The WNY Women’s Foundation announced recently that Buffalo has been selected by the national Women’s Funding Network as the location for a new regional Women’s Economic Mobility Hub. These hubs will increase support and resources necessary to advance economic mobility among women and girls in communities across the United States.
The Western New York Hub, led by WNY Women’s Foundation, will build from effective strategies incorporated in its MOMs: From Education to Employment program, which currently operates at seven community college campuses regionally. This data-driven program has received state and national attention.
“While the MOMs program successfully leads to family-sustaining jobs for many women, for others, a college education is not the right fit and is too burdensome while raising children. A workforce development model has the potential to benefit even more women and their families,” said WNY Women’s Foundation Executive Director Sheri Scavone. “The new Women’s Regional Economic Mobility Hub will convene partners from community support services and various collaborations to further the support for women and their families.”
The Women’s Economic Mobility Hub will include partnership with two nonprofits on the east side of the city, Harvest House and Buffalo Center for Arts & Technology (BCAT). At BCAT alone, 72% of students are African-American, 95% are female, and 55% have children while almost all of Harvest House’s students are single mothers living with incomes below the federal poverty level.
“This strategic collaboration among our organizations will provide practical and flexible choices for women in the community who are committed to finding new career pathways for themselves and their families,” said Gina Burkhardt, BCAT CEO.
The project is being launched at a pivotal time when economic mobility is essential to surviving the financial uncertainties resulting from the COVID crisis. The cohort includes Chicago Foundation for Women, Maine Women’s Fund, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, Arkansas Women’s Fund, Iowa Women’s Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, Women’s Foundation of Colorado, WNY Women’s Foundation, and Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis.