WESLACO— The Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement announced that the Meadows Foundation awarded VIDA a $97,000 grant to provide educational and job training opportunities as well as supportive services to motivated, low income adults in the Rio Grande Valley.
“We are so excited and grateful to the Meadows Foundation for their partnership. With their investment, VIDA will help economically disadvantaged adults break the cycle of poverty. By assisting students to complete their education and career pathways VIDA contributes to the economic growth of the Valley (average wage for graduates is $35,000 per year with benefits),” said Myra Caridad. García, VIDA Executive Director. “Our region is growing fast and is on the radar for some of the largest global business site selectors. Knowing that the region continues to invest in our human capital; an abundant, young, educated/trained workforce, makes our area even more attractive.”
VIDA’s case management model for adult academic success and workforce development has won national acclaim by the USDOL and was chosen in 2010 from national applicants as one of only nine agencies to participate in the ISIS Project (Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self Sufficiency). ISIS is led by the ABT Group and includes partners such as the Administration of Children and Families, National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the American Public Human Services Association, the Urban Institute, Berkeley Policy Associates, and BCT Partners. The Meadows Foundation joins this prestigious group to accomplish a large scale evaluation of career pathways interventions for college success that has the potential to ultimately make the VIDA model scalable nationally!
The Meadows Foundation was established by Algur H. and Virginia S. Meadows from wealth accumulated by Mr. Meadows through the creation of General American Oil Company, at one time among the largest private oil and gas companies in the United States. Meadows established the Foundation in perpetuity and stipulated that its charitable work be governed by his descendants and trusted advisors, so that they might carry on a legacy of giving in the family name. The Meadows Foundation exists to assist people and institutions of Texas improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. Through organizations like VIDA, the Meadows Foundation is making an investment in the character and strength of our communities, our state, and our nation for this and future generations.
VIDA was created by community leaders of Valley Interfaith and a strong cross section of business leaders who wanted a vehicle to empower the underserved residents of the region to access education and training and at the same time create a skilled labor force to stimulate the Valley’s economy. VIDA’s educational partners include South Texas College, the University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas Southmost College and Texas State Technical College-Harlingen.
VIDA’s program works because it is fully integrated with social service agencies, the workforce development system, and community colleges. Many cities and counties in the region and their corresponding economic development entities provide the majority of VIDA’s financial support.
For more information about VIDA, call 1(800) 478-1770 or visit our website at www.vidacareers.org.