Economic Mobility

Our working families deserve stable, hiqh-quality jobs. Economic mobility is the road they take to get there. Some people have a smooth highway ahead of them, with easy access to good jobs and education. Others have to navigate off-road paths, filled with obstacles and challenges. Many of our families take the road less traveled.

Our grant funding helps individuals stay on the highway to success. We fund programs that help our neighbors build skills or get the education they need for the job they want. Because no two roads are the same, we invest in programs that provide mentorship and short-term assistance to address other barriers that arise like child care or housing. Many of our economic mobility grantees collaborate closely with other community partners to wrap around a family with the resources and referrals they need to get ahead.

Grantmaking Strategy


Invest in programs that provide supportive relationships and structures for working families seeking economic stability

These programs include intensive mentorship supports for low-income families.


Provide scholarship opportunities for low-income families to attain skills, certifications, or degrees required to attain workplace advancement

These insitutional scholarships are distributed by Black Hills State Univeristy, Oglala Lakota College, South Dakota State University, and Western Dakota Tech.

Our Stories

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Current Grantees

Value of economic mobility grants as of April 2024

Chanku Waste Ranch

A mentoring program engaging local laborers to build skills and complete home repairs on the Pine Ridge Reservation


Elevate Foundation

Support for Workforce Development pillar


South Dakota University Foundation

Operating support of the Native American Nursing Education Center (NANEC) for mentoring, cultural programming, and student support


Black Hills Special Services Cooperative

Two-year general operations grant for mentoring and crisis funding support for adult education leaners in the Workforce Connections Program


Rapid City Area Schools

Academy of Human Services and Education Sponsorship



Support for transitional housing and skill development towards a livable wage


Catholic Social Services

One-year support for final year of Uplifting Parents pilot



Scholarships for local low-income students that face barriers to higher education at the following institutions:
    • Western Dakota Tech – $480,000 over two years
    • Black Hills State University – $210,000 over two years
    • South Dakota State University – $175,000 over two years
    • Oglala Lakota College – $90,000 over two years



Elevate Rapid City

In 2018, JTVF invested in Elevate Rapid City, an economic development entity for Rapid City and the Black Hills region. Its mission is to achieve the shared economic and community development goals that will elevate the quality of life and employment opportunities for all those who call Rapid City home. Our investment focuses on Elevate’s workforce development strategy and aligns with our economic mobility strategies.

Our role: Funder, Alan from the JTVF team is a member of the Board of Directors and executive committee.


OneHeart Advisory Role

The purpose of the OneHeart transformation campus is to elevate the human spirit and the spirit of the Rapid City community. By providing transitional housing and co-locating a variety of services - from childcare to healthcare, from counseling to financial education, and from job-training to higher education– OneHeart creates a way to more efficiently, effectively, and collectively help our neighbors without homes move into permanent housing and a better quality of life.

Our role: Funder, Alan from the JTVF team serves in an advisory capacity to the OneHeart executive leadership.


Uplifting Parents Coalition

The Uplifting Parents Program (UP Program) empowers single parent families by providing resources to support their advancement in education. Those selected to participate in the Uplifting Parents Program have the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentoring,  a monthly financial stipend, parenting education and support, and crisis-diversion case management. All within a community of peer and professional support. UP Coalition Members a serve in an advisory capacity to inform the program's vision, strategy, and processes.

Our role: Former Funder, Jess from the JTVF team serves on the Coalition.


Workforce Connections Collaborative

Workforce Connections convenes quarterly meetings to discuss various programs and how to align services to clients in the Rapid City area. 

Our role: Participant


Learn more about the grant application process.