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United Way Miami Workforce Project

Impact Investments, Workforce & Economic Mobility, Education


Pay It Forward Fund pilot focused on veterans, people of color, and single female heads of household in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Social Finance partnered with United Way Miami on the United Way Miami Workforce Project, a Pay It Forward Fund pilot to upskill Miami residents for in-demand jobs that lead to economic mobility. The pilot enabled people with low incomes in Miami-Dade County—especially veterans, people of color, and single female heads of household—to enroll in 4Geeks Academy, a coding bootcamp that provides technical training, mentorship, and career support.

Pilot Goals

  • Expand access to training: Minimize risks for learners by covering their upfront tuition costs and providing supportive services to help them succeed. Learners only repay program costs if they land and keep a job above a certain salary.
  • Power the local economy: Upskill Miami-Dade residents for careers in software development and user experience, amplifying economic opportunity in the region.
  • Create a sustainable cycle of training: As a Pay It Forward Fund—participants in the program who find jobs above a certain salary “pay it forward” into a common fund to support future learners.

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Participant Stories

Loretta Thompson Headshot

Miami Pay It Forward Fund Offered Loretta Flexibility and an Exciting Career Path

Loretta loved her part-time job at Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs, but she had to take on exhausting shifts as a FedEx package handler to help pay the bills. Then she learned about the United Way Miami Workforce Project. “If I had known about this opportunity earlier on I would’ve taken it. I just didn’t know it was for me. I’m a mom, I’m a wife, I’ve had several careers. But there are opportunities like this out there … [that] could really change your life,” said Loretta.

How It Works

Partners and Supporters

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