ETF@JFFLabs 2018 Impact Report

Building a Diverse Portfolio of Technologies to Close the Employment Opportunity Gap


An employment opportunity gap faces some 75 million adults in the United States who lack in-demand skills and connections necessary to advance in their careers and earn higher wages. That’s 41 percent of our country’s adult population.

Many of the people in this population don’t have formal education credentials. Few are able to access educational or training opportunities that will help them develop new skills. And those who can still need a bridge between education and employment.

In 2017, a group of forward-thinking foundations came together with a solution: Invest in these adults by investing in technology. They believed that technology had the potential to bring quality digital learning and employment opportunities to this traditionally underserved population. The future of work, as they saw it, would require retraining and retooling of the most vulnerable adults in the American workforce.

The foundations pulled funds together and launched the Employment Technology Fund (ETF). In 2019, ETF joined JFFLabs to form ETF@JFFLabs. This report highlights the progress of the seven portfolio companies, investment strategy of the fund, and roadmap for what our path forward. The outcomes discussed in this report reflect the results of ETF investments before the fund was acquired by JFFLabs.

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