The Fund for Workforce Equity is a new pooled fund 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.
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 is launching a new pooled fund, 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.
Areas of Investment
Provide flexible grants to workforce organizations to spark innovative strategies that authentically engage and center workers and learners of color in program and policy design and implementation.
The Fund will invest in a learning community so organizations can exchange information about their experiences and learn from one another.
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?
- Review answers to frequently asked questions about the Fund for Workforce Equity, including general information, information for funders, and information for applicants.
- View the recording and slide deck from our January 26, 2022 Virtual Info Session for funders.
- Browse our collection of resources to learn more about strategies for centering workers and learners.
For Workforce Grantmakers
Interested in learning more and potentially becoming an investor? Participating funders must contribute by March 31, 2022 to join our inaugural funding cycle.
For Field Partners
Are you a workforce practitioner, policy expert, evaluator, or advisor who’s interested in learning more about our funding opportunities? Let’s stay in touch! We anticipate launching our first Request for Proposals in Summer 2022.
Thank you to our contributors!
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group
The James Irvine Foundation
Northwest Area Foundation
Solon E. Summerfield Foundation
Tipping Point Community
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
WES Mariam Assefa Fund
Supporting Members of Workforce Matters