what we're up to


Last chance! Apply to join a Peer-to-Peer Learning Lab by Friday, October 16th


This fall, Workforce Matters will be launching three new Learning Labs. Our Learning Labs provide a table for funders to come together to share information about their own grantmaking, discuss tough questions, and explore strategies alongside their peers. Each Learning Lab will convene virtually for a total of three 90-minute sessions beginning in November and concluding in January. We'll provide facilitation and background resources for each call, but there is no predetermined agenda - these Labs have been designed to support candid, funder-driven conversations on timely issues.


We're currently recruiting applicants for three conversations:


  • Advancing Equitable Employer Practices
  • Amplifying the Voice and Power of Workers and Learners
  • Redesigning Workforce Policies and Systems for Equity and Resiliency


Participation is free and all workforce development grantmakers are invited to apply, but each Lab will be limited to no more than 12 participants, with participant selection focused on ensuring that we have a diverse group of participants representing a range of different types of philanthropic organizations and regions/geographies.


Our 2020-2021 Learning Labs will be facilitated by Clair Minson, LCPC, Founder and Principal Consultant at Sandra Grace, LLC. Clair is a talented coach, facilitator, consultant, and public speaker whose work analyzes and addresses the intersections of race, racism, and workforce development.


Click Here to Learn More and Apply


The Road Up: 
Extended Screening + Bonus Discussion


Extended Screening: October 26th-27th

Interactive Discussion: Tuesday, October 27th 1:00 pm eastern


The documentary The Road Up follows four participants in Cara, a Chicago job-training program, as they seek to make the long journey to stable employment in good jobs. Register to receive a special pass to stream the film for free during our extended screening window October 26th-27th, then join us for an interactive discussion about the intersection of the criminal justice system and employment on Tuesday, October 27th at 1:00 pm eastern featuring:


  • Tameshia Bridges Mansfield, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Sheena Meade, Clean Slate Initiative
  • Esther Franco-Payne, Cabrini Green Legal Aid
  • Maria Kim, Cara
  • Greg Jacobs, Director, The Road Up


Watch the Trailer


Click Here to Register for Screening + Discussion


Unable to access the registration form?

Please email us at info@workforce-matters.org


Guest Post:
Acting as Agents for Change in the Era of COVID-19 - Priorities for Funders of Workforce Initiatives


In a new guest post to our blog, Elaine E. Katz of the Kessler Foundation reflects on the outsized impact of COVID-19 on Americans with disabilities who are Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color and lifts up three recommendations to better meet the needs of these individuals and the organizations that serve them.


Read More



on our calendars


WorkRise: Uncovering Bold Ideas for Transforming the Labor Market for Low-Wage Workers 

Urban Institute | Virtual


October 15:

How Employer Practices and Worker Power Shape Labor Market Outcomes

October 16:

A 360° Perspective on What Workers Need to Thrive



KY FAME: Fulfilling the promise of apprenticeship

October 19 1:30 pm eastern | Opportunity America | Virtual

Click Here to Learn More + Register



An Accessible, Equitable, High Quality Child Care System

October 19 4:00 pm eastern | Children, Youth & Family Funders Roundtable | Virtual

Click Here to Learn More + Register

Co-sponsored by Workforce Matters.



Managing for Equity: Debunking the Skills Gap Myth

October 21 5:00 pm eastern | MIT Sloan's People & Organizations Club, Good Companies Good Jobs Initiative, and the Student Life Office | Virtual

Click Here to Learn More + Register



Funder Strategy and Discussion: New Data on Policymakers’ Views on Low-Wage Workers

October 22 2:30 pm eastern | Funders for a Just Economy / Neighborhood Funders Group | Virtual

Click Here to Learn More + Register



new information + resources


Voices from the Field: Engaging Employers to Connect Young Adults to Good Fit Employment

The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program


In this new report, Aspen EOP summarizes the findings of a survey conducted as part of Generation Work, an initiative funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Aspen EOP surveyed 210 workforce development professionals in Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia to understand the conversations that staff have with business representatives in a range of topics, including hiring, wages and benefits, scheduling, onboarding and performance feedback, training and development, career advancement, workforce composition and diversity.


Read the Report


Career Navigation Technology 2020

JFFLabs and Tyton Partners


Framing career navigation as a lifelong process that involves workers, employers, and other entities, such as schools and workforce boards, Career Navigation Technology 2020 delves into the dynamics shaping the career navigation technology market, identifying innovations, trends, and areas of opportunity.


Read the Report


Unemployment to Reemployment: An Idea to Modernize the Safety Net for the Digital Age

Third Way


Reemployment is a 21st century replacement for Unemployment Insurance. The program would continue as a universally available earned benefit, offering a temporary income to laid-off workers who paid into the system, but it reinvents UI for a modern economy with expanded eligibility; training, job search, and incentives; and wage insurance.


Read the Report




New Profit, MIT Solve, XPRIZE, and other partners of the Annie E. Casey Foundation recently announced an initiative that will identify and support efforts to reshape workforce training. Teams selected to participate in the XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition will work with local workforce development boards and employers to test solutions they’ve developed to quickly retrain unemployed workers for high-demand jobs that pay family-sustaining wages. The Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the U.S. Challenge aims to identify and support promising ideas to help workers assess their skills and find work in high-growth industries — with up to $625,000 in prize funding available. Learn more...


Economic Opportunity Funders invites nominations for their Law & Social Policy Legacy Award. This $10,000 award is open to any organization working in the field of law and social policy to advance low-wage workers’ rights in the United States. Anyone can make a nomination, and self-nominations are allowed. Find requirements, submission form, timeline and more in their FAQ or submit your nomination online. Nominations are due by October 30, 2020.


ECMC Foundation is accepting proposals from organizations or institutions interested in developing and managing a program to support postsecondary system leaders at the state, regional, and/or local level. The goal of this program is to assist leaders at the system level positioned to scale effective practices and support efficient policies to improve outcomes for postsecondary CTE programs. This competitive grant process will lead to the identification of one organization or self-identified coalition of organizations to receive funding. Deadline to apply is November 2nd. Learn more on their website.


The U.S. Department of Education has announced the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge. The Challenge, with prizes totaling $750,000, will help Adult Education and Family Literacy Act-funded adult education providers create innovative and high-quality pre-apprenticeship programs. Community colleges, correctional facilities, libraries, community-based organizations, and other eligible providers interested in entering the challenge should complete an initial application by Nov. 25, 2020. Learn more...


The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a leading philanthropic institution helping communities create the conditions children need to thrive, is seeking nominations and applications for multiple positions, including a Policy Analyst, Policy Officer, Director of New Mexico Programs, and multiple Program Officer positions. Visit their website to learn more and apply.