Results tagged as "us"

  • Urban Manufacturing: An Equity Engine

    By Kate Sofis, Founding Executive Director, SFMade July 06, 2016 01:00 PM

    Inside Nana Joes Granola, the popular handcrafted cereal made in San Francisco, is a secret ingredient. Behind every serving is a thoughtful, nurturing team of producers who grow, learn and thrive together.

    Founded by former pastry chef Michelle Pusateri, Nana Joes Granola sells at more than 70 stores. Yet when asked what about her endeavor she’s most proud of, Michelle will tell you, “It’s one of my missions to ensure that none of my employees will ever have to work in entry-level jobs again.” All of Nana Joes’ current employees started out as dishwashers and worked their way up to production staff, including the company’s production manager.

    With a staff composed mainly of Spanish-speakers, Michelle is in the process of hiring a tutor to empower her team to learn English and to help Michelle with her Spanish. No more garbled recipe translations and, more importantly, the staff will learn a vital skill to bolster their resumes wherever they may go in the future.

    Such is the power of local manufacturing – one of the few sectors in an advanced economy capable of paving a path to middle-class jobs for people eager to work their way up from and out of poverty or a subsistence lifestyle. Nana Joes is just one of the more than 650 SFMade member companies that are creating thousands of such sustainable jobs in San Francisco.

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  • Points of Light Recognizes Citi on Civic 50
    List of Most Community-Minded Companies
    in the U.S.

    By Ed Skyler, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs, Citi June 29, 2016 02:45 PM

    When we think about the many ways that Citi makes a difference in our communities, whether by helping get the lights turned back on in Detroit, volunteering in our neighborhoods or helping young people prepare for jobs in today’s economy, we’re always gratified by recognitions from organizations like Points of Light, the largest organization dedicated to volunteer service in the world.

    This year, for the fourth year in row, we’re honored to be included in Points of Light’s Civic 50, an initiative that honors the 50 most community-minded companies in the U.S. This year’s Civic 50 honorees were selected for demonstrating a consistent commitment to helping to address a wide range of societal challenges through volunteerism, responsible business activities and philanthropic support.

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  • 100,000 Kids Later: Celebrating Citi’s Commitment to Youth Financial Empowerment

    By Will Howle, Head of U.S. Retail Banking, Bill Mills, CEO, North America, and Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development June 28, 2016 01:00 PM

    A child with a savings account is four times more likely to graduate from college. That’s the difference a relationship with a financial institution can make. At Citi, we want to be that difference in a child’s life. And that’s why we’re an active member of the Teach Children to Save campaign.

    Teach Children to Save is the banking industry's largest volunteer effort to encourage youth savings. By visiting classrooms, youth centers, after-school programs and more, bankers use their real-world knowledge and professional skills to encourage kids to start young and save more.

    Citi colleagues have a special opportunity to reach out to young people and leverage our expertise as financial professionals to prepare young savers and their caretakers with the tools and knowledge to build strong financial futures. Financial literacy is the pathway to a college education and many other important opportunities, including homeownership and saving for retirement and emergencies.

    In our 16-year partnership with the American Bankers Association, Citi employees have reached over 100,000 young people through the Teach Children to Save initiative.

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  • Marking 96 Years of Arts and Civic Engagement in New York City

    By Mary Arendt, Manager of Internal Communications, Marketing and External Relations, The Metropolitan Museum of Art June 07, 2016 12:00 PM

    At its annual Spring Gala, The Metropolitan Museum of Art salutes leaders in the business sector for their professional accomplishments and dedication to corporate citizenship. This year, The Met is proud to honor Michael Corbat, Chief Executive Officer of Citi, with the Business Committee Civic Leadership Award.

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  • Citi Celebrates Progress for Youth with the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation

    By Kristin Solheim, Director, Federal Government Affairs May 19, 2016 09:30 AM

    On May 6, Citi was once again the title sponsor of the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) Tennis Ball Gala. The event was the most successful ever – raising more than $1.2 million to benefit the WTEF, its programs, and the children it serves. For more than 60 years, the WTEF has been improving the lives of underserved youth in the DC metro area.

    Citi was proud to demonstrate its commitment to the community by sponsoring the WTEF Tennis Ball and continuing to support this remarkable organization. Through our sponsorship of the Citi Open, the premier tennis tournament in the greater DC area, we’ve partnered with the WTEF to help underserved youth. The WTEF uses tennis as an entry point to share life lessons and to set young people on the path towards reaching their full potential.

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  • Expanding Access to Venture Capital for Women and Minority Entrepreneurs

    By Yemani Mason, Founder and CEO, VestMunity.com May 19, 2016 09:00 AM

    Three of the top five metro areas in the country for distressed properties are in my home state of Florida, according to RealtyTrac. But while rehabilitating and reselling homes can result in a lift to neighborhood property values and provide local investors with wealth-building opportunities, the cost of doing so is often prohibitive even for experienced real estate developers. The average person has very limited access to the information and resources they need to safely pursue these types of investments, which is why I started VestMunity – I wanted to create a platform that connects everyday people to accessible investment opportunities.

    I began building my business the same way that many tech startup founders do -- on my own, spending hundreds of hours blueprinting, coding, testing and debugging the VestMunity platform on a single laptop in my home. While at first I was flying solo, I luckily had enough savings to engage contractors to assist with the technical build-out phase. There were more than a few challenges along the way, however, and as costs mounted, I found it increasingly difficult to both finish building the platform and engage the important non-technical aspects of building a business.

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  • Restoring Opportunity for the Long-Term Unemployed

    By Joe Carbone, President and CEO, The Workplace May 10, 2016 01:00 PM

    At first glance, employment in the U.S. appears to be on a slow and steady march of improvement. After reaching a high of 10 percent in 2010, the unemployment rate is now down to half of that amount– nearly reaching the 4.7 percent it was back in April 2006. But this promising trend obscures the ongoing struggles of those for whom being unemployed is in itself the biggest obstacle to finding another job.

    More than a quarter of all unemployed Americans – 2.2 million people, roughly the population of Houston, Texas – have been without a job for 27 weeks or more, and are considered “long-term unemployed.” These workers are predominantly older (ages 55+), and many have a career’s worth of marketable skills and achievements which ought to give them an advantage in their job search; but as the weeks go by, and the time gap since their last job grows wider, prospective employers begin to overlook them in favor of candidates – even less qualified candidates – who currently have jobs or are only recently unemployed. As despair and debt quickly begin to pile up, the consequences are often financially and psychologically devastating, both for the workers and their families.

    In 2011, we sought to take on this complex challenge by launching Platform to Employment (P2E) – a career readiness program which provides the long-term unemployed with the tools, resources and support they need to rejoin the workforce. Participants receive career coaching and professional skills training, such as resume-writing assistance and mock interviews. They gain access to free behavioral health services and, with support from Citi Community Development, receive financial counseling to overcome some of the challenges that result from long-term unemployment. Once participants complete the five week preparatory program, P2E helps participants find jobs with local employers. A dynamic element of the program is providing employers with a financial incentive to consider hiring participants. P2E offers employers an eight-week wage subsidy to cover a participant’s salary while they are given an opportunity to demonstrate they can do the job. Platform to Employment removes the perception of risk for employers, enabling them to evaluate the candidates fairly and without stigma.

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  • Financing Sustainable Solutions: What Cities Need to Deliver on COP21 Commitments and Beyond

    By Val Smith, Director and Head of Corporate Sustainability May 05, 2016 12:00 PM

    The event was held at Rio’s new iconic Museum of Tomorrow, an achievement in sustainable urban architecture

    Cities are at the forefront of combatting climate change. Many cities and municipal governments and agencies were party to the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 in December, and many have committed to ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals and meaningful climate strategies they must now implement. I recently participated in the first-of-its-kind global financing forum, hosted by the City of Rio de Janeiro, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI) and the Citi Foundation, where decision-makers from the private sector and nearly 20 global city governments convened to discuss the financial challenges cities face in pursuit of their sustainable climate strategies. The Financing Sustainable Cities Forum highlighted cities’ priorities around delivering sustainable urban solutions, including: cutting red tape, transit-oriented development and public-private partnerships.

    An overriding theme of the forum was the sense of urgency many cities expressed for greater technical expertise in setting up public-private partnerships, a mode of project delivery that cities are increasingly looking to as a means of more efficiently delivering urban services. While public-private partnerships are great tools for leveraging private capital, their details determine how risks, revenues and costs are shared between a city and private partners over the term of a project. Experience and expertise are both required to ensure a strong partnership.

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  • Beyond the Numbers: Telling the Infrastructure Story

    By Jen Mayer, Cohort Lead, City Accelerator Cohort 3 May 03, 2016 01:00 PM

    The following blog post is part of the City Accelerator initiative supported by the Citi Foundation. The City Accelerator, in collaboration with Living Cities, aims to speed the adoption of local government innovations to improve cities and the lives of their low-income residents.

    The third cohort of the City Accelerator, which formally kicks off April 15th in Denver, includes four cities that need to finance improvements to vital, but often overlooked infrastructure. St. Paul needs to come up with an overall framework and strategy for stormwater control for three critical developments. Pittsburgh needs to identify a strategy to fund, finance and deliver improvements to its historic stairway system. The District of Columbia would like to improve a number of infrastructure projects, including street lighting. San Francisco needs to shore up its seawall.

    At first glance, these projects don’t seem to have a lot in common. Yet each project involves the kind of infrastructure that stays in the background when everything is going right, and only leaps to front and center in the public mind when something goes drastically wrong. Most of us don’t know (or care) much about how stormwater control works in our neighborhood – but when our basement floods, we quickly become very interested! Street lights and stairways are just things that are there – until they aren’t. San Francisco’s seawall is perhaps the most dramatic example of infrastructure that you don’t really see or appreciate until something happens. As we saw with the levees in New Orleans, the cost of failure is so high that it can be worth a huge investment to prevent it.

    Most of the projects in the third cohort don’t involve a single, soaring piece of landmark infrastructure. We’re not talking about the multi-billion dollar New New York Bridge, replacing the Tappan Zee bridge, or even a brand new drinking water plant or solid waste facility. These projects have challenges of their own, of course, but many of the cities are struggling to fund infrastructure networks, like stormwater control structures, street lighting and sidewalks, that are harder to point to and get people to care about until they fail.

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  • Citi Celebrates Earth Day 2016

    By Val Smith, Director and Head of Corporate Sustainability April 18, 2016 03:00 PM

    Each year, Citi marks Earth Day, not just through events on that one date, but through a week-long series of employee-led sustainability initiatives around the world. These events raise awareness of important environmental and social issues, and support our Mission and Value Proposition by creating a meaningful, positive impact through reducing Citi’s operational footprint and deepening our ties to the communities where we live and work.

    On Friday, April 22 – the date recognized globally as Earth Day – UN delegates will gather in New York City to formally sign and adopt the Paris Agreement. This agreement, a product of focused negotiations among nearly 200 countries, lays out a path to limit the rise in global temperature to under 2oC in an effort to avoid calamitous changes to our climate.

    In support of Earth Day 2016 and the Paris Agreement, I would like to highlight some of Citi’s achievements in advancing Sustainable Progress, as well as our goals moving forward.

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