Somerville Seeks Nonprofit Proposals to Help Close Gender Wage Gap

Two Million in ARPA Funding Is Available for Area Nonprofits to Support Programs That Address Gender Pay Disparity, Particularly for Women of Color
Applications Will Be Accepted Until January 31, 2023

SOMERVILLE – Mayor Katjana Ballantyne announces that the City of Somerville is now seeking proposals that aim to address the gender wage gap, particularly for women of color who face the greatest pay disparity. Programs that create and maintain employment opportunities for low- and moderate-income women residing in the city are sought. The grants are made possible by the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, the Job Creation and Retention Trust, City funds, and funds generated from development impact fees. Proposals will be accepted until January 31, 2023.

“The gender wage gap threatens not only the economic security of women, but also their families and children, which can be especially concerning for single-parent households. We can do better to break this cycle. We know that job creation and career support services are integral tools in our battle to ensure pay equity, particularly for women of color who suffer the largest pay gaps,” said Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. “With this call for proposals, we are looking for innovative, forward-thinking projects that create not just jobs, but careers, for low- and moderate-income Somerville women. I know our area nonprofits will answer this call with gusto.”

A review committee from the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, which is overseeing the call for proposals, will evaluate all proposals. Projects particularly sought include:
Training in high-demand industries
Career navigation services
CORI expungement
Digital and financial literacy training programs
Paid internships for low-income first-generation students
Consideration will also be given to proposals that identify other needs, as well as innovative programming models that contribute to closing the wage gap for women, particularly women of color.

Interested organizations can download the Request for Proposal package here: http://www.somervillema.gov/wfd. Print copies are available by emailing WFD@somervillema.gov.

For further information, please contact WFD@somervillema.gov.

The City of Somerville has been allocated $77,504,170 from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to aid in local pandemic recovery efforts. Informed by input from nearly 2,000 survey responses, dozens of focus groups, two public forums, and a 14-member advisory committee, the City has been designating ARPA funds for a wide range of recovery purposes. To date, $57,600,000 of ARPA funding has been allocated to pandemic recovery efforts ranging from direct aid for households to critical infrastructure investments.

The unprecedented workforce impacts of the pandemic concentrated job losses and work hour reductions in low-wage jobs, which are disproportionately held by women of color. This new grant program aims to support earnings recovery as well as create longer-term gender and racial wage parity for women.

In line with the recommendations of the Mayor’s ARPA Advisory Committee, ARPA applicants must detail how their projects meet core values and funding priorities as noted in the applicant package. To learn more about the City’s current ARPA projects and funding parameters, visit http://www.somervillema.gov/arpa.

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