Miami Community Ventures, A One Community One Goal Initiative, Celebrates Its Inaugural year with 150+ Job Placements

—Entrepreneurship track set to launch in 2021 as an alternative pathway and a source of new jobs—

MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 16, 2020 – The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the County’s official public-private economic development partnership, is pleased to celebrate Miami Community Ventures’ (MCV) first full  year, with more than 150 job placements throughout Miami-Dade County. Launched in 2019, this One Community One Goal collective impact program was designed to connect low-income structurally unemployed individuals to living wage jobs and long-term career pathways. A combined 50+ partners, supporters and funders have contributed to MCV’s successful rollout, raising more than $1.8 Million to-date – including a recent $400,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase.

“Miami Community Ventures is about breaking down the barriers to success and creating long-term economic mobility for some of the most at-risk and vulnerable citizens in our shared community,” stated Maria Escorcia, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for JPMorgan Chase. “At JPMorgan Chase, we are committed to giving those that need it a helping hand – and in many cases a second chance. We are pleased to see the inroads that The Beacon Council is making through our grant dollars to reduce unemployment and poverty in Miami.”

Miami Community Ventures (MCV) is designed to empower structurally unemployed individuals to succeed, providing wraparound support services to program participants for up to one year after being hired, allowing them to focus on retention, development, and success. This year’s immediate objective was to achieve targeted number of job placements with living wage jobs and a 1-year+ job retention rate of 65%.

“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, and our main objective for MCV was to kick the program off successfully and meet our job placement target,” said Michael A. Finney, President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “This workforce program has been proven to have a positive impact on the broader community – not just the participants and their families. The support of local businesses able to provide job placement opportunities is essential to the continued success of this program, and we encourage companies to connect with our team and learn more about how to participate.”

Support from community partners, employers, and funders including Miami-Dade County, CareerSource South Florida and others listed below, helped keep MCV on track despite the pandemic. More than 150 job placements were secured at an average hourly wage of $16.12, which is 18% above the wage target. Ex-offenders account for 41% of the placements, with program participants living in Miami’s most underserved communities with poverty rates of 20% or higher.

For Miami-Dade County, the rate of unemployment and poverty in underserved communities exceeds national, state, and comparable county-wide averages. Unemployment impacts poverty, recidivism, and crime rates. Designed to deliver long-term inclusive economic benefits to local communities over a state-audited five-year period, Miami Community Ventures addresses core unemployment issues and delivers solutions that positively impact individuals, families, employers, and communities for generations to come.

“It’s unrealistic to think that all it takes for someone to succeed is getting the job,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, representative of District 5 and an early champion for MCV. “That’s just the first step and, as many workers in our community know, plenty of challenges can stand in the way of a low-income resident who wants to work from being able to keep a job. What is exciting about the Miami Community Ventures approach is the ‘whatever it takes’ mentality to help folks get and stay in living wage jobs.”

For 2021, the target for job placements is increasing to 280 as the program already has employer partner commitments from Advanced Roofing, Bean Auto Group, Ussery Automotive Group, with additional partners continuing to sign on.

“FIU’s Construction Trades Program’s involvement with Miami Community Venture has proven to be significantly beneficial to our students and the program,” stated Victoria E. Tomas, Senior Program Coordinator, Moss Department of Construction at Florida International University. “Our partnership provides the students possibilities, options and access to be successful in their new career path in construction.”

A new program feature scheduled to launch in Q1 2021 is MCV’s Entrepreneurship Track. With support from founding sponsor Bank of America, the entrepreneurship track targets small community businesses that can scale with the right support. This track will offer toolkits to help female-owned Black and LatinX early-stage businesses grow, including hands-on coaching, mentorship, and premium access to procurement and funding opportunities. The success of these businesses will stimulate job creation and drive positive economic impact where it is most needed. Consistently among the top cities for start-ups – and, specifically, for women entrepreneurs – Miami is an ideal market for an entrepreneurial extension of MCV.

Led by Sheri Colas Gervais, Vice President and Executive Director of Miami Community Ventures, the program’s strategic advisory group includes George Acevedo, Divisional Director/Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase Bank; Eduardo Padron, PhD, President Emeritus, Miami Dade College; and Penny Shaffer, PhD, Market President – South Florida, Florida Blue; with support from Matt Haggman, Executive Vice President, One Community One Goal, and Michael A. Finney, President and CEO, The Beacon Council.

Miami Community Ventures is grateful to all of the funders that have made the program successful to-date: Allegany Franciscan Ministries; Bank of America; Bank United; Baptist Health South Florida; CareerSource South Florida; Florida Blue; JPMorgan Chase; Miami-Dade County; OIC South Florida; Truist Foundation; and Uber. To explore opportunities to support Miami Community Ventures as a funder, employer, and/or community partner, please contact Sheri Colas Gervais, Vice President & Executive Director, Miami Community Ventures at

For a complete list of community partners and additional information about the Miami Community Ventures program, please see attachment or visit:

For more information about The Beacon Council Foundation visit:


About the Miami‐Dade Beacon Council
The MiamiDade Beacon Council is the official economic development organization for Miami‐Dade County. Its mission is to increase jobs and investment through marketing Miami as a world-class business destination, helping grow local companies, and shaping Miami-Dade’s economic future. Since 1985, the organization has assisted more than 1,200 businesses to expand in or relocate to Miami-Dade, creating more than 104,000 direct and indirect jobs combined, and driving more than $6.7 billion in new capital investments. A professional staff and volunteer community leaders work together to promote Miami-Dade as a world‐class business community at the forefront of a changing global economy, driving long-term growth and prosperity for the region. For more information, visit:

About One Community One Goal

One Community One Goal (OCOG) is a roadmap for Miami-Dade County’s future economic development success.  This initiative provides a collaborative platform that promotes community-wide economic development and prosperity in Miami-Dade County, by driving innovation, leveraging strengths, providing clear thought leadership, and coalescing public and private priorities. One Community One Goal brings together a broad spectrum of Miami-Dade organizations, working to advance the goal of a thriving, inclusive and diverse community. For more information on OCOG, visit:

bout The Beacon Council Foundation

The Beacon Council Economic Development Foundation, Inc. is a Florida Not for Profit Corporation created exclusively for charitable and educational purposes:

  • To compile, prepare, and publish statistical data concerning Miami‐Dade County Florida and make such data available to all segments of the community;
  • To lessen the burdens of government;
  • To combat community deterioration; and to do all lawful acts incidental to the accomplishment of said charitable and educational purposes. The sole member of the Foundation is The Miami‐Dade Beacon Council, Inc.

For more information on The Beacon Council Foundation, visit: