IECF is excited to announce that it has received a $100,000 grant from Bank of America for the Inland Empire Growth and Opportunity (IEGO) project. Currently housed within the Inland Empire Community Foundation, IEGO is working to increase viable pathways to the middle class for those with less than a four-year degree by fully integrating economic and workforce development activities across the IE, focused on growing sectors that can create those jobs. IEGO seeks jobs of at least 35 hours a week that pay at least $18.50 an hour with benefits, with a career ladder. Such jobs accounted for only 31% of 2019’s total 1.4 million jobs, and only 45 percent of jobs for those without a bachelor’s degree. Growing more of these jobs is a central challenge for our region, especially as we recover from the pandemic, where job loss at the lowest end of the pay scale has been devastating.

“The Inland Economic Growth and Opportunity takes a collaborative, regional approach to creating more pathways to sustainable wage careers and diversified industries that will be key to growing our middle class,” said Bansree Parikh, Bank of America president for the Inland Empire.  “We are fully committed to the economic mobility and success of every person and household here, and proud to continue our support of this transformative effort.”

In 2020, IEGO’s members designed an operating plan and governance structure, with an aggressive agenda for inclusive, sustainable economic growth. Striving to connect economic and community development for sustainable regional growth, IEGO is focused on:

  1. Developing asset-based, participatory strategies for generating quality jobs for those with and without college degrees in opportunity sectors that can close historic equity gaps.
  2. Securing investments to advance the region’s existing and needed infrastructure to implement cluster-based development strategies.
  3. Strengthening the civic capacity and alignment for bi-county and cross-sectoral collaboration to develop shared goals and carry out shared solutions.
  4. Amplifying the key messages of IEGO’s mission and values, partners, and strategies through a range of communications tools.
  5. Advocating for policies that remove barriers to economic and racial equity and inclusion and foster new investments and financial parity for the Inland Empire.

“We’re grateful for Bank of America’s support of IEGO and the mission we have to grow viable jobs for middle class families to get ahead,” said Michelle Decker, IECF President and CEO.  “They have a keen understanding of what’s at stake in our region and we hope to see others follow their lead.”

To learn more about IEGO and its partners, visit here:

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