Workforce Institute

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SAN FRANCISCO, JANUARY 27, 2017 —United Way Bay Area (UWBA) today celebrated the soft opening of the first SparkPoint center in the South Bay, which will help address the wide income gap in Santa Clara County. The new center, SparkPoint San José, was made possible by a $1 million grant from the Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation, and is the result of a UWBA partnership with San José – Evergreen Community College District Workforce Institute and the South Bay Consortium for Adult Education. Located on the campus of San José City College at 600 South Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128, SparkPoint San José will be open to students and all Santa Clara County residents in the spring. 

Developed by UWBA, SparkPoint is a proven model that offers free, integrated services to help people end the cycle of poverty through one-on-one job coaching and training, education and financial literacy. Coaches focus on helping clients with four key elements of financial success: managing credit, increasing income, reducing debt and building assets. Since the first SparkPoint center opened in 2009, the program has expanded to 15 locations around the Bay Area and has served more than 20,000 residents. Last year, 80 percent of SparkPoint clients reported making progress with their financial goals.

"We saw the results that SparkPoint had in the North Bay with putting clients on a sound financial footing, so it makes sense to help United Way bring this proven program to the South Bay. Since this service is open to all Santa Clara residents, as well as the students on campus, we believe this investment makes a bigger impact, bringing this proven program to anyone who needs it. With the SparkPoint model, UWBA brings resources, efficiencies and expertise to the very real economic gap here in the communities where our employees live and work," said David Heacock, senior vice president of Texas Instruments and a member of the TI Foundation board of directors.

TI and its employees have partnered with UWSV for many years through their annual workplace campaign, bringing more than $400,000 to the local community each year.  The TI Foundation grant came from the TI Community Fund, a corporate advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

"We are enormously grateful to TI for their generosity, partnership and especially their commitment to economic opportunity for every resident in Santa Clara County," said UWBA CEO Anne Wilson. "We are eager to begin providing SparkPoint services to those who need them."

Santa Clara County has the largest population of the nine Bay Area Counties and the second-highest poverty rate. The statistics are alarming. Silicon Valley, while synonymous with success and innovation, has almost a quarter of residents making annual salaries of $11,800 or less for individuals or $16,020 for a family of two. One in four children are living in low-income families and only half of them are expected to graduate high school.

"SparkPoint services mitigate economic disparities to improve educational access and outcomes," said Dr. Debbie Budd, chancellor at San José – Evergreen Community College District. "We are thrilled to be able to partner with so many outstanding organizations to offer these vital services to our students and our community."

About United Way Bay Area

United Way Bay Area (UWBA) fights for the financial stability and equal opportunity for residents in eight Bay Area counties. UWBA takes an innovative, holistic approach to ending the cycle of poverty through advocacy and programs that support all ages—providing free access to family support, financial and career coaching, job opportunities, and basic needs.

About Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world's brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today.  Learn more at

About the TI Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization solely funded by Texas Instruments providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where TI operates. Committed to supporting educational excellence, the foundation works to create measurable, replicable programs and initiatives. More information can be found at

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. As the largest community foundation in the world, we engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here. Learn more at

About San José – Evergreen Community College District

Located in vibrant downtown San José in Silicon Valley, the San José · Evergreen Community College District (SJECCD) encompasses more than 300 square miles, including a large portion of the city of San José and all of the city of Milpitas. The District is comprised of two colleges: Evergreen Valley College, San José City College, and the Workforce Institute. As a leading educational institution, the mission of SJECCD is to meet the diverse educational and workforce needs of our community by empowering our students to become agents for socioeconomic change. The District's core values are opportunity, equity and social justice.

About South Bay Consortium for Adult Education

Established by the AB86 Legislation of June, 2013, the five adult schools (Campbell Adult and Community Education; East Side Adult Education; Milpitas Adult Education; Santa Clara Adult Education; and Silicon Valley Adult Education) and two community college districts (San Jose-Evergreen Community College District; and West Valley-Mission Community College District) joined to form the South Bay Consortium for Adult Education (SBCAE). The consortium's shared vision is to serve the region's adult learner needs, including adult education pathways into careers or postsecondary education so that they can achieve economic self-sufficiency in an area with one of the highest costs of living in the nation. The consortium is committed to having a positive collective impact on the local workforce, building a just economy and healthy community.

​Media Contacts:  Tami Kelly,, 925-640-9997, Gail Chandler, TI, 214-793-3021, and Ryan Brown, SJECCD, 408-531-6172


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