United Way Helps with Economic Mobility
United Way’s economic mobility goal is to ensure that individuals and families improve their socio-economic status. Economic mobility, or the ability of an individual or family to change their financial status, can have a multi-generational, positive impact on overall well-being by increasing access to quality healthcare, improving housing options, and broadening educational opportunities. Yet, moving up the economic ladder is difficult. Education that leads to a good job is essential.
United Way Worldwide has worked with experts in the public and private sectors, as well as with local United Ways, to identify a core set of high-impact strategies to help local United Ways and their partners improve financial stability and increase economic mobility in their communities, regions, and countries. Through this research process, we found that improving one’s economic mobility requires the education and skills needed to get a good-paying job with the possibility for promotion; access to affordable financial products; and the knowledge, skills and supports to make choices in support of achieving one’s financial goals.
UWW also found the integration of these strategies to be a critical driver of economic mobility, particularly because it has such a positive impact on job attainment and retention. According to research conducted by LISC, individuals that received bundled services (including workforce development, income supports and financial management skills) had higher job placement and six-month retention rates; they also had net income rates that were 89 percent higher than those that only received financial support services.
Therefore, United Way Worldwide will focus its economic mobility work in three key areas, which work together to increase economic mobility:
- Job Readiness: Individuals have the education and skills to obtain and retain good jobs with the potential for advancement
- Financial Products: Individuals use affordable financial products to effectively manage their money and achieve their financial goals
- Financial Support Services: Individuals have the knowledge, skills, and supports to make choices that increase their financial stability and advance their economic mobility
How You Can Help
Volunteers make United Ways’ tax assistance and financial education programs possible. We need your help, even if you don’t have an accounting background. Volunteer to help.