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Mayor Bowser, Citi, CAAB Launch Partnership to Strengthen Employment Services Programming

Friday, December 4, 2015

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Citi Community Development, and Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) announced a three-year innovation grant.  Asset Building @ Work will support financial capacity-building services within the Department of Employment Services programs for returning citizens, youth, seniors, and veterans facing barriers to employment. 

“As Mayor, I am focused on bringing our city’s prosperity to residents in all eight Wards,” said Mayor Bowser. “In addition to connecting people to good-paying jobs, we want to provide them with a solid financial foundation.  I thank Citi Community Development and CAAB for supporting our effort to give at-risk and underserved residents the resources they need to be fiscally healthy and save for the future.”

The Asset Building @ Work program was announced at a graduation ceremony for 50 Project Empowerment participants.  Project Empowerment is a transitional employment program that supports returning citizens and other District residents as they become work-ready and overcome barriers to employment.

The need to expand economic opportunity and financial capability services is underscored by new data released today by Citi Community Development and the Corporation for Enterprise Development.  

“New FamilyAssetsCount.org research shows that 40 percent of District households are living on the financial edge, lacking the savings to be financially resilience against unexpected events. Moreover, 61 percent of African Americans and 57 percent of Hispanic households in the city are financially vulnerable,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development. “In an effort to bolster the financial resilience of all District residents, we are proud to partner with CAAB and the District to create the Asset Building @ Work program that targets and creates opportunities for all District residents.”

The public-private partnership funded by the Department of Employment Services and Citi Community Development will support an innovative model of integrating financial capability services with workforce development program over three years.

“DOES is proud to join Citi and CAAB in providing this vital new resource to the hundreds of District residents we serve daily with valuable workforce development services,” said DOES Director Deborah A. Carroll. “Achieving career success and financial success should always go hand and hand, and this initiative will help make this possible for so many.” 

Capital Area Asset Builders implemented Asset Building @ Work over the course of a one-year pilot wherein personal finance lessons were integrated into DOES lesson plans and financial coaches delivered personalized services to program participants. The one-on-coaching focused on savings, debt reduction, credit building and budgeting.  It is anticipated that over the next three years, 3,500 District residents will benefit from this program.  A full evaluation is included in the grant award.

“CAAB is proud to partner with Citi Community Development and the Bowser Administration on this impactful program,” said Rich Peterson, Executive Director of CAAB. “Our mission is to empower low- and moderate-income residents of the Greater DC Area to take control of their finances, increase their savings and build wealth for a better future. This program does just that for District residents utilizing DOES programming to pave their way to gainful employment.”