MILWAUKEE, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more U.S. employers are hiring and many are looking for applicants with specific skills and training.  To make employment more accessible for job-seekers, Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, is announcing nearly $700,000 in grants to 14 nonprofits that provide job training, business development and access to crucial community resources.

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"Job training courses and business development programs provide more than new life skills – they also give people hope," said John Kordsmeier, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. "Connecting people to in-demand career opportunities is another powerful way for Northwestern Mutual to continue strengthening the community we live in."

Spotlight on Journey House

One recipient of a Northwestern Mutual grant is Journey House in Milwaukee. The organization bills itself as a "community-based opportunity oasis" where men, women, and children on Milwaukee's near south side can build vital skills and reach their goals. Northwestern Mutual funds will support Journey House's Financial Opportunity Center program (FOC). Through the program, community residents can receive individualized counseling in:

  • Job placement: A job coach assesses an individual's workforce readiness and provides support, helping to establish career goals, prepare resumes and work histories, improve interviewing skills and assist with job searches.
  • Financial coaching: Financial counselors meet regularly with each FOC participant for a comprehensive review of his/her significant financial information (credit reports, loans, rent/mortgages, monthly expenses and more) with the goal of assisting the individual in addressing any outstanding financial concerns while establishing sound financial goals.
  • Public benefits: Journey House staff review each individual's benefits status to assure they are taking advantage of all possible opportunities (tax credits, energy assistance, food assistance programs and more).

The Northwestern Mutual grant will enable the program to continue through 2012.

"The Northwestern Mutual Foundation grant will go a long way in helping us grow the offerings and opportunities available to our Financial Opportunity Center participants," said Dr. Michele Bria, chief executive officer, Journey House. "In 2011, we helped 65 chronically unemployed participants obtain jobs and provided financial counseling to 89 individuals. This year, we look forward to increasing the financial literacy of our clients and training our staff in benefits coaching so that we can provide this service on-site."

Organizations receiving a Northwestern Mutual neighborhood revitalization and job training grant include:

Organization

Program

COA Youth & Family Centers

Family-Centered Programming for At-Risk Children and Families

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin

Project PRISM

 Growing Power, Inc.

Growing Capacity for the Green Economy - Effective Job Preparation for Disadvantaged Populations to Enter the Green Workforce in Milwaukee, WI

 Journey House

Financial Opportunity Center Program

 Layton Boulevard West Neighbors

Business Development Outreach Program

 Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee

A-LINE

 Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Building Sustainable Communities

 Milwaukee Community Services Corps.

The Other Half – Opening Pathways to the Electrical Industry for Milwaukee's DOL Green Innovation Fund Award

 Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity

New Home Construction

 Public Policy Forum

Local Government Finance Project – Phase 2

 Safe & Sound

Midtown Neighborhood Place-Based Model – Citywide Expansion

 United Migrant Opportunity Services

GED Bridge to Career Pathways

 Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp.

The Microenterprise Development Continuum

 YWCA of Greater Milwaukee

FoodShare Employment and Training Match Program

About the Northwestern Mutual Foundation

The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation – the largest corporate giver in the state of Wisconsin – is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. The Foundation's giving is designed to create an impact on the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2012, the Foundation contributed $16.7 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – "World's Most Admired" life insurance company in 2011 according to FORTUNE® magazine, has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.  Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

 

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual