Words of Wisdom in the Pursuit of Justice: A Compilation of Perspectives to Celebrate Black History Month

March on Washington

Words of Wisdom in the Pursuit of Justice: A Compilation of Perspectives to Celebrate Black History Month

March on Washington

February 6, 2023

“There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.1

– Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director of the Smithsonian Institution

In 1986, Congress passed and the president signed into law designating February National Black History Month to collectively observe and participate in “appropriate ceremonies and activities to salute all that Black Americans have done to help build our country.” It is a way to honor the contributions of Black Americans in every facet of life. The month also helps acknowledge challenges Black Americans have faced—and continue to face—in our striving to form that more perfect union.

Last year I focused on four Black American women who changed lives for generations to come through their tenacity, courage, and willingness to fight for justice.

This year, I have been reading commentary from leaders across the spectrum, and I thought that it might be interesting to compile excerpts from these commentaries to provoke dialogue and action.

President Obama’s Remarks by the President at Black History Month Reception in 2016:

“Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history—or boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits. This month should be more than just a commemoration of particular events. It’s about the shared experience of all Black Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, whose lives have shaped, challenged, and ultimately strengthened America.

It’s about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go.

Black Americans are the enslaved people who quarried the stone to build the White House; the soldiers who fought for our nation’s independence, who fought to hold this union together, who fought for freedom for others around the world. Black Americans are the scientists and inventors who helped unleash American innovation. Black Americans stand on the shoulders not only of giants, but also countless, nameless heroes who marched for equality and justice for all of us.

And as long as we keep at it, as long as we don’t get discouraged, as long as we are out there fighting the good fight not just on one day, or one month, but every single day, and every single month, I have no doubt that we’re going to live up to that promise ….”2

Kitty Lundan, Member of The Palm Beach Post’s Editorial Advisory Board:

“Black History Month allows us and other races to learn about the injustice done to African-Americans. Black History Month also enables others to learn about Black culture. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are now the core values many organizations rely on. We focus on making all people feel included, regardless of the conversation.

How can African-Americans have Black history conversations with other races without making them feel uncomfortable? While we can’t ignore the terrible things that occurred in history and, in some cases, are still happening, we must not just focus on racism but also on how African-Americans have contributed to America. Teaching other races about Black pioneers, scientist, inventors, educators, entrepreneurs, doctors, and many more titles other than being called negro. When one educates oneself from multiple angles and perspectives, one is more equipped to appreciate and benefit from diverse conversations.”3

The ACLU honored Black Americans who made a significant difference, and this section of that article moved me:

“As we honor leaders in Black history this month, the battles they lead for civil rights may seem like relics of a past era. But there is more progress to be made to achieve systemic equality for Black people, particularly in the realm of voting rights, economic justice, housing, and education; as well as ending police brutality and eradicating racism and discrimination in the criminal legal system. Those battles continue under the leadership of Black activists, lawmakers, athletes, actors, and others—many working side by side with the ACLU—who are pursuing true equality to this day.

As one of the foremost leaders of the civil rights movement, Thurgood Marshall was the architect of a brilliant legal strategy to end segregation and fight racial injustice nationwide. He’s best known for Brown v. Board of Education, a landmark 1954 Supreme Court case that dismantled the “separate but equal” precedent, initiating integration in schools and other parts of society. Before becoming the first Black Supreme Court Justice in 1967, he worked with the NAACP, founded the Legal Defense Fund, and served on the ACLU board for eight years.

‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ — Thurgood Marshall, commencement address at the University of Virginia in 1978”4

I found this article on the Joint Base San Antonio website—which provided an interesting perspective of Black History as it relates to the military. It was written by Col. George R. Farfour, Defense Threat Reduction Agency:

“African Americans came to the aid of their country every time it called. From the foundations of independence to the sands of Iraq, African American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Guardians have demonstrated they too have a fierce love of country and a stubborn fortitude to succeed in battle. African Americans stand proud in our fighting history and deserve their rightful place in the study of that history. From Crispus Attucks, who was killed by British soldiers during the Boston Massacre in 1770, to the freed and escaped slaves of the Civil War, through the Buffalo soldiers of Wild West to the Tuskegee Airman and right up to today, there has been no shortage of African-American patriots. Here are remembrances of just a few.

The 369th Infantry Regiment, an African-American New York National Guard unit known as the ‘Black Rattlers’ fought in World War I under the French 4th Army and achieved amazing battlefield successes. Despite the obvious racial prejudices of the time, they earned an impressive number of awards for valor receiving more than 171 decorations. The entire regiment received France’s prestigious Croix de Guerre. While they still had to ride on the back of the bus, their heroics were so well-known that they received the unprecedented honor of leading the New York City World War I victory parade. And the Germans, recognizing the amazing tenacity of their enemy, gave them the nickname of ‘Harlem Hell-fighters.’

World War II brought forth another wave of distinguished African-American patriots. On the USS West Virginia, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Doris Miller, a cook, was up early Dec. 7, 1941. As he served breakfast, explosions rocked the mighty ship and he went to the upper deck. Seeing flames, chaos and death, Miller first aided his wounded commanding officer, taking him to safety. Then he took up a station at one of the many unmanned machine guns and began firing. Although he was trained only as a cook with no instruction in the use of the automatic weapon, Miller reportedly downed two Japanese aircraft before the attacks stopped. He never left his post during the hours of the attack, a post he assumed out of necessity. The commander of the Pacific Fleet, Navy Adm. Chester Nimitz, personally presented Miller with the Navy Cross, an award for valor second only to the Medal of Honor.

Brig. Gen. Charles McGhee, also gives us an enduring lesson in fortitude to the mission. After endless attempts to downplay their abilities, the Tuskegee Airmen were finally placed in combat with a single mission—escort and protect bombers of the German strategic bombing offensive. When asked why he had never become an ace—shooting down 5 or more enemy aircraft, he said, ‘becoming an Ace was never more important than protecting the bombers.’ In other words, the mission is more important than individual fame. And they have become legendary for their commitment to the mission, and as a result to our country.

Vietnam saw 18-year-old Army Pfc. Milton Olive III receive the Medal of Honor for an act of bravery few people in any war have equaled. Olive’s unit was under heavy enemy attacks from the Viet Cong. As the enemy fled the counterattacks of Private Olive’s 3rd Platoon, a few VC turned back and threw grenades, one of which landed near Olive, three of his buddies and the platoon leader. Olive grabbed the grenade and covered it with his body, absorbing the blast and saving his fellow soldiers while ensuring the success of the counterassault. At the White House ceremony to present the Medal of Honor posthumously to Olive’s parents, President Johnson summed up the reason we should remember the example of Olive and others like him: ‘In dying, he taught those of us who remain how we ought to live.’5

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There is no shortage of great Black Americans to honor. Let’s honor them by action and progress. While progress has been made because of these individuals, there is still more work to be done.

The Fedcap Group’s mission is to provide economic well-being for individuals, yet too many metrics illustrate ongoing economic racial disparities. As the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report found, the unemployment rate among Blacks (5.4%) is higher than the national average (3.4%) and whites (3.1%). Another recent report by the Brookings Institute found a growing racial employment gap, especially for Black women. We must be tireless in our effort to close these gaps.

Our country’s history is only made richer by remembering the diverse individuals who helped shape it. Black History Month helps bring awareness and understanding of the lived experiences of Black Americans and how we can engage in a real dialogue over racial, social, and economic justice in order to make meaningful change. The words of wisdom above can serve as our True North in pursuit of that goal.

1. Opening of the Washington D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016.
2. Remarks by the President at Black History Month Reception, East Room (February 18, 2016).
3. How conversations during Black History Month can be a path to understanding (Commentary), The Palm Beach Post (February 3, 2022).
4. Making Black History, Building Black Futures (February 1, 2023).
5. COMMENTARY: Black History Month, A reflection of African-American History (February 18, 2021).

The Value of An Outcome-Focused Theory of Change

The Value of An Outcome-Focused Theory of Change

January 30, 2023

I consistently marvel at what can happen when people unite in a common, optimistic purpose. I am humbled by the optimism, the faith, the hope, and ultimately, the courage it takes for those we serve to invite change—especially change that will have far-reaching, long-lasting consequences for generations to come. That said, it is our responsibility as service providers to create a structure within which interventions are delivered with optimal chance for success.

I have done a good deal of research on change theories. Most of them are widely collaborative processes where stakeholders share their views on the problem, resulting in a multi-dimensional challenge with a high level of complexity. I have observed that sometimes in this process, there is a lack of clarity on outcomes.

The approach that I found most compelling comes from the Center for the Theory of Change. The Center describes an effective change theory as a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. It is focused on mapping out or “filling in” what has been described as the “missing middle” between what a program or change initiative does (its activities or interventions) and how these lead to desired goals being achieved. It does this by first identifying the desired long-term goals and then works back from these to identify all the conditions that must be in place for the goals to occur. These are all mapped out in an Outcomes Framework.

I found this approach compelling because:

    • Change is explicitly tied to interventions which are explicitly tied to outcomes. Too often I find this depth of analysis missing when adopting new models of change/practice. Instead, this model first necessitates clarity within the program regarding expected outcomes. Everyone understands what they are working towards and how success will be measured.
    • It requires debate on how interventions are linked to these outcomes, forcing the collective definition of expectations and assumptions.
    • It involves drawing critical connections between interventions and long-term change. This “backward mapping” or backward design, starts with the short term and long-term goals and builds a set of interventions directly tied to achieving those goals.
    • It provides a structure that makes evaluation more focused and actionable.

      Change that results in desired outcomes is not easy. Developing a process that effectively supports the change process is equally as challenging. Yet in the absence of rigor, there is often a lot of activity and no measurable results. My goal is to ensure that the resources of our organization are invested in activities that result in measurable outcomes.

      As always, I welcome your thoughts.

2023 Trends and Challenges

2023 Trends and Challenges

January 23, 2023

As we enter into 2023, it is important to consider the trends businesses—including nonprofits—are facing. Trend study helps us understand economic and social change that could negatively impact the organization or present opportunities. Studying trends helps us evolve our business approaches.

These are several of the trends/challenges that leaders are talking about in 2023 that I think are worth highlighting.

CULTURE
Erin Mulligan Nelson, the CEO of Social Solutions, states that the importance of leading with empathy while championing an inclusive culture can’t be overstated. As we enter into the third year of the pandemic, she reminds us that people have experienced great loss, battled with mental health issues, and struggled to establish some semblance of normalcy.

To keep teams motivated and inspired, the workplace must be an environment where they feel supported, accepted and understood. Creating this type of culture involves investing in initiatives like diversity, equity and inclusion policies, and it requires an authentic commitment from leadership that inclusion really matters.

In addition, focusing on mental health will continue to be important. Providing support resources, supporting wellness programs, encouraging flexibility across the organization and normalizing discussion on how people are doing and feeling is a critical component of people feeling seen and valued.

USE OF TECHNOLOGY FOR GOOD
Pinky Vincent, Assistant Director of Development & Marketing, Change Machine, discusses how nonprofits describe and engage donors. She stresses the importance of ensuring that as we continue to mine information about donors, we ask ourselves: are we using tech for good? Are we using tech to promote equity? What are our privacy guardrails? What are we doing to keep our donor information safe from hackers? And do we have a rapid response plan in place when we need to share bad news with our donors?

According to Chris Himes, CEO, Classy, this past year, Apple released several privacy updates that changed the way brands track consumer engagement, limiting email open rate data and activity tracking among IP addresses. She suggested that we will see more privacy updates in the coming year as additional companies choose to prioritize consumer data rights and that this will directly impact how nonprofits reach and connect with donors. There will be more focus on letting donors choose how and where their information is shared, and how they like to be engaged. Personalization will be critical to build relationships that result in loyal donor bases tailoring outreach according to their stage of life, intent, and preferences for communication.

DEVELOPING A PIPELINE OF NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Rick Willis, Senior Vice President of Community Engagement & Revenue Strategy for the Arthritis Foundation stresses the discipline required in building and maintaining a strong bench of potential board members. He emphasizes the importance of creating leadership pathways across the organization that enables individuals to demonstrate their strengths and grow with the company. Strong board members bring other strong board members and impact fundraising, strategic planning, and the quality of short- and long-term decisions.

FIND NEW AUDIENCES
Tarsha Whitaker Calloway, Vice President of Philanthropy, Tessitura Network, suggests that one of the best ways a nonprofit can get the word out about their mission is to be present where potential board members and/or donors tend to navigate. She recommends that leaders of the organization sit on panels and write to audiences that are not in the normal nonprofit space, expanding the organizational profile and opening new doors.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Tendencias y Desafíos 2023

23 enero 2023

A medida que entramos en 2023, es importante considerar las tendencias que enfrentan las empresas; incluidas las organizaciones sin fines de lucro. El estudio de las tendencias nos ayuda a comprender el cambio económico y social que podría tanto afectar negativamente a la organización como presentar oportunidades. Estudiar las tendencias nos ayuda a evolucionar nuestros enfoques comerciales.
Estas son varias de las tendencias o de los desafíos de los que hablan los líderes en 2023 que creo que vale la pena destacar.

CULTURA
Erin Mulligan Nelson, la directora ejecutiva de “Social Solutions”, afirma que la importancia de liderar con empatía mientras se defiende una cultura inclusiva no puede ser exagerada. Al entrar en el tercer año de la pandemia, ella nos recuerda que las personas han experimentado tanto una gran pérdida humana, así como han luchado contra problemas de salud mental y por establecer una apariencia de normalidad.

Para mantener a los equipos de trabajo motivados e inspirados, el lugar de trabajo debe ser un entorno donde se sientan apoyados, aceptados y comprendidos. Crear este tipo de cultura implica invertir tanto en iniciativas como; las políticas de diversidad, equidad e inclusión; y requiere un compromiso auténtico de los lideres de la organización de que la inclusión realmente importa.

Además, centrarse en la salud mental seguirá siendo importante para nosotros. Tanto proporcionar recursos de apoyo, así como apoyar programas de bienestar y fomentar la flexibilidad en toda la organización y normalizar la conversación sobre cómo las personas lo están pasando y sintiéndose; es un elemento crítico de las personas que se sienten vistas y valoradas.

USO DE LA TECNOLOGÍA POR SIEMPRE
Pinky Vincent, subdirectora de “Development & Marketing” de “Change Machine”, analiza cómo las organizaciones sin fines de lucro describen e involucran a los donantes. Ella enfatiza la importancia de garantizar que a medida que continuamos adquiriendo información sobre los donantes, nos preguntemos: ¿estamos usando la tecnología por si acaso? ¿Estamos utilizando la tecnología para promover la equidad? ¿Cuáles son nuestras barreras de privacidad? ¿Qué estamos haciendo para mantener la información de nuestros donantes a salvo de los piratas informáticos? ¿Y tenemos un plan de respuesta rápida cuando necesitamos compartir malas noticias con nuestros donantes?

Según Chris Himes, directora ejecutiva de “Classy”, el año pasado, Apple lanzó varias actualizaciones de privacidad que cambiaron la forma en que las marcas rastreaban o rastrean la dedicación del consumidor; limitando los datos de la tasa de apertura del correo electrónico y el seguimiento de la actividad entre las direcciones de correo electrónico (“IP”) de los protocolos de Internet. Ella sugirió que veremos más actualizaciones de privacidad en el próximo año a medida que otras compañías elijan priorizar los derechos de los datos del consumidor y que esto afectará directamente la forma en que las organizaciones sin fines de lucro llegan y se conectan con los donantes. Habrá más enfoque en permitir que los donantes elijan cómo y dónde se comparta su información, y cómo les gustaría participar. La personalización será fundamental para construir relaciones que resulten en bases de donantes leales que adapten el alcance de acuerdo con su etapa de vida, intención y preferencias de comunicación.

DESARROLLO DE UNA CARTERA DE NUEVOS MIEMBROS DE LA JUNTA DIRECTIVA

Rick Willis, primer vicepresidente de “Community Engagement & Revenue Strategy” de la “Arthritis Foundation”, enfatiza la disciplina requerida para construir y mantener un banco sólido de posibles miembros de la junta. Enfatiza la importancia de crear vías de liderazgo en toda la organización que permitan a las personas demostrar sus talentos y crecer con la organización. Los miembros solidos de la junta aportan a otros miembros solidos de la junta e impactan la recaudación de fondos, la planificación estratégica y la calidad de las decisiones tanto a corto como a largo plazo.

ENCUENTRAR NUEVO PÚBLICO
Tarsha Whitaker Calloway, vicepresidenta de “Philanthropy” de “Tessitura Network”, sugiere que una de las mejores maneras en que una organización sin fines de lucro puede correr la voz sobre su misión; es estar presente donde los posibles miembros de la junta o los donantes tienden a explorar. Ella recomienda que los líderes de la organización se sienten en comités y escriban a públicos que no estén en la zona normal de sin fines de lucro, expandiendo así el perfil organizacional y abriendo nuevas puertas.

Como siempre, agradezco tus comentarios.




A Reminder of the Flaw in Accepting a Single Story

A Reminder of the Flaw in Accepting a Single Story

January 16, 2023

The consequence of the single story is this: it robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.

—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Some years ago, I watched a TED Talk that spoke volumes to me about the danger of what speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls the “single story.” I thought it befitting on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, to revisit her important message.

In the talk, Chimamanda discusses what happens when we hear—or tell—the same story about a place or a person. A “single story,” she says, relegates a person to a single point of view, one lens, one narrative that people then assume is the whole story. She tells of her own experience when at 19, she came from Nigeria to the U.S. to attend college. Her roommate, upon learning that she would be living with someone from Africa, assumed that Chimamanda must come from terrible poverty, starved of education and infrastructure. In fact, Chimamanda is the daughter of a college professor and an administrator and grew up in a conventional, comfortable middle-class Nigerian home.

Chimamanda’s own introduction to a single story came when a hired helper named Fide came to work at their house. “The only thing my mother told us about him was that his family was very poor. When I didn’t finish my dinner, my mother would say, ‘Finish your food! Don’t you know? People like Fide’s family have nothing.’” She goes on to explain: “Then one Saturday, we went to Fide’s village to visit, and his mother showed us a beautiful basket made of dyed raffia that she had made. I was startled. It had not occurred to me that anybody in Fide’s family could create something so stunning. All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.”

How often do we make assumptions about people based on our own lens told through a single story? The Fedcap Group serves people that can be too easily defined by their barrier or their hardship. What picture do you conjure when you hear “previously incarcerated?” Whose face comes to mind when we talk of an individual in recovery or a person with a disability? The people we meet on a daily basis all have backgrounds, histories and talents—they are certainly more than their struggle.

The Fedcap Group strives to view those we serve through the lens of their whole story, making it easier to see and celebrate our common humanity.

View the TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the TED website. 

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Un Recordatorio del Error en Aceptar una Única Historia

16 enero 2023

“La importancia de la historia única es esta: despoja a las personas de la dignidad. Nos hace difícil el entendimiento de nuestra igualdad humana. Recalca cómo somos diferentes en vez de como somos similares.”

–Chimamanda Ngozi

Hace algunos años vi un “Ted Talk” que me dijo mucho sobre el peligro de lo que la oradora Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie llama la “historia única”. Pensé que era apropiado en el feriado de Martin Luther King, revisar su importante mensaje. En el “Ted Talk”, Chimamanda hablaba sobre lo que sucede cuando escuchamos, o contamos, la misma historia sobre un lugar o una persona. Una “sola historia”, dice, relega a una persona a un solo punto de vista, un lente o una narrativa que la gente luego asume que sería toda la historia. Ella cuenta su propia experiencia cuando a los 19 años, vino de Nigeria a los Estados Unidos para asistir a la universidad. Su compañera de cuarto, al enterarse de que viviría con alguien de África, supuso que Chimamanda debía venir de una pobreza extrema, hambrienta de educación e infraestructura. De hecho, Chimamanda es hija de un profesor universitario y de una administradora y creció en un hogar nigeriano convencional y cómodo de clase media.

La propia introducción de Chimamanda de una única historia, se produjo cuando un contratado ayudante llamado Fide vino a trabajar a su casa. “Lo único que mi madre nos dijo de él fue que su familia era muy pobre. Cuando no terminaba mi cena, mi madre decía: ‘¡Termina tu comida! ¿No sabes? La gente como la familia de Fide no tiene nada. Ella continuaba explicando: “Entonces, un sábado, fuimos a visitar el pueblo de Fide, y su madre nos mostró una hermosa cesta hecha de rafia teñida que ella había hecho. Me impresioné. No se me había ocurrido que alguien en la familia de Fide pudiera crear algo tan impresionante. Todo lo que había oído sobre ellos era lo pobres que eran, de modo que se me había vuelto imposible verlos como otra cosa que no fueran pobres. Su pobreza era mi única historia de ellos”.

¿Con qué frecuencia hacemos suposiciones sobre las personas basadas en nuestra propia lente, contada a través de una sola historia? El Fedcap Group atiende a personas que pueden definirse fácilmente por sus impedimentos o sus dificultades. ¿Qué imagen evocas cuando escuchas “previamente encarcelado”? ¿De quién es la cara que te viene a la mente cuando hablamos de un individuo en recuperación o una persona con una discapacidad? Las personas a las que servimos a diario tienen antecedentes, historias y talentos; ciertamente son más que sus pruebas.

El Fedcap Group se esfuerza por ver a aquellos a quienes servimos a través de la lente de toda su historia, lo que facilita ver y celebrar nuestra humanidad común.

Para ver el “Ted Talk” de Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, ve a: https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en

Como siempre, agradezco tus comentarios.

Technology As An Ally in Fighting Poverty!

Technology As An Ally in Fighting Poverty!

January 9, 2023

Every new technological advancement has the opportunity to change the lives of people with barriers to economic well-being.

Just consider a few of the ways that technology serves as a major ally to the war on poverty—especially for women and children.

    1. E-learning platforms offer entrepreneurs in remote and difficult to access locations training and business advisory services. This is increasingly effective for women-owned small businesses.
    2. Mobile banking offers the poor access to banking without transaction costs and without the need for a traditional, physical bank. A Brookings Institute policy brief reported that access to banking helps the poor protect their assets and invest wisely. It allows them to save money without fear of theft. Brookings reported that, “One study from the Philippines found that access to formal savings increased women’s economic empowerment by raising their influence over household consumption choices, children’s education and use of family planning.”
    3. Mobile technology has increased incomes for small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs, particularly by connecting them to better markets.
    4. Mobile health care via cell phones offers access to medical information otherwise inaccessible to impoverished people. A recent Ghanaian project, for instance, targets pregnant women who lack access to information on how to promote healthy fetal development, reports the Research Council of Norway. Mothers receive weekly, automated messages designed to help counterbalance superstition and pregnancy-related myths. “All they need to receive these messages is an inexpensive mobile phone,” says Jacqueline Møller Larsen of the Grameen Foundation in Ghana. “The health information they receive in this way can make a real difference in the health of both mother and baby.”
    5. Increase access to education. Many children, especially disadvantaged girls, in rural areas of the world, have limited access to education. And many of the schools that rural children can attend struggle with poor-quality teachers and limited resources. But new technology like solar-powered computers and projectors allow students to participate in real-time, interactive lessons with quality teachers.

At The Fedcap Group, we are striving to join these cutting-edge strategies with our own Single Stop technology. Single Stop began with a simple question “How do we connect the 46 million Americans living in poverty with the billions of dollars of life-changing resources that go unclaimed each year?” Connecting families to these resources was a problem of logistics. So Single Stop set out to use technology to create a new pathway for economic mobility in the United States. We designed an accessible, user-friendly online platform that connects people to the financial resources critical to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Since 2007, we have helped over 2.1 million people get connected with benefits and resources. In FY2022 alone, Single Stop served over 87,000 individuals, facilitating access to benefits and needed supports valued at $374M. Households who completed our benefit screening were found eligible for an average value of $12,000 in needed supports per household.

In the past decade we have expanded our services to serve college students struggling to remain in college due to financial and other stressors such as need for childcare. In FY 2022, we served over 22,000 college students across 50 college campuses.

Independent evaluators underscore Single Stop’s impact in the educational sphere.

The Institute of Education Sciences has recognized Single Stop through its What Works Clearinghouse as a tool to improve academic achievement and progression in college.

The Rand Report study found that Single Stop clients are more successful in college than their peers who do not utilize the organization’s services. Single Stop use was associated with increased college persistence, meaning that students are more likely to return to college for another semester, or the following year, if they take advantage of Single Stop services.

Metis Associates evaluated the Single Stop program at the Community College of Philadelphia. The study followed students from Fall 2014 through Fall 2017 and found that students who utilized Single Stop services are more successful in college than their peers who do not utilize the organization’s services.

Technology is a profound ally in the fight against poverty. And The Fedcap Group is so proud to be part of the solution!

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

¡La Tecnología Como Aliada en la Lucha Contra la Pobreza!

 

9 enero 2023

Cada nuevo avance tecnológico tiene la oportunidad de cambiar la vida de las personas con incapacidades para el bienestar económico.

Solo considera algunas de las formas en que la tecnología sirve como un aliado importante en la guerra contra la pobreza, especialmente para las mujeres y los niños.

    1. Las plataformas de aprendizaje electrónico ofrecen a los empresarios en ubicaciones remotas y de difícil acceso servicios de capacitación y asesoramiento empresarial. Esto es cada vez más efectivo para las pequeñas empresas propiedad de mujeres.
    2. La banca móvil ofrece a los humildes acceso a la banca sin costos de transacción y sin la necesidad de un banco físico tradicional. Un informe de Brookings Institute, informó que el acceso a la banca móvil ayuda a los pobres a proteger sus activos e invertir sabiamente. Les permite ahorrar dinero sin temor a ser atracados. Brookings informó que, “Un estudio en las Filipinas encontró que el acceso al ahorro oficial aumentó el empoderamiento económico de las mujeres al aumentar su poder sobre las opciones de consumo en el hogar, la educación de los niños y el uso de la planificación familiar.”
    3. La tecnología móvil ha aumentado los ingresos tanto de los pequeños agricultores como de los empresarios, en particular al conectarlos con mejores mercados.
    4. La atención médica móvil a través de teléfonos celulares ofrece acceso a información médica que de otro modo sería inaccesible para las personas necesitadas. Un proyecto reciente en Ghana, por ejemplo, se efoca en las mujeres embarazadas que carecen de acceso a información sobre cómo fomentar un desarrollo fetal, informa el Research Council of Norway. Las madres reciben mensajes automatizados semanales que son diseñados para ayudar a contrarrestar la superstición y los mitos relacionados con el embarazo. “Todo lo que necesitan para recibir estos mensajes, es un teléfono móvil económico,” dice Jacqueline Møller Larsen de la Grameen Foundation en Ghana. “La información sobre la salud que reciben de esta manera puede hacer una diferencia real en la salud tanto de la madre como la del bebé”.
    5. Aumentar el acceso a la educación. Muchos niños, especialmente las niñas necesitadas, en las zonas rurales del mundo, tienen un acceso limitado a la educación. Y muchas de las escuelas a las que pueden asistir los niños de zonas rurales batallan con maestros deficientes y recursos limitados. Pero las nuevas tecnologías, como las computadoras y los proyectores que funcionan con energía solar, permiten a los estudiantes participar en lecciones interactivas en tiempo real con maestros de calidad.

En el Fedcap Group, nos esforzamos por unir estas estrategias de vanguardia con nuestra propia tecnología de Single Stop. Single Stop comenzó con una simple pregunta: “¿Cómo conectamos a los 46 millones de estadounidenses que viven en la pobreza con los miles de millones de dólares de recursos transformadores y que no se reclaman cada año? “Conectar a las familias con estos recursos era un problema de logística. Así que Single Stop se propuso utilizar la tecnología para crear un nuevo camino para la movilidad económica en los Estados Unidos. Diseñamos una plataforma en línea, intuitiva y fácil de usar que conecta a las personas con los recursos financieros fundamentales para romper el ciclo de la pobreza.

Desde el 2007, hemos ayudado a más de 2,1 millones de personas a conectarse con beneficios y recursos. Solo en el año fiscal 2022, Single Stop atendió a más de 87,000 personas, facilitando el acceso a beneficios y apoyos vitales valorados en $ 374M. Las familias que completaron nuestra evaluación de beneficios, fueron elegibles por un valor promedio de $12,000 en apoyos necesarios por hogar.

En la última década, hemos ampliado nuestros servicios para servir a los estudiantes universitarios que luchan por permanecer en la universidad, debido a factores financieros estresantes y de otro tipo, como la necesidad del cuidado infantil. En el año fiscal 2022, servimos a más de 22,000 estudiantes universitarios en 50 recintos universitarios.

Evaluadores independientes subrayan el impacto de Single Stop en el ámbito educativo.

El Institute of Education Sciences ha reconocido a Single Stop a través de su “What Works Clearinghouse”; como una herramienta para mejorar el rendimiento académico y la evolución en la universidad.

El estudio del “Rand Report”, encontró que los clientes de Single Stop tienen más éxito en la universidad que sus compañeros que no utilizan los servicios de la organización. El uso de Single Stop se vinculó con una mayor persistencia en la universidad; lo que significa que es más probable que los estudiantes regresen a la universidad por otro semestre, o al año siguiente, si aprovechan los servicios de Single Stop.

“Metis Associates” evaluó el programa de Single Stop en el Community College of Philadelphia. El estudio rastreo a los estudiantes desde el otoño de 2014 hasta el otoño de 2017 y encontró que los estudiantes que utilizaron los servicios de Single Stop tenían más éxito en la universidad que sus compañeros que no utilizaban los servicios de la organización.

La tecnología es una profunda aliada en la lucha contra la pobreza. ¡Y el Fedcap Group está muy orgulloso de ser parte de la solución!

Como siempre, agradezco tus comentarios.

Do Leaders in Your Organization Think, or Do They Think Critically?

Do Leaders in Your Organization Think, or Do They Think Critically?

December 20, 2022

I am always intrigued by the pull to be tactical when strategy is what is called for. It is the same pull to do something, anything, as opposed to slowing down and doing the right thing.

As leaders in an unpredictable and challenging marketplace, it is critical that we do that which is best for the organization, regardless of what is most expedient or what seems right at the moment. This requires critical thinking. Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But if you spend enough time observing people’s thought processes and listening to their reasoning, it becomes very clear that the thinking, left to itself, can be biased, distorted, or uninformed. This is troubling given the fact that the quality of our work (and our life) depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Sloppy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life.

That said, excellence in thought is possible, however it must be systematically cultivated.

In 1987 Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, and defined the process of critical thinking as:

The intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, depth, breadth, and fairness.

Note that they described the process of critical thinking as disciplined and requiring skill.

 

I have met individuals who are brilliant thinkers, but not necessarily disciplined. I have met others who are very smart and know a lot but have yet to hone the skill of applying information in strategic ways to draw reasoned, informed conclusions.

The best critical thinkers I have met are keenly aware of how flawed human reasoning can be. They work diligently to develop intellectual integrity and possess the following traits:

    • Asks vital questions—the more precise the better in order to fully understand the problem or situation;
    • Gathers and assesses relevant information, testing the information against relevant criteria and standards;
    • Thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
    • Communicates effectively with others when struggling to find solutions to complex problems.

While I have yet to meet an individual who thinks critically in every situation as everyone is subject to being swayed by bias, blind spots, history or passion around a topic, there are those who have cultivated a way of thinking that is remarkable in its discipline and consistency. And according to these individuals, the process does not occur overnight but over a lifetime.

As leaders, we need to be committed to developing the intellectual discipline required in critical thinking. And this journey should be transparent to our staff and our colleagues. We need to be talking about the process of critical thinking, the rigor required in critical thinking, the importance of thinking critically before simply acting. We need to highlight and celebrate critical thinking characteristics when we see them.

Critical thinking may be the most valuable characteristic of any leader—and the most challenging to cultivate.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.


¿Los Líderes de Tu Organización Solo Piensan o Razonan de Manera Crítica?

20 diciembre 2022

Siempre me intriga la atracción de ser táctica cuando la estrategia es la que se requiere. Es la misma atracción para hacer algo o para hacer cualquier cosa; en lugar de reducir la velocidad y hacer lo correcto.

Como líderes en un mercado impredecible y desafiante, es fundamental que hagamos lo que sea mejor para la organización, independientemente de lo que sea más conveniente o de lo que parezca correcto en ese momento. Esto requiere pensamiento crítico. Todo el mundo piensa, que es nuestra naturaleza hacerlo. Pero si pasas suficiente tiempo observando los procesos del modo de pensar de las personas y así como escuchando su razonamiento; queda muy claro que el pensamiento, dejado a sí mismo, puede estar sesgado, distorsionado o desinformado. Esto es preocupante dado el hecho de que la calidad de nuestro trabajo (y nuestra vida) depende precisamente de la calidad de nuestro pensamiento. El pensamiento descuidado es costoso, tanto en dinero como en calidad de vida.

Dicho esto, la excelencia en el pensamiento es posible, sin embargo, debe cultivarse sistemáticamente.

En 1987 Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presentaron en la “8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform” y definieron el proceso de pensamiento crítico como:

El proceso intelectualmente disciplinado de conceptualizar, aplicar, analizar, sintetizar y / o evaluar activa y hábilmente la información recopilada de, o generada por, la observación, la experiencia, la reflexión, el razonamiento o la comunicación, como una guía para la acción. En su forma ilustrativa, se basa en valores intelectuales universales que trascienden las divisiones temáticas: claridad, exactitud, precisión, consistencia, relevancia, evidencia sólida, profundidad, amplitud y equidad.

Ten en cuenta que describieron el proceso de pensamiento crítico como disciplinado y que requiere destreza.


He conocido a individuos que son pensadores brillantes, pero no necesariamente disciplinados. He conocido a otros que son muy inteligentes y saben mucho, pero aún tienen que perfeccionar la destreza de aplicar la información de manera estratégica para sacar conclusiones congruentes e informadas.

Los mejores pensadores críticos que he conocido son muy conscientes de lo defectuoso que puede ser el razonamiento humano. Trabajan esmeradamente para desarrollar la integridad intelectual y poseen las siguientes cualidades:

    • Hacen preguntas fundamentales; cuanto más precisas, mejor para comprender completamente el problema o la situación ;
    • Recopilan y evalúan la información relevante; comparándola con los criterios y normas pertinentes;
    • Piensan con la mente abierta dentro de sistemas alternativos de razonamiento, reconociendo y evaluando; según sea necesario, sus suposiciones, implicaciones y consecuencias prácticas; y
    • Se comunican eficazmente con los demás cuando luchan por encontrar soluciones a problemas complejos.

Si bien todavía no he conocido a un individuo que piense críticamente en cada situación; ya que todos están sujetos a ser influenciados por prejuicios, lados flacos, la historia o pasión en torno a un tema; hay quienes han cultivado una forma de pensar que es notable en su disciplina y consistencia. Y según estos individuos, el proceso no ocurre de la noche a la mañana, sino durante toda la vida.

Como líderes, debemos comprometernos a desarrollar la disciplina intelectual requerida en el razonamiento crítico. Y este viaje debe ser transparente para nuestro personal y nuestros colegas. Necesitamos hablar tanto sobre el proceso de razonamiento crítico como del rigor requerido en el pensamiento crítico, así como de la importancia de pensar críticamente antes de simplemente actuar. Necesitamos resaltar y celebrar las características del razonamiento crítico cuando las vemos.

El razonamiento crítico puede ser la característica más valiosa de cualquier líder y la más difícil de cultivar.

Como siempre, agradezco tus opiniones.

Community Work Services Launches New Apex Clean Energy Institute in Boston

Community Work Services Launches New Apex Clean Energy Institute in Boston

Kicks Off with High Demand Training for Placement into Well-Paying, Sustainable Jobs in the Solar Energy Industry; Will be Expanded to Wind Power & Other Renewable Energy Sources in the Future

First Class Enrolled in Solar Training Program are Returning Citizens who Were Formerly Incarcerated to help them Secure Path to Economic Well-Being

Students Who Complete Program Will be Awarded Six College Credits from Paul Smith’s College to Pursue Additional Higher Education Programs

December 13, 2022

Boston, MA—Community Work Services in partnership with Apex Technical School and Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute today announced they are launching a new Clean Energy Institute to train underrepresented communities in high demand, well-paying jobs in solar energy. CWS, Apex Technical School, and Power52 are all affiliates of The Fedcap Group, a nonprofit focused on achieving economic well-being for underserved communities.

The 450-hour solar training program created by Power52 Clean Energy Access and Apex Technical School and taught at CWS will provide training in basic digital skills and financial literacy, as well as micro grids/smart grids and solar energy systems design. In addition, the program will provide hands-on lab training in solar photovoltaic installation including, safety, fall protection, construction, power tools, safe operation, pipe bending, and racking assembly.

The first class of students comprises returning citizens to the community following incarceration. A recent report by the Brookings Institution has found lower recidivism from returning citizens if they have sustainable employment.

Graduates of the 450-hour solar energy training program will receive six college credits from The Fedcap Group’s partner Paul Smith’s College. These credits can be used at Paul Smith’s or other colleges or universities to secure pathways into other certificate and degree programs to participate in additional upskilling to graduates of the Apex Clean Energy Institute.

“The Apex Clean Energy Institute will be a model we will replicate in many underserved communities as a way of providing job skills in high demand sectors that will result in sustainable employment for those too often left behind,” said Christine McMahon, President and CEO of The Fedcap Group. “CWS is doing important work building pathways to economic well-being by connecting individuals, like returning citizens, with an array of programs and educational opportunities from shorter job training programs all the way up to college degrees.”

“CWS has been working with the Boston Community for 145 years, providing high-quality job skills training and employment opportunities, combined with the tools and strategies that enhance our participants’ ability to gain and retain employment,” said Craig Stenning, Executive Director of CWS Boston. “The Clean Energy Access Institute is the next step in our efforts to ensure our participants learn skills that will serve them for many years to come, and with the growing demand for sustainable energy sources, this training is a natural fit.”

“The expected demand for solar photovoltaic installers is expected to grow by 52% over the next decade with a starting median salary near $50,000 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” said Robert Wallace, Founder and CEO of Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute. “Our training will change the lives of many individuals and their families in a meaningful and positive way. I’m proud of our team that made this happen.” View a video of Robert Wallace speaking at the event.

“The Apex Clean Energy Institute will provide our graduates with the skills necessary to join the growing green energy field. In addition to receiving a certificate students will also receive credits towards a college degree,” said Steve Markowitz, President of Apex Technical School. “Thanks to our partner Paul Smith’s College we are able to create a path for CWS graduates that choose to take the next step and go on to college.”

The launch of the new Apex Clean Energy Institute was made possible by funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Commonwealth Corporation, and National Grid Foundation.

The Fedcap Group also thanked the following agencies for their support of the project: City of Boston Public Safety/Office of Workforce Development, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Citizens Energy Group, Nexamp, and Resonant Energy.

View a video of the ribbon cutting on YouTube.

About The Fedcap Group
For 87 years, The Fedcap Group has developed scalable, innovative, and potentially disruptive solutions to some of society’s most pressing needs. Serving 340,000 people this past fiscal year, The Fedcap Group provides educational services to every age group, vocational training and job attainment in high-growth industries, as well as support services such as behavioral health services—all targeted to helping people achieve long-term self-sufficiency. The Fedcap Group also invests its time and resources in broader system change—working in partnership with federal, state, and local government to improve the way services are designed, funded, and delivered.

About CWS
Founded in 1877, Community Work Services (CWS) helps people who face barriers to work obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency through innovative job training, placement and support services. CWS is a company of The Fedcap Group.

About Apex Technical School
Since 1961, Apex Technical School has enjoyed a rich tradition of service to New Yorkers who know us well for our adult vocational technical school which offers training in skilled trades. Our hands-on training courses give individuals the basic trade and labor skills needed to secure an entry-level position in the field. Located in Long Island City in Queens, Apex offers 900-hour certificate courses in high demand areas such as: air conditioning and refrigeration, automotive service, welding technology, electrical and advanced electrical, plumbing and construction. All of Apex’s trade programs offer hands-on training in as little as 7 months. Apex is licensed by the New York State Education Department and accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Apex Technical School is a nonprofit organization and a member of The Fedcap Group, an international nonprofit, dedicated to creating opportunities for people with barriers to economic well-being.

About Paul Smith’s College
As the only four-year institution of higher education located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, Paul Smith’s College provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences, and natural resources. The college draws on industries and resources available in the region while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. The community of resourceful, enterprising, supportive, and adventurous individuals collectively provides experiential education, student support in the classroom and beyond, and meaningful opportunities for alumni. The college conducts research and advocacy on issues that improve the planet and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Learn more at paulsmiths.edu.

Contact:
Susan Walsh, 212-727-4200, (SWalsh@fedcap.org)

Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World

Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World

December 12, 2022

December 3rd marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities as first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992. Fifteen percent of the world’s population—over one billion people—live with some type of disability.

The theme of this year’s commemoration is: Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.

The discussion around the theme of using innovation to fuel an accessible and equitable world sparked conversations around the world about how best to do just that—including at The Fedcap Group. Our goal is to design and refine precise interventions to break through the barriers that interfere with an equal platform.

Through our many companies of The Fedcap Group, we are testing innovations that can be replicated world-wide. These include innovative approaches to education, technical training in high-demand fields such as welding, automotive repair, and carpentry, employer-based training, job placement, and long term career planning. Our efforts are enhanced by partnerships with businesses and organizations who share our commitment to a diverse workplace. This is the work that has propelled us forward throughout our nearly nine decades.

Key to being on the foreground of system change is asking the question “WHAT ELSE?”

While we have come a long way, what else can we do to break down barriers for those with disabilities?

What else can we do to create access and equity?

How can we effectively leverage technology to help more people with disability enter the workforce?

What else can we do to eliminate stigma?

Sometimes it starts with us. What do we believe about the capacity of people with disabilities to work in competitive employment settings? Are there any biases we hold that impact our ability to help a person with a disability dream big dreams?

Sometimes it starts with families. In our work with individuals with developmental disabilities, from time to time we meet families who are fearful of having their adult child enter the competitive workforce, because they fear their loved one may be subjected to ridicule or embarrassment. And the truth is they might be. Helping families see the importance of their child taking a risk, making their way in the world, feeling pride in earning a paycheck overcomes the fear.

Sometimes it starts with business. The Fedcap Group partners with nearly 10,000 businesses around the world. We find that our business partners are consistently impressed by both the productivity and the work ethic that people with disabilities bring to the workplace. And the more innovative we are with the use of technology to create equity in the workplace, the more effective and productive people with disabilities can become. We have heard time and again that the presence of those with a disability enhances the culture of the organization.

What is your approach to working with those with disabilities? What are the “what else can we do?” questions that you are considering in order to achieve access and equity?

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Impulsando un Mundo Accesible y Equitativo

12 diciembre 2022

El 3 de diciembre se celebró el Día Internacional de las Personas con Discapacidad, proclamado por primera vez por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas en 1992. El quince por ciento de la población mundial, más de mil millones de personas, vive con algún tipo de discapacidad. El tema de la conmemoración de este año fue: Soluciones transformadoras para el desarrollo incluyente: el papel de la innovación en el fomento de un mundo accesible y equitativo.

El tratado sobre el tema del uso de la innovación para impulsar un mundo accesible y equitativo provocó conversaciones en todo el mundo sobre la mejor manera de hacerlo, incluso en el Fedcap Group. Nuestro objetivo es diseñar y refinar intervenciones precisas para romper las barreras que interfieren con una plataforma igualitaria.

A través de nuestras numerosas filiales del Fedcap Group, estamos probando innovaciones que puedan replicarse en todo el mundo. Estas incluyen enfoques innovadores en la educación, capacitación técnica en campos de alta demanda como: soldadura, reparación automotriz y carpintería, capacitación del empleado basada en el empleador, colocación laboral y planificación de carreras de largo plazo. Nuestros esfuerzos se ven reforzados por asociaciones con empresas y organizaciones que comparten nuestro compromiso con un lugar laboral diverso. Este es el trabajo que nos ha impulsado a seguir a lo largo de nuestras casi nueve décadas.

 

La clave para estar en primer plano del cambio del sistema; es hacer la pregunta “¿Y QUÉ MÁS?”

Si bien hemos recorrido un largo camino, ¿qué más podemos hacer para derribar las barreras para las personas con discapacidades?

¿Qué más podemos hacer para crear acceso y equidad?

¿Cómo podemos aprovechar eficazmente la tecnología para ayudar a más personas con discapacidad a ingresar a la fuerza laboral?

¿Qué más podemos hacer para eliminar la estigmatización?

A veces comienza con nosotros. ¿Qué creemos sobre la aptitud de las personas con discapacidad para trabajar en entornos de empleos competitivos? ¿Hay alguna preferencia que tengamos que afecte nuestra capacidad de ayudar a una persona con discapacidad a soñar grandes ilusiones?

A veces comienza con la familia. En nuestro trabajo con personas con problemas del desarrollo, de vez en cuando nos encontramos con familias que temen que su hijo/a adulto/a ingrese a la fuerza laboral competitiva, porque temen que su ser querido pueda ser objeto de ridículo o vergüenza. Y la verdad es que podrían serlo. Las familias que ven la importancia de que su hijo/a se arriesgue, que se abra camino en el mundo, sintiendo orgullo de ganar un sueldo supera el miedo.

A veces comienza con las empresas. El Fedcap Group tiene colaboradores con casi 10.000 empresas en todo el mundo. Descubrimos que nuestros socios comerciales están constantemente impresionados tanto por la productividad como por la ética de trabajo que las personas con discapacidades aportan al lugar de trabajo. Y cuanto más innovadores seamos con el uso de la tecnología para crear equidad en el lugar de trabajo, más efectivas y productivas podrán llegar a ser las personas con discapacidades. Hemos escuchado una y otra vez que la presencia de personas con discapacidades mejora la cultura de la organización.

¿Cuál es tu enfoque trabajando con personas discapacitadas? “¿Qué más podemos hacer?” ¿son estas las preguntas que estás considerando para lograrles acceso y equidad?

Como siempre, agradezco tus comentarios.

Fedcap Employment’s Customer Contact Team Wins ‘Team of the Year – Hidden Heroes’ at the Employability Related Services Association’s Awards in the United Kingdom

Fedcap Employment’s Customer Contact Team Wins ‘Team of the Year – Hidden Heroes’ at the Employability Related Services Association’s Awards in the United Kingdom

December 9, 2022

(New York, NY)—Fedcap Employment, The Fedcap Group’s United Kingdom-based organization dedicated to helping individuals find sustainable work, received national recognition for the part it plays in improving and even saving the lives of its customers. Fedcap Employment’s 28-person customer contact center located Middlesbrough, England won the Team of the Year – Hidden Heroes category at the Employability Related Services Association’s Awards.

The Fedcap Employment team is an essential component of the organization, ensuring the UK government’s Department for Work and Pensions’ Restart scheme in the South Central region of England maintains a high performance of getting people back into the jobs market. Team members also become lifesavers with every member of the team having dealt with at least one call from a suicidal customer.

“On behalf of the entire Fedcap family, we commend our colleagues at Fedcap Employment for their lifesaving work in the United Kingdom, helping those in significant distress to remain safe, first and foremost—and then putting individuals on a path to sustainable employment,” said Christine McMahon, President and CEO of The Fedcap Group.

Brian Bell, CEO of Fedcap Employment, said, “I’m incredibly proud of the work our Customer Success Center do and it’s fantastic that they’ve been acknowledged with this prestigious award. They are so important to ensuring we provide the best service possible to our participants, so they feel fully supported and know that we’re here for them.”

Now in their 10th year the ERSA Employability Awards are an opportunity to highlight best practices in the sector and this year Fedcap appeared on the shortlist of five of the 10 categories.

In addition to the win, Fedcap’s Scotland-based business was highly commended in the Significant Achiever of the Year category after customer Heather Miller completely transformed her life after being unemployed for many years. The 54-year-old had suffered years of depression, anxiety and financial hardship after her son was stillborn, unable to leave the house and afraid she’d never work again. Her “incredible” journey to sustainable employment started after Fedcap Scotland supported her and encouraged her to apply for a temporary job and now she’s achieved permanent employment status.

Heather Miller said, “I never saw a future before, no sort of life outside my house and with my depression and anxiety controlling me. I now have a future for me and my family. Fedcap Scotland helped me get my life back.”

Susan Paterson, Fedcap Employment, Operations Director said, “The Customer Contact Team is the backbone of our operations, they make everything run smoothly and are a fundamental part of the business. The team consistently goes above and beyond what is expected of them and we are delighted they have been recognized in this way.”  

About Fedcap Employment and The Fedcap Group

Since 1935, The Fedcap Group has developed scalable, innovative and potentially disruptive solutions to some of society’s most pressing needs. The Fedcap Group serve over 250,000+ people each year across an international footprint. The work of The Fedcap Group is structured within four major areas of practice—workforce development, educational services, health services, and economic development— and delivered through a growing number of top-tier companies—each focused on helping people with barriers achieve long term economic well-being.

Fedcap Employment delivers the UK government’s Restart Scheme in the South Central region of England, as well as other funded programs across the country. Fedcap Employment also delivers the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire, Hampshire, South West, Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire. For more information on how Fedcap helps communities across Britain, visit www.fedcapemployment.org

Photo caption: April Hodgson, Customer Success Adviser; Paul Norris, CSC Delivery Manager and Susan Paterson, Fedcap Operations Director, celebrate their win at the ERSA Employability Awards

Contact:
The Fedcap Group:
Susan Walsh, 212-727-4200, (SWalsh@fedcap.org)

The Fedcap Group Successfully Reports Fiscal Year 2022 Financial and Operating Results

The Fedcap Group Successfully Reports Fiscal Year 2022 Financial and Operating Results

The Fedcap Group Reports Fiscal Year 2022 Financial and Operating Results

  • Revenue Growth of Nearly 9% to $360 Million Reflects Organic Growth of Domestic and International Services Platforms
  • Fiscal 2021 Acquisitions Leveraged to Further Expand Education and Workforce Development Training Capabilities
  • Nation’s Largest Digital Skills Center Created at Civic Hall @ Union Square, NYC
  • New Green Education Program Launched

New York, December 8—The Fedcap Group, the parent company for a growing family of top tier nonprofit agencies, today reported its operating and financial results for the fiscal year 2022 ended September 30th. The Fedcap Group is committed to providing services that positively impact the lives of people with barriers to economic well-being, through its network of 23 nonprofit subsidiaries, across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

“We delivered strong operating and financial results in FY 2022, achieving virtually all contract deliverables and posting an 8.8% year-on-year revenue increase, primarily driven by organic growth,” said Christine McMahon, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our performance reflects excellent execution on existing contracts and demonstrates how well our expertise and qualifications are aligned with the priorities of funding agencies and the needs of the clients we serve. This past fiscal year has been an exciting period for The Fedcap Group, as we were able to achieve industry-leading outcomes for a greater number of individuals, while building out our service platforms in the U.S. and internationally, amplifying the positive impact of our programs.

“In fiscal 2022, we successfully expanded our education and workforce development training capabilities, described below, which provide critical bridges to the economic well-being of the communities we serve.”

Over 300 international participants attended the webcast, for which an audio playback is available.

2022 Operating Results

The Fedcap Group provides a diversified array of services to break down barriers and create pathways to economic well-being. These include education and workforce training programs designed to reach at-risk and underserved populations and help place them in sustainable well-paying jobs. To achieve this mission, The Fedcap Group operates across four key practice areas: education, workforce development, health, and economic development.

Education

The education practice has programming that spans from cradle to career. Over the past year, this practice has achieved significant growth in its early childhood services all the way through college-level vocational and credit-bearing education.

Post-Secondary/Higher Education

In fiscal 2022, The Fedcap Group has expanded post-secondary programming, through several key initiatives:

      • Creating Civic Hall @ Union Square, which will be operational in 2023 and which will be the largest digital skills training center in the nation. Spanning 85,000 square feet on six floors, Civic Hall will include a collaborative community space, state-of-the-art conference and events center, and a 42,000 square foot Digital Learning Center (DLC) that includes 22 classrooms to be shared among the nation’s leading technology training and job training organizations.

      • Completing the acquisition of Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute’s Solar Technician/Installation program and in so doing expanding The Fedcap Group’s capacity to deliver high-demand, well-paying green energy job training to underserved communities.

      • Strengthening our partnership with Paul Smith’s College by integrating our education programs into their curricula. Specifically, after a rigorous academic review, Paul Smith’s College will award six college credits graduates to Fedcap’s Power52 Solar Technician/Installation program as well as the new Home Automation and Industrial Automation programs at Fedcap’s post-secondary vocational school, Apex Technical School.

At Apex Technical School, we continue to train individuals and successfully place them in well-paying jobs. This past year, Apex enrolled 2,600 individuals in high demand fields such as electrical, HVAC, welding, and auto repair. A total of 1,950 completed their training program (graduation rate of 75%), and of those graduating 1,482 were placed into jobs (job placement rate of 76%). The average wage for a recent Apex graduate with no experience is approximately $41,000 per year. With some experience in the field the average wage is approximately $82,000.

Early-High School Education

Our early education programming provided through Easterseals and other programs continues to demonstrate success in assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities entering the workforce. In FY 2022 we provided services to 2,272 children ages 0-8 delivering an array of evidence-based interventions that promote long term economic and social well-being. One hundred percent of children from inclusive childcare programs entered regular kindergarten. Our special education school located in New Jersey achieved a 100% graduation rate and 100% of the graduates entered college or technical schools for the past three years.

Workforce Development

The workforce practice continues to represent the area in which The Fedcap Group serves the largest number of individuals through a broad range of services domestically and in the United Kingdom and Canada.

We have substantially increased the number of individuals we placed in well-paying, sustainable jobs. In FY 2022 we placed 24,000 people in jobs—nearly an 80% increase from FY 2021 and a 300% increase from FY 2020—a strong trend, with 29% of new job placements earning $17.00 or more per hour.

In FY 2022, we ramped up the large, multi-year contract awarded to us in the UK to provide support for those unemployed as a direct impact of the pandemic, and we continued to effectively manage our large Canadian workforce development contract. Our work for international clients accounted for approximately 30% of total FY 2022 revenues.

In order to expand workforce and education training programs, we launched a joint venture between Fedcap Inc. and UP360—a Canadian Based Virtual Reality Technology firm. Our new VR technology will enhance and expand access to programming across The Fedcap Group family of nonprofits including in workforce, education, and health.

Among our services is the Single Stop benefits screening, case management, direct services platform, which has helped connect over 87,000 individuals needing support to an average of $12,600 per household in benefits this past fiscal year. In the aggregate Single Stop facilitated access to benefits valued at $374 million during this past fiscal year.

Health

The health services practice continues to expand. In FY 2022 we provided wellness services to over 43,000 people (behavioral and physical health care, treatment for substance use disorders), with a view to helping them stabilize, and secure the skills and education required to achieve sustainable economic well-being.

Additionally, ReServe—a subsidiary of The Fedcap Group—was awarded over $10 million to support underserved neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including creating community health vaccine education teams to promote the COVID-19 vaccination. We sponsored 352 community education events, distributed over 1,250,000 Covid materials including PPE, testing kits and health information and made 1,800 referrals for employment.

We continue to expand our services to veterans and military-aligned families. In FY 2022, 14,950 veterans and their families were positively impacted by at least one of the arrays of community services supported by Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services.

Economic Development

Our economic development practice comprises business services operations that directly employ the populations we serve.

A total of 1,010 people are employed in our commercial businesses—the majority of whom have disabilities or other employment barriers. 156 new jobs were added in FY 2022 in Total Facilities Management—our largest commercial enterprise. The average salary is $42,550 annually.

The Fedcap Group also made significant strides in helping underserved communities that frequently lack access to capital in order to build equity for economic well-being. This year we received a $125,000 Technical Assistance grant from the federal government to assist in our launching of a Community Development Finance Institution. This is a major step forward in unlocking loans and equity to benefit communities left behind.

2022 Financial Metrics

Revenue for FY 2022 ended September 30th, 2022, was $360 million, an 8.8% increase from the same period last year. Operating expenses were $354.3 million, 88% of which represented direct program expenses. The Fedcap Group reported an operating profit of $5.3 million for the period ended September 30, 2022, consistent with the $5.4 million earned in the same period last year.

At September 30th, 2022, cash and marketable securities were $60.1 million compared with $53.9 million for the prior year.

Summary and Outlook

“The Fedcap Group remains committed to innovation, identifying new strategies to affect change in people’s lives, and improving the systems within which services are delivered,” said Christine McMahon, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The entire Fedcap organization works diligently every day to bring critical services to individuals and communities in need across our expanding geographic footprint. As we make a positive impact on society, we also are managing to the highest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards, by reducing our energy usage, maintaining a collaborative working environment, and prioritizing transparency, specifically as we provide semi-annual updates on our operating and financial results.”

About The Fedcap Group

For 87 years, The Fedcap Group has developed scalable, innovative, and potentially disruptive solutions to some of society’s most pressing needs. Serving 340,000 people this past fiscal year, The Fedcap Group provides educational services to every age group, vocational training and job attainment in high-growth industries, as well as support services such as behavioral health services—all targeted to helping people achieve long-term self-sufficiency. The Fedcap Group also invests its time and resources in broader system change—working in partnership with federal, state, and local government to improve the way services are designed, funded, and delivered.

Contact

Susan Walsh, 212-727-4200, (SWalsh@fedcap.org)

Financials

Consolidated Statement of Financial Position As of September 30

Consolidated Statement of Activities
for the periods ended September 30, 2022, and 2021