Workforce Development

Creating a Workforce Pipeline

Education is never one size fits all. It goes beyond the classroom, and what works for one student doesn’t always work for another. That’s why The Howley Foundation supports a wide range of educational opportunities, including workforce development programs, by providing strategic grants that incorporate student scholarships and wraparound services to help ensure student success.

According to Nick Howley, “Helping students acquire the knowledge, skills, and credentials needed to obtain gainful employment and advance their careers with businesses that need skilled workers is an essential piece to promoting social and economic mobility. We’re proud to help increase access to sustainable and rewarding careers for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students.”


ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program

  • A 12-week high school enrichment program through Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing sponsored by Cleveland Clinic and The Howley Foundation
  • Designed specifically for high school juniors to create a stronger introduction and transition for students interested in pursuing a career in nursing.
  • Focuses on providing participants with career information and critical skill sets to support their matriculation through higher education, nursing school, and beyond
  • Opens doors to Patient Care Nursing Assistant (PCNA) positions at Cleveland Clinic upon high school graduation
  • Can lead to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Ursuline College and employment opportunities at Cleveland Clinic


  • Profession of Nursing
  • Relationship-Based Care
  • Personal Brand
  • Simulation Skills Lab Experience
  • Health Literacy/Healthcare Disparities
  • CPR Certification
  • A Shadow Experience
  • Healthcare & Technology
  • Diversity & Cultural Competence
  • Nursing and the Community
  • Research and Evidenced-Based Practice
  • Professional Communication/Presentation Skills

By the Numbers:

Year The Howley Foundation joined forces with Cleveland Clinic to begin the ASPIRE Nurse
Scholars Program

Number of students to date

Year the first five ASPIRE Nurse Scholars graduated from college and entered the workforce as
full-time RNs

Impact Statement

The Aspire Program increases access to sustainable and rewarding careers for economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students and offers resources and wraparound services to ensure student success.

Cristo Rey Network

  • A network of 38 Catholic high schools across the country that integrates four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with a four-year, professional work-study program
  • Corporate Work Study (CWS) program is designed to break down socioeconomic and cultural barriers that often inhibit future success of students from families of limited economic means
  • Includes professional job placement (on-site, remote, or hybrid) five full days a month, all four years of high school
  • Enables students to earn up to 50% of the cost of attendance through work study jobs
  • Strengthens social and technical acumen as students learn to pursue and excel in careers or industries they may not have considered otherwise


  • Construction
  • Education
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Media & Telecommunications
  • Nonprofit
  • Professional Services
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Technology

By the Numbers:

Number of total students in the network

Number of schools in the network

Impact Statement

As the Cristo Rey Network propels its mission forward by delivering a career focused, college preparatory education to its students, they are continually evaluating the strategies used to ensure a successful future for our youth. Over time, Cristo Rey has established 2,664 corporate partners and helped students earn more than $58 million in job placements. They are proud to report that 84% of their corporate partners have been retained year over year, and that 94% of their students meet or exceed expectations in the workplace.

Williamson College of the Trades

  • An independent undergraduate technical college that provides a deep-dive education into focus areas that include the study of trade and technical theory in the classroom and realistic work projects
  • Instruction is designed to contribute to success in a wide variety of career options, from employment positions in the trade and technical fields to entrepreneurship as small business owners
  • All attending students are provided full tuition, room, board, and textbooks
  • Requires all students to live on campus and adhere to a Code of Conduct consistent with the school’s core values of Faith, Integrity, Diligence, Excellence, and Service
  • Has earned national reputation for producing graduates who have become expert craftsmen, successful businessmen, respected citizens, and recognized leaders in their fields


  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Landscape Construction Management
  • Masonry
  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Power Plant Technology

Significant Investment:

Funds granted to Williamson over 10 years to help recruit students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds
and build a new dormitory to house more students with financial need

Impact Statement

The skilled labor shortage in America continues to grow, and the need for trade schools could not be clearer. Williamson College of the Trades has demonstrated an outstanding employment placement record and the ability to provide a shorter educational path at minimal cost. The school’s core values complement those of The Howley Foundation, providing a natural opportunity to work together in delivering a debt-free, moral and character education in the trades to disadvantaged young men.