Press Release: 10 Communities to Receive $5.5 Million to Strengthen Unique Approaches to Workforce Training

Published dec. 02, 2010

Awards Represent Distribution from Federal Government’s Social Innovation Fund

BOSTON, MA (December 2, 2010) – Ten communities are receiving a total of $5.5 million in new funding to expand innovative approaches to job training and career support, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions announced today. The awards represent the first step in implementation of the grant awarded to the National Fund and its implementation partner, Jobs for the Future, through the federal government’s landmark Social Innovation Fund.

“What makes the approach of the National Fund unique is the strong focus on two customers: the employee and the employer,” said Damian Thorman, National Program Director at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Chair of the National Fund. “While implementation varies from community to community, all 24 of our local sites forge a close working relationship with employers. This ensures that we are supporting training and career programs that will prepare jobseekers and workers for the jobs that will exist in each community as the economic recovery takes hold.”

The National Fund is one of the nation’s largest philanthropic endeavors, with ten national investors joining with more than 200 local and regional funders across 18 states testing local, innovative approaches to workforce development.

The grants announced today represent a combination of direct funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund and matching funds raised from private donors. The Social Innovation Fund is an innovative new federal program that addresses major challenges confronting communities by growing high-impact nonprofit organizations delivering proven solutions. The grants are for a two-year period and are being awarded to current National Fund sites, which will utilize the grant dollars to expand the number of employees and employers served. In early 2011, the National Fund will announce the addition of 6-8 new sites, which will also be supported by the Social Innovation Fund.

National Fund sites receiving grants today, following a competitive process, are:

  • Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative, Baltimore MD: $600,000 over two years. Contact: Martha Holleman, 410-662-8109.
  • SkillWorks: Partners for a Productive Workforce, Boston MA: $600,000 over two years. Contact: Loh Sze Leung, 617-338-4377.
  • Workforce Central Funders Collaborative, Wisconsin Rapids WI: $400,000 over two years. Contact: Jennifer Riggenbach, 715-423-3863.
  • Greater Cincinnati Workforce Network, Cincinnati OH: $600,000 over two years. Contact: Ross Meyer, 513-768-6144.
  • Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance, Milwaukee WI: $600,000 over two years. Contact: Karen Gotzler, 414-221-9500.
  • New York City Workforce Innovation Fund, New York NY: $600,000 over two years. Contact: Pat Jenny, 212-686-0010.
  • Pennsylvania Fund for Workforce Solutions, statewide: $600,000 over two years. Contact: Steve Herzenberg, 717-255-7145.
  • Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN), Philadelphia PA: $600,000 over two years. Contact: Seth Green, 215-665-2434.
  • San Diego Workforce Funders Collaborative, San Diego CA: $396,625 over two years. Contact: Jessica Mosier, 619-228-2953.
  • SkillUp Washington, Seattle WA: $600,000 over two years. Contact: Susan Crane, 206-388-1660.

“This is a vital step in the evolution of the National Fund,” said Fred Dedrick, Executive Director. “The Social Innovation Fund is a unique collaboration between the federal government and the voluntary sector. The fact that the National Fund was one of the very first organizations selected to receive a grant through the Social Innovation Fund, speaks both to the importance of our work and the potential we offer for identifying and bringing innovative solutions to scale.”

About National Fund for Workforce Solutions

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is an award-winning national initiative focused on helping low-wage workers obtain good careers while at the same time ensuring that employers have the high-quality skills that will enable them to succeed in this highly competitive economy. Since 2008, the National Fund has raised nearly $24 million to support 24 communities that have contributed an additional $104 million in locally raised resources from 216 different funding sources, including community foundations, United Ways, corporate foundations, workforce investment boards, chambers of commerce and state agencies. Each of these communities has created local funding collaboratives that are collectively investing in more than 80 sectoral workforce partnerships.

Ten national funders lead the effort: Annie E. Casey Foundation; the California Endowment, Ford Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; JP Morgan Chase & Co., Microsoft; The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; The Hitachi Foundation; the Prudential Foundation; and the Walmart Foundation.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Social Innovation Fund

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.  It’s Social Innovation Fund targets millions of public-private dollars to expand effective community solutions across three issue areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures and, youth development and school support. This work will directly impact thousands of low-income families and create a catalog of proven approaches that can be replicated in communities across the country.


About Jobs for the Future

Jobs for the Future works with our partners to design and drive adoption of education and career pathways leading from college readiness to career advancement for those struggling to succeed in today’s economy.
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