Since 2007, when Step Up received an initial grant from the Ford Foundation, staff has worked with local employers to increase the number of low-wage employees who enroll in publicly funded work supports, engage in training programs and connect with other resources that build skills and boost savings. The original grant was part of a national “Supporting Work Project” awarded to 10 cities nationally, and administered by The Families and Work Institute.
In 2010, Step Up was awarded a two-year grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to continue this work. Its focus is on developing business relationships in the healthcare, hospitality, warehousing, and city and county government sectors to support those employers and their lower-wage workers. We also convene employers to share best practices utilized to support their workers. Step Up was awarded another FINRA Investor Education Foundation grant in 2014 and is again partnering Consumer Credit Counseling Service to provide an array of financial services at employers and workforce development programs.
Step Up and partners are able to provide:
- on-site screening and enrollment assistance for over a dozen state and federal benefits programs;
- on-site financial education classes on topics such as credit, budgeting and identity protection;
- technical assistance establishing sustainable benefits-screening processes for new hires;
- technical assistance, referrals and service delivery for employee financial services such as: free tax preparation, low and no-cost financial products;
- technical assistance and referrals with workforce development services such as: career pathway training programs, entry-level feeder training programs, GED support for employees.
For more information, contact Robyn Wainner at (912) 232-6747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Step Up has recognized a local business at its annual meeting with the Workplace Innovator Award. The award is given annually to businesses/organizations that utilize creative strategies to support lower-wage workers. In 2013, JCB, Inc. earned that distinction; previous winners include St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, Memorial Hospital, and IKEA/Savannah Distribution Center.
Workplace Innovator Award Winners
2009 - IKEA Distribution Center
2010 - Memorial Health
2011 - DIRTT
2012 - St Joseph's/Candler
2013 - JCB