Workforce Development

The Price Of Persistence: How Nonprofit – Community College Partnerships Manage And Blend Diverse Funding Streams

February 1, 2011  • Maureen Conway

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This issue of Update looks at how community college – nonprofit partnerships fund supportive and career navigation services for students in training. Based on findings from the Courses to Employment (CTE) Demonstration Project, which is funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, this latest publication highlights how workforce programs and partnerships blend multiple funding streams to meet students’ individual needs and address their unique barriers in order to allow them to complete their educations and obtain a better job. The publication draws on data from CTE partnerships’ financial records, and interviews with program leaders about their funding and service strategies as well as focus groups with participants about the supports they received. The diversified funding strategy is illuminated through the stories of three students who persisted in school and completed training with the help of the supportive services they received from a CTE partnership. Using these three stories, the report tracks the source of each of these supports, discusses how the partnerships managed these resources, and discusses the different funding and policy environments that CTE partnerships experienced while leveraging these different funding streams. The publication also discusses the challenges and opportunities in developing such a diversified funding strategy and highlights the organizational capacities needed to manage and implement this funding structure.