Over the next five years, the Ford Foundation will invest $80 million to make it easier for American workers and their families to keep their jobs, and access benefits should they become unemployed.
Funds will be used to boost programs and policies that improve job quality, with an emphasis on keeping workers on the job longer.
A $2 million grant to Family Values @ Work, for example, will fund studies on paid sick days and affordable family leave.
The foundation also will provide grants to help states improve processes for distributing benefits like food stamps and unemployment
insurance to needy families.
The National Employment Law Project will receive $2 million to help states update their unemployment-insurance programs.
“This recession underscores the urgent need to ensure a basic level of protection and security for U.S. workers and those looking for work,” Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation, says in a statement. “But we must also plan for the future. Smarter policies can help build an economy that works better for both families and businesses.”