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Bridges to Work
Bridges to Work (BtW) is an employment demonstration program designed to assist low-income households in cities by bridging the spatial separation between them and job opportunities in five metropolitan areas: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, and St. Louis.
Over several decades, many jobs have disappeared in inner city areas, leaving residents unemployed and impoverished and widening the economic gap between inner cities and suburbs. At the same time, growing numbers of suburban employers faced shortages of workers, especially for entry-level jobs. The Bridges to Work demonstration was begun in 1996 to link low-income, inner-city residents with suburban jobs, transportation, child care, and other supportive services and to test the idea that better access to suburban jobs can improve employment for inner-city workers. BtW is intended as a "win-win" initiative that increases employment and complements other policy strategies.
Eligible Grantees:
Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), a tax-exempt research and operational nonprofit organization, is funded to carry out and evaluate an empowerment research demonstration. For the demonstration P/PV selected five cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, and St. Louis.
Eligible Customers:
BtW helps low-income, inner-city residents get and hold jobs, suburban private sector employers recruit employees, and brings business to public transportation and child care providers.
Eligible Activities:
BtW provides three types of assistance: (1) placement into existing, private sector suburban jobs; (2) transportation to those suburban jobs; and (3) supportive services, including child care, counseling, and crisis intervention to help new workers maintain their jobs. A key part of the demonstration is formation of regional collaboratives to provide job linkage services. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposes to expand the Bridges to Work initiative in 1998 as part of the Administration's larger effort to successfully implement welfare reform. assessments, and technical assistance.
Because Bridges to Work initially is a one-time demonstration, no new applications are being taken. It is administered jointly by P/PV, a Philadelphia-based, nonprofit research and program development organization, and HUD.
Funding Status:
Total funding for BtW is $17 million over 4 years, including $11 million for program operations ($8 million from HUD and the Department of Transportation Federal Transit Authority and $3 million from local contributions). The Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation will provide another $6 million for monitoring, research, and evaluation. Support is also provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust.
Technical Guidance:
BtW is a demonstration and research project being administered by HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research.
For More Information:
For more information about BtW, contact Ann Roder at (215) 557-4400 or Carol Clymer at (215) 557-4495, or by fax at (215) 557-4469. Visit Public/Private Ventures on the web at http://www.ppv.org.
Additional information is found at HUDUSER.