National Fund for Workforce Solutions Receives $3M Grant

September 27, 2013 — The National Fund for Workforce Solutions, a Boston-based initiative of national and local funders that aims to advance the careers of low-wage workers, has been awarded a $3 million federal grant to continue its work.

The new grant brings to $12.7 million the total awarded by the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, to National Fund for Workforce Solutions since 2010. It also follows on the heels of a $2.25 million grant it received last month from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to establish workforce partnerships.

Fred Dedrick, executive director of the National Fund, said the continued funding validates its approach to funding local collaboratives and engaging employers, noting, “Through SIF support, the National Fund is changing the way our communities approach and support workforce development.

“This grant allows us to make additional investments at the local level and expand our reach as we help more workers and jobseekers achieve economic security and a brighter future.”

SIF Director Michael Smith, in Boston to announce the new grant, said, “SIF is pleased to continue its support of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which is building an impressive track record of effective collaboration that is leading to career paths and advancement for thousands of America’s workers and jobseekers.”

Founded in 2007, the National Fund is an initiative of more than 400 national and local funders which depends on local communities to organize and sustain regional funding collaboratives that invest in worker skills and their key regional industries. The collaboratives are catalysts for generating additional investments in creating workforce partnerships, training workers, and improving workforce practices.

According to the National Fund, nearly 42,300 people have received career development services in training programs in the last. By 2012, 28,748 participants completed an education and training service. As of 2012, National Fund workforce partnerships have served 4,064 employers.

Through 2017, the National fund aims to:
  • Partner with 3,000 employers to achieve improved career advancement practices for low-wage workers in 100 workplaces.
  • Enable 100,000 low-wage individuals in 45 communities to obtain the skills, credentials, and other supports necessary to acquire and advance in family-supporting careers.
  • Enable 15 new communities to organize, develop, and sustain regional funder collaboratives and industry partnerships.
  • Raise $150 million in local matching investments to match $20 million in national grants to regional collaboratives.