ECMC Foundation Awards $575,000 to National Skills Coalition to Engage States in Learning and Action to Address Student Basic Needs Insecurity

August 21, 2023

Funding will inform, mobilize, and scale state systems change to increase college access and success for adults on career-focused pathways and work to eliminate the uncertainty or lack of essential resources they might face  

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 21, 2023 – National Skills Coalition (NSC) announced today that it received a $575,000 grant from ECMC Foundation to engage states in learning and action to address student basic needs insecurity. NSC will utilize the funding to support a state peer learning community and provide technical assistance; conduct student-centered research to elevate students’ expertise and lived experience in the development of policy; and disseminate and share state progress, research findings, and student insights to ensure broader learning and knowledge sharing with national partners, advocates, and state policymakers interested in innovative solutions for tackling basic needs insecurity for students. NSC will intentionally design this work to explicitly meet the needs of students of color, adults, and parents who face greater rates of basic needs insecurity.  

“COVID-19 underscored the importance of holistically supporting students to meet postsecondary attainment goals and advance an inclusive economy,” said Brooke DeRenzis, Chief Strategy Officer at NSC. “Efforts to support adults in earning quality credentials through supports like tuition assistance, advising, and benefits access, however, have tended to focus on traditionally aged and transfer students. States can change systems to make college work for working people by expanding these supports to students who take nonlinear routes to and through college. ECMC Foundation’s generous support of our vital work to build a more supportive postsecondary ecosystem presents new possibilities for systems change that will enhance equitable college access and success.” 

“We applaud higher education leaders for pivoting to meet the moment during the global pandemic,” said Jacob Fraire, President of ECMC Foundation. “Now, we urge institutional leaders to address more urgently the growing basic needs insecurities among today’s college students.  We are grateful to our partners, and in particular the National Skills Coalition, for forging new solutions to this vexing national crisis. “ 

About NSC and ECMC Foundation 

National Skills Coalition fights for inclusive, high-quality skills training so that people have access to a better life, and local businesses see sustained growth. We engage in analysis and technical assistance, organizing, advocacy, and communications to improve state and federal skills policies.