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.

Learning Community

The Fund will invest in a learning community so organizations can exchange information about their experiences and learn from one another.

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? 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!

American Institutes for Research

The Annie E. Casey Foundation


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Cognizant Foundation

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group

Deaconess Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation

McGregor Fund

Northwest Area Foundation

Siemens 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