TI and UWBA Launch New SparkPoint Center - United Way Bay Area
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TI and UWBA Launch New SparkPoint Center

October 11, 2016


United Way Bay Area (UWBA) announced today that Texas Instruments (TI) has granted $1 million to fund the first SparkPoint center in the South Bay, which will help address the wide income gap in Santa Clara County. The new center will be at San Jose – Evergreen Community College District Workforce Institute, the third SparkPoint center to be based at a community college.

SparkPoint is an effective, proven model that offers integrated services to help people end the cycle of poverty through free job coaching and training, education, and financial literacy. UWBA launched its first SparkPoint center in 2009 and now has 15 locations throughout the Bay Area.

Offering a “hand up” through one-on-one coaching and access to other support services, SparkPoint focuses on helping clients with four key elements of financial success: managing credit, increasing income, reducing debt, and building assets. Since the first center launched in 2009, SparkPoint has served over 20,000 Bay Area residents. Last year, 80 percent of SparkPoint clients reported making progress with their financial goals.

“When United Way Silicon Valley merged with United Way of the Bay Area in July 2016, TI saw an opportunity to have a larger impact on the lives of Silicon Valley residents who struggle to make ends meet. As a merged organization, United Way Bay Area brings even greater 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 and manager of Texas Instruments Silicon Valley Analog (SVA).

TI and its employees have partnered with United Way Silicon Valley (UWSV) for many years through its annual workplace campaign, bringing over $400,000 to the local communities each year. The TI grant will come from the TI Community Fund, a corporate advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

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.

“We are enormously grateful to Texas Instruments 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 provide SparkPoint services to those who need them.”

With the help of Texas Instruments and other initial investments, UWBA will partner with San José-Evergreen Community College District Workforce Institute, which will serve as the local lead organization, to open the first SparkPoint Center in Santa Clara. They are working together closely on an implementation plan for the new center, which is expected to open in February 2017. Additional partners and services will be identified during a planning process shaped by local and content experts.

SparkPoint was created by UWBA, based on an Annie E. Casey Foundation model that proved that offering multiple services under one roof leads to better outcomes. Provided free of charge, SparkPoint services include financial education and career coaching that aim to move clients out of poverty with personalized plans and one-on-one coaching.

“SparkPoint services mitigate economic disparities which improves educational access and outcomes,” said Dr. Debbie Budd, Chancellor at San José – Evergreen Community College District.


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.


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.



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.