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Funders pour $50 million into workforce

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Several major U.S. funders are partnering create a $50 million fund designed to help low-wage workers transition to better jobs and to help employers find the skilled workers they need.

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions will spend the money over a five-year period with the goal of matching 50,000 people with career-oriented jobs and working with at least 1,000 employers to help them find and train workers.

To date, investments from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hitachi Foundation and U.S. Department of Labor total $15 million, and fund leaders are seeking additional partners to reach the $50 million goal.

The fund will support workforce programs in up to 30 sites across the U.S. through grants, technical assistance and other services.

During the pilot phase of the program, funds were awarded to six projects, all of which will receive additional funding.

Grants will be awarded to four additional sites in September.

Other program partners include the United Way of America, which will help develop new sites, and Jobs for the Future, which will manage grants and provide research and technical assistance.

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