Supporting our communities through giving
Creating community is a collaborative effort. That’s why we support area nonprofits that share Ascendium’s commitment to helping more people from low-income backgrounds achieve postsecondary education and workforce training success.
Changing lives, changing the community
For 40 years, JustDane has inspired hope for individuals set back by incarceration and other life challenges. Through innovative programs, this Madison-area nonprofit helps its clients gain the job training they need to overcome their barriers to success and earn a living. And it’s not done innovating yet!
Recently, JustDane recognized a need to develop a training program for individuals interested in hotel or restaurant management or starting their own business. A $55,000 planning grant from Ascendium helps them do that work. Due to launch in 2022, the 12-week program will give students an opportunity to pursue management positions and earn a certificate in hospitality management. It will also grant graduates admission into Madison College’s Hospitality Management program. It’s all in service of making a more just and equitable community.
Building better futures
Operation Fresh Start (OFS) provides a path toward self-sufficiency for young adults disconnected from work and school through education, mentoring and on-the-job training. OFS participants build affordable homes, help maintain city and county parks and earn a high school diploma and driver’s license. But it doesn’t stop there. Its Graduate Crews provide pre-apprentice training for young adults ages 16-24 just starting careers in the construction trades. Crews work on projects all over Dane County — including our new headquarters.
In late 2021, OFS will launch a new Conservation Graduate Crew pathway and bolster its existing construction crew. Ascendium is proud to support those efforts with a two-year, $250,000 grant. There’s much to be excited about: 93% of those who complete the Graduate Crew program are placed in apprenticeships, setting a foundation for greater socioeconomic mobility and a better life.
Giving beyond our communitiesEDUCATION PHILANTHROPY
Through our national philanthropy, we fund projects that help learners from low-income backgrounds throughout the country succeed in postsecondary education and workforce training.