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Announcing Two Ten’s New “Opportunity Grant”

Categories: Press Release, Scholars, Two Ten News

Two Ten Footwear Foundation is delighted to announce a new grant program aimed at supporting industry employees who want to pursue skills-focused training or obtain professional certifications to advance their careers. Starting this fall we’ll be conducting a pilot project offering a limited number “Two Ten Opportunity Grants” for upskilling and professional development.

The first wave of grants to be awarded to applicants during the pilot will be reserved for women in the footwear industry, reflecting the fact that female heads of households accounted for a majority of Covid-related hardship relief applications Two Ten processed in 2020 and 2021.

We expect to roll out the grant to additional segments of the industry workforce over time, but it’s no secret working women across the U.S. were disproportionately affected by Covid—and that’s exactly what Two Ten observed in the footwear industry, too.

We began to receive applications for assistance from women facing reduced work hours or extended furloughs as soon as retailers began to shutter stores in the spring of 2020. Soon after that we were hearing about the additional stresses of adjusting to school closures, losing child care options, and needing to care for family members who had fallen ill. Now, many of the women who weathered those challenges are wondering if they’ll have the opportunity to share in an equitable recovery from the pandemic upheavals. Many are seeing their career progress stall as businesses navigate an uncertain economic environment, rapidly shifting consumer patterns, and continuing supply chain issues.

Two Ten has long offered college scholarships to industry employees but this new grant offers new opportunities for working women who need something that’s more career-focused than a traditional two- or four-year degree.

To learn more about applying for a grant, sign up for our email news and watch for an announcement when online applications open.

If you want to join the industry leaders showing support for this initiative by making a gift please reach out to Kelli-Beth Vecchione in our Development Office. She can be reached at development@twoten.org.