With New Funding, Five Cities Will Build Local Workforce Capacity
National Fund for Workforce Solutions has selected Baltimore, Birmingham, Boston, Dallas, and Sarasota for a two-year grant program to expand workforce collaborative capacity
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 30, 2018) – Today, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions announced that five regions will each receive two-year, $150,000 grants to train individuals and advance local workforce development into new sectors and strategies. The grants are provided by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, a long-time supporter of the National Fund, and will provide communities with the resources they need to transform the local workforce, expanding opportunities for low-skill workers to earn an industry-recognized credential and transition into careers with family-sustaining wages.
“The Weinberg Foundation believes that employment provides the best opportunity for personal success and financial security. Through this specific grant, the National Fund will support innovation in five communities by providing direct service grants and technical assistance,” said Marci Hunn, Program Director for Workforce Development at the Weinberg Foundation. “Ultimately, and most importantly, this new support for the National Fund will translate into new career opportunities that will help more individuals and families to achieve economic stability.”
The two-year investments, awarded to workforce collaboratives in the National Fund network, will support a range of initiatives. Some grantees will focus their efforts on expanding or developing industry sector partnerships that bring together business leaders to address their shared talent issues, exchange information about industry practices, and address workforce challenges. Others will develop apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs in new sectors. Each city aims to train approximately 150 individuals to receive an industry-recognized certificate.
“In a full employment economy, now is the time to embrace new approaches in workforce development,” said Fred Dedrick, president and CEO of the National Fund. “The support from the Weinberg Foundation will provide our regional collaboratives with the resources they need to scale current programs, as well as develop new ones to meet the needs of local employers and industries. The success of the National Fund starts with our regional collaboratives, and we are very excited to see what they will accomplish over the coming years.”
Each collaborative will implement programs tailored to their local needs, including the labor market, key sectors, and employer partners.
Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative is a public-private partnership dedicated to supporting unemployed and underemployed Baltimore City residents in developing in-demand skills and good jobs while helping local businesses develop a skilled workforce. As part of this grant, the Baltimore collaborative will formalize existing relationships under a new industry partnership in transportation, distribution, and logistics, with a dual focus on maritime and commercial transportation careers.
CareerEdge Funders Collaborative in Sarasota, Florida, strives to provide an exceptional labor force to the growing industries in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota regions by leveraging community assets and creating high-performing workforce partnerships. Building on the success of their recently piloted “express program,” a model that quickly moves individuals into apprenticeship-based trade occupations, CareerEdge will form a new industry partnership. Job-seekers can gain the technical and soft skills needed for career success in electrical, plumbing, HVAC, broadband, machining, and automotive trades.
Central Six Development Council in Birmingham, Alabama, works to create a 21st-century workforce that is proactive, prepared, and results-driven. The Birmingham region experienced the second-fastest IT job growth in the country during the first half of 2016. To meet the IT industry’s demand for credentialed and experienced workers, Central Six will develop the first IT apprenticeship program in Alabama.
Pathways to Work, in Dallas, Texas, is a partnership of funders, employers, and training providers working together to equip frontline workers with skills needed for middle-skill jobs in targeted industry sectors. With this grant, Pathways will accelerate their IT work by formalizing their small business roundtable into an IT industry partnership, expand training capacity in the Dallas area, and creating an innovation lab to pilot skill-based hiring practices to fill entry-level IT positions.
SkillWorks, in Boston, Massachusetts, brings together philanthropy, government, community organizations, and employers to address the twin goals of helping low-income individuals attain family-supporting jobs and helping businesses find skilled workers. Partnering with BEST Hospitality Training Center, SkillWorks will support the center’s diversity initiative to provide opportunities in the hospitality industry for African-Americans, as well as develop a hospitality industry partnership.
About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Weinberg Foundation is one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States. Beginning in 2019, the Foundation will provide approximately $125 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the United States and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enabling an individual to live as independently as possible. Within that focus, emphasis is placed on serving older adults and the Jewish community. For more information, please visit www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.
About National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a national network promoting economic opportunity and prosperous communities through investment and innovation. Based in Washington D.C., the National Fund partners with philanthropy, employers, workers, public and private community organizations, and more than 30 regional collaboratives to invest in skills, improve systems, and generate good jobs. The National Fund supports civic and business leaders in promoting evidence-based practices and policies that build shared prosperity. Learn more about the National Fund and its local partners at www.NationalFund.org.