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 January 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

To pilot the Workforce Connection 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



Uplifting Parents Coalition

The Uplifting Parents program (UP) provides single parents who are not in crisis support to obtain an Associate or Bachelor’s degree within 2 years. UP utilizes a collaborative referral approach that includes many Different Lens Coaches and Up Coalition members who actively vet and accept participants to the program.

Our role: Jess from the JTVF team participates in the UP Coalition.


Workforce Connections Collaborative

Workforce Connections convenes quarterly meetings to discuss various programs and how to align services to clients. Jessica regularly attends these meetings and present evaluation findings to the group annually.

Our role: Participant


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 in the workforce development strategy of Elevate directly aligns with our cradle to career funding priority.

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



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: Alan from the JTVF team serves in an advisory capacity to the OneHeart board of directors.


Learn more about the grant application process.