Declining economic mobility is one of the defining challenges of our time. The path to better jobs through good training and workforce programs is narrower now than ever before. But we're seeing a promising response: innovative workforce partnerships that are building more adaptive, results-based models of funding and risk-sharing.
These partnerships—often between government agencies, employers, and training institutions—suggest a broader realignment in how we prepare the future workforce. They carefully balance incentives—making sure, for example, that training institutions have a stake in student outcomes, or that programs making progress on policy goals have a pathway to scale. They often link funding to results, defining success in advance and measuring progress along the way. And they work to expand access to education and training opportunities while fairly allocating the risks and benefits of training across partners.
Workforce Realigned: How New Partnerships Are Advancing Economic Mobility is a new book from Social Finance and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia. This book contains 19 case studies and nascent ideas by leaders from government, higher education, business, and social service organizations, including former speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chair Sheila Bair, and Virginia Community College System chancellor Glenn DuBois.
The Workforce Realigned series includes a podcast and action groups to bring these ideas to life and shift funding toward positive workforce outcomes. Learn more at workforcerealigned.org.
Listen to Our Podcasts
Workforce Misaligned: Economic Immobility and a Path to Resurgence
Analyzes the decline of economic mobility and potential pathways to a more equitable recovery
Reshaping Capitalism around Impact: Centering Outcomes in the Economy
Considers outcomes funding and interesting experiments in this sector
Paying for Outcomes: Innovative Funding Tools for the Public Sector
Discusses social impact bonds as a pathway to addressing policy priorities
Higher Ed Funding: Linking Technical College Dollars to Workforce Outcomes
Discusses how funding formula that ties higher education dollars to workforce outcomes—and how that concept has reshaped the culture and inner workings of the institution
Accelerating Economic Mobility: Career Impact Bonds for Workforce Training
Explores the mechanics and potential future directions of career impact bonds with a focus on access, equity, and reigniting economic mobility
Social Finance is an impact investing and advisory nonprofit that builds innovative partnerships and investments to measurably improve lives. Over the past decade, Social Finance has mobilized over $180 million to support more than 20,000 individuals across a range of issue areas, including workforce development, education, and health.
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Representing the Fed's Third District, the Philadelphia Fed's Community Development team supports the growth of an inclusive economy by working with low- and moderate-income communities to increase access to credit, quality jobs, education, and housing.
Gayatri Agnew, Senior Director, Opportunity, Walmart.org
Agnew heads strategy and partnerships on economic mobility, specifically human capital, shared value, partnerships and philanthropy for Walmart's Global Responsibility division. Her team focuses on changing employer practices, better serving the learning and development needs of frontline workers, and scaling work-based learning and skills-based hiring.
Maria Flynn, President and CEO, JFF
Flynn oversees JFF's overall growth strategy, funding diversification, strategic planning, and partnership building. She guides JFF's work to help low-income, low-skilled adults move into family-supporting careers. Previously, she was a member of the federal government's senior executive service and served as administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Policy Development and Research.
Sameer Gadkaree, Senior Program Officer, Education and Economic Mobility, Joyce Foundation
Gadkaree leads grant making in higher education and the future of work at the Joyce Foundation. Previously, he was a consultant in workforce development, education issues, and philanthropic strategy. He served as the associate vice chancellor for adult education with the City Colleges of Chicago. He also worked as a management consultant at Discovery Communications and McKinsey and Company.
Sarah Keh, Vice President of Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial
Keh heads Prudential strategic philanthropy and partnerships to help advance the company's commitment to inclusive economic growth. She oversees program strategies to expand work and wealth opportunities, improve services for military families, and support disaster response efforts through grants, shared value partnerships, and volunteering programs.
Chauncy Lennon, Vice President for Learning and Work, Lumina Foundation
Lennon leads Lumina's community college strategy to expand access equitably to high-quality short-term credentials and associate degrees. He serves on the New York City Workforce Development Board, providing oversight of the city's policies and services for youths, adults, job seekers, and employers.
Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation
Oates leads the nonprofit, which focuses on workforce solutions during these changing economic times. Oates has worked in the public and private sectors, holding senior roles in corporate social responsibility in federal and state government. Previously, she served as the assistant secretary for employment and training in the Obama administration.
Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Sullivan leads a team responsible for philanthropic strategy in support of the foundation's commitment to responsible, sustainable growth through a focus on environmental, social, and governance issues.
Jason A. Tyszko, Vice President, Center for Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Tyszko works to advance policies and programs that preserve U.S. competitiveness and enhance the career readiness of youth and adult learners. This includes the Talent Pipeline Management initiative, the Job Data Exchange, T3 Innovation Network, and Talent Finance initiative.