The Fund for Workforce Equity is a pooled fund, supported by Workforce Matters, that aims to center workers and learners of color in workforce policy and program design and implementation by providing flexible resources and support to workforce development organizations seeking to pilot and learn from new strategies as well as innovate on or extend existing strategies.



Background

In 2021, Workforce Matters published A Racial Equity Framework for Workforce Development Funders, a new guide intended to identify concrete ways for workforce development funders to interrupt the systemic racism embedded within the field’s practices, policies, and programs; the institution of philanthropy; our own organizations; and the labor markets of communities we serve.

One of the key opportunities for action lifted up by the Framework is centering workers and learners of color. Those individuals who are most directly affected by workforce development investments, initiatives, practices, programs, and policies should have a key role in influencing their design, implementation, and assessment. Yet, the field of workforce development has a long way to go in learning to center and respect the voices, experiences, and leadership of the people it serves.

We believe that funders can take additional steps to ensure that Black, Indigenous, Latinx/Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and other People of Color authentically shape workforce efforts. To this end, Workforce Matters launched the Fund for Workforce Equity to spark innovative strategies for centering workers and learners, document lessons learned, and lift up promising practices for funders and practitioners alike.

In 2022, we made our inaugural round of grants from the Fund for Workforce Equity.

In 2023, we launched a new initiative supported by the Fund–Workforce Grantmaking in Native Nations and Communities.

Fund for Workforce Equity Strategies

Grants

The Fund will provide flexible grants to organizations in order to authentically engage and center workers and learners of color in workforce development program and policy design and implementation.

Learning Community

The Fund will invest in learning communities so organizations can exchange information about their experiences and learn from one another. The Fund will also support funder learning and sharing.

Technical Assistance

The Fund will provide access to expertise, resources, and coaching on human-centered design and other best practices for elevating worker and learner voice.

Evaluation + Learning

The Fund will support an evaluation of Year One investments to capture promising practices and disseminate lessons learned.


Interested in learning more?

For Workforce Grantmakers

Interested in learning more and potentially becoming an investor? We’ll be in touch about future investment opportunities!

For Field Partners

Are you a workforce practitioner, policy expert, evaluator, or advisor who’s interested in learning more about future funding opportunities? Let’s stay in touch!


Fund for Workforce Equity Contributors

American Institutes for Research

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Ascendium Education Group

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Cognizant Foundation

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group

Deaconess Foundation

Fund for Our Economic Future

The James Irvine Foundation

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

McGregor Fund

Northwest Area Foundation

Siemens Foundation

Strada Education Network

Solon E. Summerfield Foundation

Tipping Point Community

Truist Foundation

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation

Walmart.org

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

WES Mariam Assefa Fund

Supporting Members of Workforce Matters

Workforce Grantmaking in Native Nations and Communities Contributors

All State Foundation

Ascendium Education Group

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

LANL Foundation

Northwest Area Foundation

Supporting Members of Workforce Matters