Ozarks Community Foundation opens fund to help workers with transportation needs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Press Release Edited / KY3) – The Community Foundation of the Ozarks announced a new fund to support workers and job seekers facing transportation barriers affecting their ability to be hired or retain their employment. Current job.

The “Let’s Get to Work Fund” will open with a pledge of $ 375,000 from the CFO, donors David and Stacey O’Reilly, and the O’Reilly Charity Golf Classic Fund with a further pledge of $ 25,000.

The fund will provide support to employed and unemployed people through two channels:

  • Nonprofit organizations that work with clients who identify transportation issues as hampering their ability to obtain and maintain employment can access funds through the CFO grant application process at cfozarks.org/applyforgrants.
  • Businesses will also be able to access funds to support workers facing transportation challenges through a partnership with United Way of the Ozarks and the Springfield Business Development Corporation, a non-profit affiliate of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Residential eligibility for this funding will cover the 14-county area of ​​southwest Missouri where the CFO and United Way of the Ozarks service areas overlap: Barry, Christian, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Laclede, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright Counties.

The funds can be used for needs such as car repairs, new tires, gas cards, license fees or taxes, transportation services such as bus passes, transportation services, etc. carpooling, taxis, the purchase or repair of bicycles / e-bikes or the purchase of vehicles Payments.

Individuals cannot apply to the fund for direct assistance. These funds will be awarded to non-profit organizations that include case management as part of their services and to SBDC to respond to employer requests. For more information visit cfozarks.org/transport.

The fund was created following a series of roundtables the CFO held this fall as well as information gathered from additional sources. The takeaways included three key themes that were preventing people from seeking or keeping a job: workforce flexibility, access to child care, and transportation barriers.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to raise individuals and families economically, reduce poverty and thereby improve the quality of life for so many in our region if we can reduce barriers to entry, ”Brian Fogle, Chief Financial Officer. noted.

Currently, unemployment is at near historic 2.4% in the five-county subway in Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties with an estimated 4,000 net reduction in the local workforce. since July. Indeed’s online job search website currently lists approximately 11,500 job openings in Greene County.

Founded in 1973, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is the region’s largest public charitable foundation serving a network of donors, 53 regional affiliate foundations, and nonprofit partners in central and southern Missouri, with assets of $ 394 million as of June 30.

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