Find and Support Your Local United Way

Family-Sustaining Employment

Family-sustaining employment is the foundation of financial stability.  Almost 25% of adults in the United States earn less than $27,000 a year in jobs that offer no health care, vacation, or paid sick leave.  These workers often struggle to afford food, rent, childcare, and transportation, with little left over for saving and investing.

Families need a steady source of income that covers the cost of basic necessities before they can make more long-term financial decisions regarding savings and asset building.  Now more than ever before, educational attainment is fundamental to the long-term earning potential of an individual.  It is critical to connect disconnected youth and adult learners with alternative education and work experience opportunities.

United Way and our partners are providing education, training, and sector-based strategies to connect skilled workers with jobs that offer the potential for career advancement.  Communities with a stable, skilled workforce are more economically competitive and have the potential to attract business and revitalize neighborhoods.

Our Strategies:

  • Increase enrollment in and completion of degree, certification, and training programs
  • Provide access to existing family-sustaining employment in targeted industries
  • Create new jobs that provide family-sustaining income
  • Provide supports to help individuals retain employment and advance their careers

Learn more about the importance of family-sustaining employment to overall financial stability. [PDF]

A Local Example of Impact

United Way of Greater Cincinnati oversees The Greater Cincinnati Workforce Network, a public-private workforce collaborative that provides employers with trained workers and connects unemployed and/or low-paid, low-skilled workers with opportunities to earn family-sustaining wages.  Over the past two years, the Greater Cincinnati Workforce Network has served more than 2,700 people with 80 percent completing training programs and earning credentials and more than 70 percent obtaining jobs.

Learn more about United Way's work with regional workforce funder collaboratives.