News Release - Rochester One of Seven Cities Awarded National Grant to Address Barriers to College Completion

City of Rochester

News Release

(Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren today announced that the City of Rochester is one of seven cities chosen to participate in a unique grant opportunity through the National League of Cities, focused on addressing barriers and basic needs to improve postsecondary completion and workforce success.

“Once our students graduate from high school, we need to ensure they can complete the postsecondary education or training they need to be successful in the workforce,” said Mayor Warren. “This program will help us evaluate and address issues like transportation, childcare or lack of living wages that sometimes sideline individuals who may otherwise succeed in school and at work.”

The 18-month technical assistance project, supported by The Kresge Foundation, will help Rochester develop goals and an action plan, engage key partners, and review economic and workforce data to target areas of greatest need. Rochester will also have opportunities to confer with national experts and philanthropic leaders, and to share best practices.

"The emerging evidence underscores the obstacles posed by hunger and homelessness as residents try to complete their degrees or certificates and better their lives,” said Clifford M. Johnson, executive director of the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. “We look forward to working with Mayor Warren and other city officials to ensure those pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities are able to study, learn, graduate and begin careers that provide economic mobility.”

A 2017 study by the Wisconsin Hope Lab at Temple University found that two in three community college students face food insecurity. The survey of 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in 24 states also revealed that roughly half of community college students are housing insecure, and 13 to 14 percent were homeless.

Rochester was one of 400 applicants to the program. The selection process then narrowed the applicant pool to seven cities, with Rochester being one of the first chosen.

Other participating cities are: Chula Vista, Oakland and San Diego in California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; and Denver, Colorado.

The initiative will run through June 2021 and culminate with a national policy briefing in Washington, D.C. where mayors, city leaders, and their partners will share their lessons learned and strategies for this work.


News Media: For more information, contact Press Officer Jessica Alaimo at 428-7135.