Reducing transportation barriers to employment
One of the top barriers employers, the workforce and nonprofits face each day is reliable transportation.
In response, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and United Way of the Ozarks, along with other community partners, created the Let’s Get to Work Fund to help individuals acquire or maintain employment by supporting transportation-related expenses.
“When we visit with CEOs around the community, there’s a consistent thread of what their No. 1 pain point is, and it’s talent attraction and retention,” says President and CEO Greg Burris. “We think of Let’s Get to Work as a great achievement for workers, because it is something that is addressing a barrier in our community.”
Read about a Springfield mom overcoming a transportation barrier in Springfield News-Leader Find Your Cause transportation edition.
How funds can be used
The grant program provides support to nonprofit agencies as they work with individuals who face transportation-related barriers in obtaining or maintaining employment. Funds may be used for needs such as:
- Car repairs.
- New tires.
- Gasoline cards.
- Licensing fees or taxes.
- Transportation services such as bus passes, ride-sharing services or taxis.
- Purchase or repair of bikes/e-bikes.
- Vehicle purchase down payments.
United Way does not grant funds directly to individuals.
The Let’s Get to Work fund supports nonprofit organizations within United Way of the Ozarks’ 14-county service area. These organizations work with individuals who need assistance.
Individuals with transportation-related needs are required to work with their case manager to apply for grant funding.
Updates to the grant process are being made regularly. Individuals are asked to check online for more information.
Please contact The Drew Lewis Foundation at 417-200-2223.
To assist employees at risk of losing work due to transportation-related barriers, employers can apply for funds through the Springfield Business Development Corporation, the nonprofit economic development subsidiary of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
Chief of Staff
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Support Let’s Get to Work Fund
Employers interested in supporting this effort to increase workforce participation and lift up individuals and families economically are encouraged to consider a charitable gift to the Let’s Get to Work Fund.
President and CEO
United Way of the Ozarks