Jobs for the Future, Inc.

Jobs for the Future, Inc.

Partnering with Jobs for the Future, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) is expanding its targeted training and technical assistance to at least 23,000 low-income individuals over three years while also addressing the critical skill needs of more than 1,000 employers. The leveraged SIF funds will dramatically increase economic opportunities for disadvantaged workers and job seekers through investments in regional workforce collaboratives that partner with employers to identify jobs and career pathways in high-growth industries.

Grantee Information
Federal Awards: 
$7.7 million over two years (2010-2011) $2 million in 2012 $3 million over one year in 2013
Focus Area: 
Economic Opportunity
Geographic Focus: 
Mobile, AL; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Hartford, CT; Atlanta, GA; Des Moines, IA; Louisville, KY; New Orleans, LA; Shreveport, LA; Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Jackson, MS; New York, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Harrisburg, PA, Philadelphia, PA; Greenville, SC; Danville, VA; Seattle, WA; Milwaukee, WI; and South Wood County, WI
Collaborating Partners: 
Council on Foundations; Workforce Learning Strategies
Collaborating Funders: 
Annie E. Casey Foundation; Boeing; Ford Foundation; The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; The Hitachi Foundation; The Kresge Foundation; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; JP Morgan Chase and Co; Microsoft Corporation; Open Society Foundations; The Prudential Foundation; and The Walmart Foundation

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) is expanding its innovative approaches to job training and career support in various communities. The selected subgrantees represent the implementation of the NFWS’s and its partner, Jobs for the Future, Social Innovation Fund grant award. The approach of the National Fund is distinguished by a strong focus on two customers: the employee and the employer. While aspects of program implementation vary from community to community, all local sites forge close working relationships with employers, which ensures that NFWS supports training and career programs that prepare jobseekers and workers for the jobs that exist in each community.

Track Record before Social Innovation Fund Grant:

  • NFWS works with over 80 workforce partnerships and more than 900 employers in 23 communities. In 2009, 9,735 participants received degrees or credentials, 4,058 secured jobs, and 81 percent of participants are working full-time.
  • $23.7 million in commitments from national NFWS funds has leveraged over $100 million from more than 200 local and regional funders.


  • The subgrantee evaluation plan was approved by CNCS and is expected to reach strong levels of evidence.  
  • Their subgrantees have served a total of 19,835 job seekers and incumbent workers, exceeding their original two year target of 10,000 individuals.
  • JFF has raised 87% of their total three year match of $9.7 million, while subgrantees have surpassed their match requirements by raising $14.6 M cumulatively.
  • JFF has a strong model of technical assistance for its subgrantees which includes monthly peer learning calls, affinity groups, and regional meetings.  During the past year, they hired additional site coaches to facilitate and monitor the implementation of the collaborative partnerships. These partnerships are key to developing training programs to meet the needs of both employers and underemployed/unemployed individuals

Nonprofits Receiving Social Innovation Fund Awards from Jobs for the Future

Atlanta CareerRisePartners for a Competitive Workforce/United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Baltimore Workforce Funders CollaborativePittsburgh Works
Bay Area Workforce Funding CollaborativePreperation for Advanced Career Employment System
Central Iowa Works Funding CollaborativeSan Diego Workforce Funders Collaborative
Central PA Works Funders CollaborativeSkillUp Washington
Central Six Development CouncilSkillWorks
Chicagoland Workforce Funder AllianceSouthwest Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC)
Dan River Region CollaborativeTriad Workforce Solutions Collaborative
Delta Workforce Funding CollaborativeWIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners
Greater Newark Workforce Funders CollaborativeWorkforce Central
Greenville Region Workforce Funder Collaborative (GRFC)Workforce Innovations in Northwest Louisiana
Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN)Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford
Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding AllianceWork Train Collaborative
New Orleans Works (NOW) 
New York City Workforce Innovation Fund 


Atlanta CareerRise
Led by United Way of Metro Atlanta
Atlanta, GA
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

This collaborative serves the 26-county Greater Atlanta region and has been awarded $300,000 over two years. The SIF investment will allow them to build on their Work Ready efforts which include job profiling, worker assessment and provision of training and support services to allow low-income individuals to earn a recognized, portable job readiness certificate. In particular, the Collaborative will focus efforts on middle-skill jobs in high-growth industries, which require more than high school but less than a four-year degree. Their industry focus will be on the health care, biotechnology and logistics sectors, which make up the largest share of the region's labor market. Over two years, the collaborative intends to serve 175 job seekers, placing 113 into jobs, and 175 incumbent workers with 160 receiving wage increases.

Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative
Baltimore, MD
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

The two-year investment will allow the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative to increase investment in workforce partnerships that focus on biotechnology, construction and healthcare in the Greater Baltimore Region. These partnerships emphasize the training and placement of low-income city residents, strong relationships with employers to determine industry needs, and bridge programs that offer contextualized numeracy and literacy training so applicants meet program entry requirements. Each partnership has a strong track record in moving low-wage/ low-skilled workers into career track jobs with family sustainingwages. Over two years the collaborative intends to serve 525 job seekers, placing 368 in jobs and 297 incumbent workers with 150 receiving wage increases.

Bay Area Workforce Funding Collaborative
Led by the San Francisco Foundation
San Francisco, CA
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000

The Bay Area Workforce Funding Collaborative (BAWFC) is one of the original National Fund for Workforce Solution collaboratives. The organization joined the network in 2008 and serves the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. BAWFC will receive $600,000 over two years. The BAWFC’s efforts focus on supporting two health care workforce partnerships. Through its SIF award BAWFC will accelerate the development of a complete regional allied health career pipeline by building on investments in industry-driven training in participating Bay Area community colleges. Each of their partnerships has strong employer engagement organized by community colleges acting as intermediaries. These include major hospital systems in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties as well as health departments in both counties. BAWFC will invest in a “bridge” strategy that is aimed at ensuring that job seekers will succeed through rigorous training and into job placement. BAWFC intends to serve 525 job seekers and 105 incumbent workers.

Central Iowa Works Funding Collaborative
Led by United Way of Central Iowa
Des Moines, IA
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

Central Iowa Works Funding Collaborative (CIWFC) serves a multicounty region of Central Iowa. They will receive $600,000 over two years. This award will allow CIWFC to scale of their investment in workforce partnerships in the health care, energy and financial services sectors. They will also establish a new advanced manufacturing partnership. Through these workforce partnerships, CIWFC expects to support 455 job seekers and 355 incumbent workers in their efforts to prepare for, attain and advance in familysupporting jobs.

Dan River Region Collaborative
Led by the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region
Danville, VA
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

The Dan River Region Collaborative (DRRC) serves a three-county, two-city rural area in south central Virginia including Danville and Pittsylvania counties. They will receive $300,000 over two years. DRRC supports three workforce partnerships: advanced manufacturing, energy and health care. The SIF award will allow DRRC to scale up successful strategies, extend their geographic footprint into Patrick County and potentially partner with border counties in North Carolina. In addition, DRRC will explore the creation of an information technology partnership to serve the growing number of businesses taking advantage of the region’s investment in an 800+ mile fiber optic broadband network. They plan to serve 200 job seekers and 500 incumbent workers.

Delta Workforce Funding Collaborative
Led by the Foundation for the Mid-South
Jackson, MS
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

The Delta Workforce Funding Collaborative serves a rural, 14- county region along the northwestern Mississippi Delta and has been awarded $300,000 over two years. The sector focus of this collaborative will be health care and manufacturing. It will work to support a variety of jobseeker services from career navigation to literacy and contextualized employability training. It will also support employers through skill needs assessments, career pathway development and jobseeker screening. The collaborative will use newly updated metrics for family economic self-sufficiency to guide its efforts to support worker advancement, sector focus and outcome evaluation. The Delta Workforce Funding Collaborative will provide services to 500 job seekers and will enroll 275 in training and education. Of these 215 will receive industryrecognized credentials and 238 will obtain jobs. It will also provide services to 125 incumbent workers and enroll all of them in training/education, leading to wage increases for 65, promotions for 13 and industry-recognized credentials for 90.

Greenville Regional Funder Collaborative (GRFC)
Led by the Appalachian Council of Governments
Greenville, SC
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

The GRFC serves Greenville County and intends to build collaboration with the surrounding counties that make up the labor shed, such as Spartanburg, Laurens, Anderson and Pickens Counties. The collaborative has been awarded $300,000 over two years. Their sector focus will be on transportation fabrication within advanced manufacturing, based on a strong manufacturing presence and its strong growth outlook. This collaborative will support foundational skills training for job seekers as they relate to manufacturing careers, and will include career pathway guidance, coaching and support services. The strength on the GRFC approach is tapping local manufacturing employers to provide the insight regarding the skills gaps that foundational skills training will address. Alignment and adjustment of existing programs by diverse entities will help create an identifiable pipeline of qualified workers. Through employer input and program alignment, partners will assist job seekers in attaining the required knowledge and assist employers in hiring qualified workers. GRFC expects to serve 200 job seekers in year one and 300 job seekers in year two through their participation in foundational skills training. They expect an 85% training completion rate, an 80% employment rate of those completing training, and a 90% employment retention rate.

Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN)
United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

The Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN), based at the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and serving the fivecounty Philadelphia metropolitan region and will invest in three sectors: healthcare, manufacturing, and horticulture. Each of these sectors has real-time talent gaps and long-term growth prospects. In all three sectors, JOIN is supporting workforce partnerships that are employer-led, offer training towards industry-recognized credentials, and that focus on career pathways. JOIN aims to leverage its two-year award to serve 2,188 incumbent workers, assisting 917 to obtain wage increases. In addition, it will also help 184 jobs seekers with a goal of placing 134 into jobs.

Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

The Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance will expand investments in the healthcare and building trade industry sectors, providing broad services to both employers and workers. A primary focus will be improving access to public benefits and investments into expanding financial counseling and long-term coaching support. There will also be support for state level policy work as well as linking agencies to the online benefits system. The main focus will continue to be the existing Workforce Partnerships of Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/ Big Step (WRTP) and Milwaukee Area Healthcare Alliance (MAHA). In addition, funding for the City’s Office of Environmental Sustainability will create a new Workforce Partnership that includes WRTP and adds a broader range of smaller contractors. Funds will also be invested in Workforce Partnerships in vehicle maintenance and repair as a growth industry with an employer-led association. The Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance intends to assist almost 3,970 job seekers, placing 840 in jobs. Over the two-year grant period they will also serve 840 incumbent workers helping 580 workers to receive wage increases.

New Orleans Works (NOW)
Led by the Greater New Orleans Foundation
New Orleans, LA
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

This collaborative will serve the Greater New Orleans region, which consists of eight parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany. It has been awarded $300,000 over two years. SIF funding will allow NOW to include low-income residents in the development of the BioDistrict New Orleans, which is expected to create 9,800 jobs. Consequently, the collaborative will focus its energies toward the biotech and health care sectors. The collaborative seeks to actively engage low-income job seekers in the policy agenda-setting process. NOW plans to serve 250 jobseekers during the next two years in career ladder jobs such as health information management and laboratory technology. They will also serve 70 incumbent workers over the next two years. The collaborative has also established a systems change priority of encouraging the Louisiana Workforce Commission to better align incumbent worker training funding with emerging needs in the health care and biosciences sectors and to better market the availability of these funds to local employers.

New York City Workforce Innovation Fund
Led by the Workforce Development Corporation
New York, New York
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

New York City Workforce Innovation Fund serves all of New York City and will receive $600,000 in Social Innovation funds over two years. Creating the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH), a new “workforce meta-partnership,” it will serve the New York City healthcare industry. It will engage in three healthcare sub-sectors—acute care, primary care and long term care—and will also broker connections to the range of providers preparing low income jobseekers and incumbent workers for in-demand careers in healthcare. Over the next two years, NYACH will broker job placement and training services between healthcare employers and providers that will lead to at least 800 individuals served, 534 trained and 320 placed or advanced. The New York City Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) was a critical partner with the NYC Department of Small Business Services in developing three sectorspecific one-stop career centers.

Partners for a Competitive Workforce/United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

The Greater Cincinnati Workforce Network will scale up their investments in healthcare, construction and advanced manufacturing sectors, serving over 2,150 workers in two years and placing 1,400 in jobs. In addition, they are proposing to assist 400 incumbent workers leading to about 200 individuals getting wage increases. Their healthcare partnership will continue to provide flexible support to cover the operating costs including staffing and administration, while primarily focusing on expanding employer engagement efforts. The construction partnership will develop robust services and supports to improve retention of apprentices and entry-level employees. They will do this by strengthening the partnership’s pre-apprenticeship initiative to prepare jobseekers to enter the construction trades. Within the advanced manufacturing partnership, they will significantly expand the foundational entry-point to the industry, including delivery of the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician Certificate.

Pennsylvania Fund for Workforce Solutions
Led by The Pittsburgh Foundation
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

The Pennsylvania Fund for Workforce Solutions (PFWS), a unique statewide collaborative based at the Pittsburgh Foundation and serving the Pennsylvania communities of Erie, Pittsburgh and South Central Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading and York), will use its two-year award to expand three existing partnerships. It will link an Erie health care placement and advancement initiative with a second hospital in Year 1, and other employers in Year 2; consolidate a Pittsburgh replication of the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/Big Step; and place additional members of the Latino population with Industry Partnerships in Lancaster. PFWS will also scale up by investing in two additional mature partnerships: a statewide utility partnership and a reading area construction partnership. Over two years, the collaborative intends to serve 2,854 job seekers, placing 1,084 in permanent employment and an additional 1,016 incumbent workers helping 551 obtain wage increases.

San Diego Workforce Funders Collaborative
Led by San Diego Workforce Partnership, Inc.
San Diego, California
Amount of Initial Award: $396,625 over two years

The San Diego Workforce Funders Collaborative, which focuses on helping very low income residents move up into better paying careers at the many community health clinics serving California, will increase its investment in the healthcare industry. Through its Medical Assistant Training program, the collaborative plans to work with 21 clinics sites in San Diego County to solve hiring needs through collaboration with each other and work with the local community college for contracted education training, utilize the Council of Community Clinics to bring together the 21 clinics, and demonstrate that a Medical Assistant is a career track within the clinic system that can be replicated across the healthcare industry. The San Diego Workforce Funders Collaborative will leverage its two-year award to train 300 incumbent workers over the next two years, leading to about one-third receiving wage increases.

SkillUp Washington
Seattle, Washington
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

SkillUp Washington, serving the Seattle-King County region, will scale up its investments in the healthcare, business services and transportation and logistics sector partnerships. SkillUp Washington will expand current activities within the business services sector, which target two occupational categories: First, “business technology,” which provides broad preparation for a large set of occupations (receptionist, office managers, bookkeeping clerks) with an average hourly wage of $18/hour and projected openings ranging from 225 to 741 per year. The second is an Operating Support System Specialist program, which prepares low-income working adults to provide computer and software support. SkillUp will also support displaced transportation and logistics sector workers, providing tailored training and skill-building opportunities that build on their existing strengths and enable their transition to new occupations openings within the field. The collaborative will utilize its two-year award to serve 800 jobs seekers, at least 320 in which will be placed in jobs.

SkillWorks: Partners for a Productive Workforce
Led by the Boston Foundation
Boston, Massachusetts
Amount of Initial Award: $600,000 over two years

SkillWorks focuses on “system change” initiatives in health care, financial services, hospitality and green collar jobs, including creating better pathways for workers to achieve post-secondary credentials needed for economic success; advocating for greater investment in workforce training; and sustaining partnerships between business and community groups to deliver relevant, accessible training. SkillWorks will use its two-year award to serve 478 job seekers by the end of the second year of support and place 311 in permanent employment. In addition they intend to work with 350 incumbent workers, assisting 135 to obtain wage increases.

Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC)
Mobile, Alabama
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

SAWDC serves an eight-county region in Southwest Alabama. It has been awarded $300,000 over two years. This SIF investment will allow SAWDC to establish and support four fully functioning workforce partnerships supporting the following industries: maritime, aerospace, healthcare, and process manufacturing. Proposed services will include skills training and any other necessary services to support the advancement of lower skilled adults. It is expected that by the end of year two, SAWDC will have served over 600 individuals (400 job seekers and 200 incumbent workers) and enrolled 470 in education and training. They estimate that half (or 200) of the job seekers will obtain jobs. At least half (or 100) of the incumbent workers served will receive wage increases and 25% (or 25) will receive promotions. Of the total 600 individuals served, 100 are expected to receive industry and/or education credentials as a result of these efforts.

WIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners
Led by Kentuckiana Works Foundation
Louisville KY
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

Working Partners of Greater Louisville serves a region that includes 26 counties along the I-65 corridor in Kentucky and three in Southern Indiana. They have been awarded $300,000 for two years. The SIF investment will allow them to focus on two sectors -- health care and health enterprises, and "new auto," a sectorspecific division of the advanced manufacturing industry. Working Partners will provide skills assessments, career pathways, and training opportunities to jobseekers and incumbent workers tailored to the needs identified by employer partnerships in the targeted sectors. This collaborative hopes to make the case to the local public and philanthropic funders that focused support of low-income workers can produce productive results. Working Partners will enroll at least 200 jobseekers in training/education with 150 achieving an education or industry credential. Of these at least 175 people will be placed into jobs with 80% retained after 6 months. They will also serve 100 incumbent workers, with 80 receiving wage increases.

Workforce Central Funders Collaborative
South Wood County, Wisconsin
Amount of Initial Award: $400,000 over two years

Workforce Central will extend its current strategy for employer engagement and fund new sector/sub-sector groups in rural South Wood County, Wisconsin and surrounding North Central Wisconsin. These will include a sector-based Human Resources/Training council to extend training opportunities; an Information Technology (IT) Sector Board to explore and plan for IT occupational training needs; a “microbusiness” manufacturing council to engage manufacturers with fewer than 25 employees; the Food Industry Training Council, a subcommittee of the Advanced Manufacturing Council; and a Health Care Council that will forecast health care workforce and training needs for the region and design a strategy to meet them. Through these partnerships Workforce Central will serve 320 job seekers, placing 150 of these people in jobs as well as assist 1,100 incumbent workers receive additional training and education helping 435 of them garner wage increases.

Workforce Innovations in Northwest Louisiana
Led by the Community Foundation of North Louisiana
Shreveport, LA
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

Workforce Innovations in Northwest Louisiana (WINLA) is a regional funding collaborative that serves the parishes of Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Bienville, Claiborne, Natchitoches, Sabine, Red River and Lincoln. WINLA will receive $300,000 over two years in SIF and NFWS funding. This SIF award will allow WINLA to expand its existing workforce partnership in health care and to create a new partnership in the energy sector. The Consortium for Education, Research and Technology of North Louisiana (CERT) is managing the health care partnership. Other partners include Willis-Knighton Health System, and Northern and Central Louisiana Interfaith. Together the WINLA project plans to serve 150 job seekers, 198 incumbent workers.

Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford
Led by United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut
Hartford, CT
Amount of Initial Award: $300,000 over two years

Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford (WSCMH) serves the Connecticut Metropolitan Hartford region. They will receive $300,000 over two years. WSCMH is a long-established funders’ collaborative and a network of public/private stakeholder organizations committed to developing an educated, economically self-sufficient workforce that meets employer needs. Their SIF grant will allow them to intensify the work of their three workforce partnerships: advanced manufacturing, energy and utilities and health care. In particular, WSCMH will strengthen, sustain, and scale up the work in each partnership to address lack of prerequisite basic skills and lack of hands-on experience among low-income workers. Lower-income workers will be connected to technical training using information exchanges and knowledge bases, referrals, and scholarships. Also, the workforce partnerships will help develop integrated curriculum that incorporates hands-on experience, which may include job shadowing, internships, and/or on-the-job training opportunities. WSCMH’s goal is to serve 290 individuals over two years and to engage 45 employers in the workforce partnerships.

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