“Partnering with the County government, schools, area nonprofits, philanthropic and business leaders has been a truly collaborative process. We are building relationships and forging trusting networks of passionate people who will do whatever it takes to put our kids on the path to achieving their dreams.” - Carol Thompson Cole, President and CEO of Venture Philanthropy Partners
VPP and the Prince George's County joined forces and recently unveiled a new initative, Ready for Work: Champions for Career and College Ready Graduates in Prince George's County, to support and empower high school graduates to reach for their dreams. "We are at the starting line of what we know will be an innovative partnership that will have lasting impact not only at Suitland but all of PGCPS. We are ready to hit the ground running,” said Dr. Kevin Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer Prince George’s County Schools.
The initiative has already raised nearly $5 million—one third of the way to reaching the goal of $15 million.
This impactful investment will ensure young people are career and college ready through:
- Relevant technical and academic skills for career and college through PGCPS Career Academies;
- Essential interpersonal and work readiness skills through the youthCONNECT model; and
- Direct work experiences through internships and jobs.
This new initiative will support students as they transition into adulthood, but it also has the potential to impact businesses and the economy in the County. How?
Throughout Prince George’s County, there are a significant number of people who are unemployed, while jobs continue to go unfilled and the skills gap—the difference between the skills that employers need to get the job done and the skills that potential employees have—contributes significantly to that problem.When youth possess core basic skills combined with direct work experience they learn the skills and behaviors that help them succeed and advance into positions requiring more sophisticated skills, technical knowledge and increased responsibilities. Taken together, successful youth employment leads to a more highly skilled labor pool and greater economic opportunities across the board.
“Many of the challenges that confront us are interrelated and VPP gets this. In areas of higher need, the multiple economic, social, educational and health challenges severely inhibit the opportunities for neighborhoods and the individuals who live in them,” said Rushern L. Baker, III, Prince George’s County Executive. “So alignment of government department/agency efforts, nonprofits and business in areas of higher need is likely to result in better organizational efficiency, focused resources and greater success in making a long-term transformation.”
In Prince George’s County, nearly one-quarter of the high school students drop out. At the same time, according to the Center on Education and the Workforce, in five years, “by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education training beyond high school.”
"Investing in Ready for Work provides a unique opportunity for businesses who value a diverse and talented pool of workers and understand that access to a strong labor pool helps to support economic growth," said Laurie Peterson, Peterson Companies. “This investment will provide area youth with the skills needed to be successful in the workplace, and I encourage other business leaders to join this effort.”
“When we invest in education and career readiness, it is an investment in our country's future success,” said Representative Steny Hoyer(D-Md). “As a graduate of Suitland High School, I am pleased to see community partnerships working with the Prince George’s County Public School System and the county government in taking this important step to further enhance our community’s prosperity.”
This partnership is breaking ground on collaboration while making sure that each individual student has the support and the tools to be a successful, healthy and happy adult.
To learn more about the Ready for Work initiative, view the community flyer on the VPP website.
VPP Invests in Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection to Help At-Risk Youth in Prince George’s County Gain Job Skills, Stay in School
$1.95 million pledge will enable nearly 900 middle and high school students to gain work experience from local employers and the support needed to successfully graduate
VPP and Urban Alliance Partner to Bring Career Skills To Low Income High Schoolers in National Capital Region
Region’s leading venture philanthropy organization to invest $3 million to support Urban Alliance growth throughout the region
Leslie Aun for VPP
(202) 263-4797 (office)
(703) 517-4550 (cell)
Wendy-Ann Dixon-DuBois for Urban Alliance
(202) 459-4311 (office)
Contact: Victoria Vrana for VPP
(202) 263-4789 (office)
(301) 704-0998 (cell)
Supports expansion that will more than double the number of students served by high performing college prep school system
It is with great pleasure we announce that VPP has entered into an investment partnership with Calvary Bilingual Multicultural Learning Center, making it our sixth philanthropic investment. This dynamic organization provides a wide range of family services to residents in the multi-ethnic neighborhoods of Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights of Washington, DC. The core of Calvary’s offerings are childcare and after-school programs, and youth development for 400 children from infancy through high school.
We are very pleased to announce that Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) has entered into a multi-year investment partnership with the Calvary Bilingual Multicultural Learning Center, a child and family education and development center with an 18-year history of delivering a wide range of services in the District of Columbia.
We are delighted to announce that Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) has entered into an investment partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (BGCGW), a multi-service youth organization providing after-school academic enrichment and athletic activities to 35,000 children throughout the National Capital Region.