Springfield WORKS joins the National Fund network to create pathways to opportunity
Washington, DC, November 11, 2021 — The National Fund for Workforce Solutions welcomes Springfield WORKS into its network of regional workforce collaboratives. A national implementation network fuels the National Fund’s mission. Regional workforce collaboratives bring together diverse community partners to help individuals develop new skills and access good jobs, businesses find trained employees, and communities generate inclusive prosperity.
Springfield WORKS aims to remove obstacles that prevent employers from finding the workers they need, and job seekers from finding secure employment with livable wages.
“Springfield WORKS is a wonderful addition to our network,” said National Fund Network Director Hollie Marston. “We are eager to share their learning with the network about implementing two-generation approaches to improve employment outcomes, as well as their approach to better align stakeholders in the region toward shared goals.”
Springfield has had a fairly stable labor market for many years; however, wages tell another story. Residents working two full-time minimum wages jobs do not earn enough to support a family. In fact, wages over time have actually declined in the past 20 years, while the cost of goods and services has increased. Springfield WORKS is addressing this issue by aligning local workforce providers, engaging employers, and advocating for policy improvements.
Quality education, open and accessible career pathways, and jobs with good wages are essential, as are physical and mental health. Springfield WORKS sees a win-win in strengthening adults’ connections to educational and employment opportunities, while simultaneously supporting their children’s healthy development. These are known as “two-generation” approaches.
“We are thrilled to join the National Fund network,” said Anne Kandilis, director of Springfield WORKS. “As one of the region’s largest conveners of cross-sector institutions, we are eager to learn from others about the ways Springfield WORKS can further operationalize strategies in the Greater Springfield area to address resident and employer workforce needs and build a resilient, inclusive, equitable economy.”
About National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions invests in a dynamic national network of 30+ communities taking a demand-driven, evidence-based approach to workforce development. At the local level, the National Fund’s partner organizations contribute resources, test ideas, collect data, and improve public policies and business practices that help all workers succeed and employers have the talent they need to compete. Learn more at www.NationalFund.org.
About Springfield Works
Our vision is for Springfield to have thriving communities, where economic opportunity, growth, and resilience is possible for all. Achieving that vision requires ongoing, collaborative work to build trust, remove systemic and racial barriers, and create pathways to economic opportunity and well-being. Springfield WORKS is committed to addressing and overcoming these challenges. Partners agree that our region is “rich in programs” but “poor in systems” with a need to collaborate in order to align the assets in our community, identify where the real gaps are, and work together to close those gaps.