Skip to main content

North Country Bridges Champions for ChangeUnited Way of Northern New York is a proud supporter of the Bridges out of Poverty body of work.  We work closely with Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO) and many other organizations throughout the North Country to facilitate Bridges out of Poverty workshops, support Getting Ahead graduates as they develop their future stories, and encourage service providers and communities to embed the Bridges concepts in their work. 

Our CEO Dawn Cole is a longtime certified Bridges out of Poverty and Getting Ahead facilitator.  More recently, she earned certification in Workplace Stability, a workshop designed to help employers recognize the challenges of lower wage workers who struggle with daily instability.   

For more information about bringing the Bridges out of Poverty material to your organization, please contact us or call (315) 788-5631. 

See below to learn more about Bridges out of Poverty, Getting Ahead and Workplace Stability.

Click here to learn more about the North Country Champions for Change Bridges Steering Committee.

Bridges out of Poverty
Initially introduced by Dr. Ruby Payne, Bridges Out of Poverty is a set of concepts designed to prepare individuals, organizations, and communities to address poverty in a comprehensive manner.  The material, often delivered in workshop form, provides ideas and concrete tools a community needs to reduce, alleviate and work with those in poverty.  Attending a Bridges out of Poverty workshop, which includes discussion and interaction with fellow participants, shatters myths associated with poverty and helps individuals gain a deeper understanding of barriers to change.  Bridges out of Poverty introduces the concept that those in poverty are problem-solvers and encourages inclusion of individuals from all socio-economic classes to effectively address poverty.

Bridges out of Poverty is commonplace around the country and around the world.  United Way of Northern New York played a key role in bringing the material to the North Country, beginning with the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) in 2017, during which individuals with firsthand experience living in poverty lent their voices to the launch of several anti-poverty initiatives, including the Getting Ahead workshop series. 

Getting Ahead

GA Workshop in ProgressGetting Ahead in a Just Gettin’-By World is a workshop series based on the Bridges out of Poverty concepts for those in poverty.  During the 16-week curriculum (3 hours per week), participants, referred to as investigators, explore poverty in their own lives and within their communities.  Getting Ahead is designed to take the form of “kitchen table learning” with facilitators (who are often Getting Ahead graduates themselves) guiding investigators through the material.  The experience includes making plans to build resources to guide a brighter future story.  Additionally, investigators conduct a community assessment, during which they evaluate community conditions, including economic, housing, leadership, health, and education.  The assessments provide valuable information for those who are engaged in community level work.  Getting Ahead investigators are paid for their time in the form of gift cards; transportation, assistance with childcare and meals are provided at each session. 

Coming soon …. Getting Ahead in the Workplace.  Contact us for more information.

Workplace Stability

Workplace Stability TrainingWorkplace Stability is an interactive training session for employers and managers.  The workshop can vary in length, dependent upon the needs of the audience, from a 2-hour overview of key concepts to a full-day deep dive into the material with case studies, detailed discussions, and role-playing exercises.  The workshop aims to provide practical tools and strategies for creating a more stable and supportive work environment for low-wage employees. The key aspects of the workshop include: understanding the unique challenges that low-wage workers face, such as issues related to transportation, childcare, and financial instability and providing insights on how addressing these challenges can lead to improved employee retention, increased productivity, and overall workplace engagement.

The key message is that by creating conditions that support the stability of low-wage employees, employers can enhance overall workplace productivity and engagement, reduce turnover, and foster a more inclusive and supportive work environment. This approach benefits not only the employees but also the organization, leading to a more sustainable and productive workforce.

Made possible in part by Workforce Development Institute and AES.