Our Impact

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a national network working to build shared prosperity through better skills, workforce innovations, and good jobs.

Building Stronger Communities

Since 2007, the National Fund has invested in more than 35 communities and supported local collaboratives of funders, businesses, and workers. These investments have helped National Fund collaboratives leverage almost $300 million from more than 700 local and national funders. 

National Fund collaboratives have transformed their communities by investing in skills, improving education and workforce systems, organizing employers, and developing shared solutions to their communities’ labor and economic issues. Supporting national progress, the National Fund maintains a vibrant network of its partner communities and provides frequent opportunities for collaborative members to exchange best practices, test new ideas, and develop shared solutions to common challenges.

Ensuring Individuals Have Skills and Opportunity

The National Fund and its collaboratives invest in the skills and educations of individuals in their communities. Since its creation, National Fund collaborative have:

  • Supported 77,000 individuals in completing over 53,000 training programs and securing more than 40,000 industry-approved credentials. Specially,
    • Helping 55,000 jobseekers develop new skills and/or find a good job;
    • Investing in 22,0000 incumbent workers to improve their performance and place them on-track for a promotion;

Through a rigorous evaluation of its programs in Cincinnati, OH, and Milwaukee, WI, evaluators determined that the National Fund excels at getting people into jobs, keeping employees in key positions, and raising compensation for workers.

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For participants in its Milwaukee manufacturing partnership, job placement was 21 percent higher, the average retention was almost double, and individuals earned more than $16,000 in additional wages over one and a half years compared to individuals in similar programs. Results were similar in a Cincinnati health care partnership, in which individuals were 29 percent more likely to be employed 18 months after program entry and were on average earning 52 percent more than individuals in the matched comparison.

Engaging 2,300 Employers in Industry Partnerships

With 85 operating industry partnerships in 2015, the National Fund is actively supporting 2,300 business leaders in collectively addressing their industries’ labor and skill needs. Through industry partnerships, employers define long- and short-term labor needs, communicate high-demand skills to local educators, collectively invest in their employees and new-hires, and discuss business practices that use training and employee investment to improve business performance.

In addition to its industry partnerships, the National Fund operates CareerSTAT—a national network of health care leaders promoting the skill development and career advancement of frontline workers. With more than 65 employer members and dozens of partners, CareerSTAT recognizes organizations making significant investments in their employees, researches and promotes best practices for frontline investments, and documents the business impact of investing in frontline workers.

BACH (Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Health Care) is a successful industry partnership and key CareerSTAT partner. Learn how the National Fund is measuring its impact and learning from its work to date in the Learning and Evaluation page.

Driving Improvements to Systems and Practices

Systems change enables small improvements in practice to reach scale by sustaining those improvements over time. National Fund partner communities are reaching substantial scale by altering workforce development policies and business practices to impact substantially more individuals. After nine years and investments in forty communities the National Fund Network understands what systems need to be improved and, more importantly, knows how to make it happen. Documented in Systems Change in the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the National Fund has recorded dozens of instances of systems change that have led to direct improvements in education and workforce development systems, employer practices, public investments and policies regarding workforce development, and the perspectives and investments of hundreds of funders.