The Northwest Area Foundation approved 27 grants worth $5.3 million in the second quarter of 2016, focused on advancing good jobs and financial capability by funding grantees whose work creates enterprise development, access to capital, workforce opportunity, and financial inclusion for low-income communities, with a special focus on those that are Native, communities of color or immigrant.
The Minnesota-based foundation makes grants across the country. In the Northwest, these grants included:
- Center Pole of Garryowen, Montana, will receive $200,000 over two years to support its Social Enterprises Expansion project in several ways. First, funding will give Center Pole the opportunity to increase enterprise staff so its businesses can operate longer hours, especially during high season, which will improve sales and expand availability to customers. Second, funding will help Center Pole start a radio station so it can advertise its products over the airwaves to attract more customers. And third, funding will allow Center Pole to expand its youth training program so more youth can work on culturally oriented projects, learn about the operations of enterprises, and gain valuable work experiences. Grant term: May 1, 2016 – April 30, 2018
- Lower Columbia Community Action Council Inc. of Longview, Washington, will receive $200,000 over two years to add staff to its Grounds for Opportunity catering team, strengthen its marketing plan, and expand its hours of operation to build a larger customer base. Grant term: May 1, 2016 – April 30, 2018
- New Avenue for Youth of Portland, Oregon, will receive $200,000 over two years to help solidify its existing businesses and establish new enterprises, allocating grant funding for several key positions. It also intends to expand services to eastern Multnomah, where youth homelessness is increasing due to the gentrification of downtown Portland. Grant term: May 1, 2016 – April 30, 2018
- Opportunity Link Inc. of Havre, Montana, will receive $481,500 over two years to continue its administrative role in implementing its 20-year plan for the north central Montana region that includes internal workforce training, job and business development, financial education, and transportation programming Grant term: April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2018
The foundation also gave $10,000 in sponsorship funds to Native American Development Corporation of Billings, Montana for its 2016 economic development and procurement conference, “Nation Building — Empowering Economic Development.”