifies Bank of America’s belief in our Broward UP communities and the transformative power of a Broward College education.” The funding provided to Broward UP is part of Bank of America’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.