RDP’s Community Investment Program (CIP) helps RDP live out its mission and vision through partnerships with community leaders from local businesses, non-profits, and all levels of government in the communities we serve. As part of our CIP development process, we encourage our partners to consider ways in which Low-Income Persons (LIPs) might benefit from a local investment in the community.
RDP believes that creating quality jobs is an important impact of our NMTC investment, but we know that providing a job is sometimes not enough. Our partners are asked to consider opportunities in their community that compliment jobs by addressing the needs that support LIPs in the categories of workforce training, workforce recruitment, and workforce retention. We allow room for creativity and flexibility of individual communities to make locally-focused recommendations for CIP investments to create a win-win-win for the community, the QALICB (Qualified Active Low-Income Community Business), and RDP through alignment with our vision and mission.
Below are a few great examples of successful CIP programs supported by RDP and our QALICB partners:
A distribution business in Tennessee partnered with a local community college to fund a Class “A” CDL Training program. The course was held in the evening to accommodate working students. This program was enhanced with an additional incentive the state of Tennessee had in place to obtain postsecondary degrees or certificates for 55% of the residents by 2025. Those who qualified for the program received free tuition with the CIP picking up the remaining funds for miscellaneous items such as liability insurance and student & truck driving fees. As of September 2020, 145 individuals completed the CDL training; 47 were hired by the QALICB and 98 obtained employment elsewhere.
A farm equipment manufacturer in Nebraska partnered with the local high school and community college to create a workforce development and job training facility. The overall budget was $350,000 of which the CIP funds provided $90,000. The high school utilizes the building for welding classes, the college has adult classes, and local businesses use it for training. This is a multi-use facility which also met the need for a meeting center. The high school instructor has a passion for the courses taught, and he motivated many students to consider careers in the trades.
On two separate occasions communities have used RDP’s CIP program to help fund a greenhouse in coordination with the local schools to be used as a learning tool for students who proudly develop a sense of ownership in the fresh produce and flowers raised. Products are sold to the community which helps offset costs incurred, and flowers are provided to students, teachers, or staff for special occasions. At least one of the schools provides produce to the school cafeteria. This is a great way to keep the nutritional benefits of the food by having a short time from harvest to consumption. In both cases, the CIP funds filled the gap to complete the fund raising that was already in process. Both communities already wanted a greenhouse, but the CIP helped make it a reality.
A rural community was elated when CIP funds provided the last link of funding needed for a multi-faceted renovation which included a multi-functional educational space in a community where many students did not have computers or access to the internet. This renovation will provide students of all ages with the technology and tools needed to navigate today's virtual classroom, while providing multifaceted educational opportunities for the performing arts and more. Another phase to the project is the restoration of a historic landmark considered the cornerstone of this community. These renovations are creating catalytic impact as business return to the community in anticipation of the revitalization already taking hold.
A CIP funding grant of $200,000 enabled a regional technical and industrial college to extend scholarship opportunities to low-income residents who wish to pursue good paying careers. The scholarship helps to cover tuition, books, fees, uniforms, tools, and health exams. The remaining funds were used to purchase a newer commercial truck with industry-standard safety mitigation systems, like auto braking and blind-spot detection to better prepare students for work in this industry.