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Press Release

Irvine Board Approves More Than $7.7 Million in Grants on August 31, 2016

The James Irvine Foundation Board of Directors approved $7.73 million in grants. These grants reflect the Foundation’s continued commitments to current grantees, as well as new investments related to our new focus: increasing economic and political opportunity for California families and young adults who are working but struggling with poverty. (Read more about that new direction here.)

For example, three of the new grants are part of Career Readiness and Living-Wage Work, a new initiative we are exploring to ensure that low-income, working Californians can secure and succeed in family-sustaining jobs. Another grant is part of the Foundation’s emerging Voice and Influence initiative aiming to increase the ability of low-wage workers to improve working conditions and express their political will. These grants are designed to both expand effective efforts in the field as well as to inform Irvine’s future grantmaking under our new focus.

Highlights of this current round of giving include:

Arts Engagement

As part of our Exploring Engagement Fund, the Foundation will grant $450,000 over two years to the Los Angeles Master Chorale Association to support Big Sing California using advances in live-streaming technology to enable thousands of Californians to come together throughout the state to connect with others through a shared singing experience.

Career Readiness and Living-Wage Work

The Foundation will make a two-year grant of $1 million to the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) to further expand CEO’s work statewide providing comprehensive employment services to men and women returning home following incarceration.

Irvine will make a two-year grant of $1 million to ICA Fund Good Jobs to support the growth and sustainability of ICA Fund Good Jobs in its work with entrepreneurs who are dedicated to becoming good employers, to spur economic growth in low-income communities, and to create access to good jobs that pay a living wage, provide benefits, and support employee advancement.

Irvine will also make a two-year grant of $3.3 million to Year Up to expand operations in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Through Year Up’s work, youth who are resilient, motivated, and hardworking but lack traditional educational credentials and/or steady work experience (also called “opportunity youth”) are placed on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency through their high-support, high-expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships, and college credits.

Linked Learning

The Foundation will grant $380,000 over one year to SRI International to evaluate the impact of the Linked Learning District Initiative on student postsecondary outcomes. The Linked Learning District Initiative helps California school districts develop and implement plans for expanding the Linked Learning approach in their high schools.

Voice and Influence

A two-year grant of $500,000 to the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) will support CAUSE’s efforts to build grassroots power for underrepresented communities on California’s Central Coast.

Voter and Civic Engagement

Irvine will grant $600,000 over two years to Communities for a New California Education Fund to help increase voter turnout and civic participation in the San Joaquin and Coachella Valleys.