Today, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) announced grants totaling $2.1 million to five communities as a means to support local, employer-led workforce partnerships. These grants represent the third round of funding supported by the federal Social Innovation Fund grant awarded to the National Fund and its implementation partner, Jobs for the Future.
These grants will be funded over two years and represent a combination of federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service's Social Innovation Fund and an equal amount of matching funds raised by the National Fund from private donors. The Social Innovation Fund is an innovative federal program that addresses major challenges confronting communities by growing high-impact nonprofit organizations delivering proven solutions.
“The National Fund model is locally driven, and unique to every region and every industry sector,” said Damian Thorman, National Program Director at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Chair of the National Fund. “The grants announced today will allow five of these sites to expand their efforts into new industry sectors or strengthen current work with local employers.”
As part of the inaugural class of Social Innovation Fund grantees, in 2010 the National Fund for Workforce Solutions received $7.7 million in federal funding over two years to expand its targeted training and technical assistance to at least 23,000 low-income individuals over three years while also addressing the critical skill needs of more than 1,000 employers. The Social Innovation Fund requires that all grants be matched up to 3:1 with money from private and other non-federal sources, increasing the return to US taxpayers while strengthening local funding support.
“The Social Innovation Fund represents an innovative funding model that benefits the grantees as well as the taxpayers,” said Paul Carttar, Director of the SIF at the Corporation. “Allowing community driven solutions to grow through this program is enabling long term change throughout the nation.”
Since its inception, the Social Innovation Fund has selected 16 grant making intermediaries – 11 in 2010 and five more in 2011 – each with strong track records of success in building community-based organizations and remarkable diversity in geography, issue-focus, and approach. The intermediaries were selected through a competitive process to focus on three priority areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures and youth development.
These grantees have selected 138 “sub grantees” – community-based, service-providing nonprofit organizations. Both the grantees and subgrantees have raised significant portions of their $127 million in committed matches, often through the creation of local consortia and development of new funder relationships that offer sustainable benefits moving forward.
For more information on NFWS and the grantees, click here.