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About the New York City Workforce Funders

In 2001, a group of more than 60 foundations with an interest in workforce issues joined forces to establish the New York City Workforce Funders. The NYC Workforce Development Fund in The New York Community Trust was created to distribute funds to demonstration projects, capacity-building  and policy efforts. The Fund’s goal is to enhance the effectiveness of the City’s workforce development system.

The Workforce Funders meets quarterly, along with colleagues from key public and non-profit organizations, to share information about workforce development. Several of the Workforce Funders makes grants to the collaborative fund to develop joint projects that test innovations in the field or provide management assistance to many of the more than 140 nonprofit organizations that prepare New Yorkers for employment.

The Fund’s first two grants went to youth employment organizations to help them manage dramatic increases in federal funding in 2001, and to build the financial systems of workforce organizations. In 2004, the Workforce Funders and the City’s Department of Small Business Services created the New York City Workforce Innovation Fund, comprising eight private foundations from the original Workforce Funders group.

The goals of the Workforce Innovation Fund are to identify gaps in workforce development; provide services to help job seekers build skills that will prepare them for sustainable employment; and increase public and private investment in workforce development policies and programs.

The Funders continue to work closely with the City. The Funders also participate in the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which establishes partnerships of trainers and employers to work with disadvantaged job seekers. Ten national foundations lead the National Fund.

NYC Workforce Funders’ Projects

The NYC Food & Beverage Hospitality Council is an alliance of over 30 leading NYC industry professionals and businesses brought together to promote the sustained growth of the local food and beverage industry, housed at the NYC Department of Small Business Services. It will address the industry’s skills gap and labor shortage by promoting training opportunities that will also open the door to greater upward mobility for workers; help small business navigate the regulatory environment; and monitor industry trends and define operational changes businesses can implement to meet various challenges.

The Field Building Hub, housed at the Workforce Professionals Training Institute, is a 2016 initiative to strengthen the workforce development field in three ways: introduce key innovations to the employment services field; strengthen the competencies of individuals and organizations in the field; and establish an assessment framework to identify gaps in capacity. 

New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare creates multiple partnerships for careers in health care with trade associations and their hospital, community health center, and nursing home members, as well as the largest health care labor union in the region.
NYC Tech Talent Pipeline works with public and private partners to define employer needs, develops training and education, and links workers to quality jobs.

Workforce Advocacy Academy, managed by New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP), trains New York workforce development organizations in advocacy and lobbying.

Meet the Funders

Since 2001, several of the Workforce Funders have raised $12 million, along with more than $8 million in aligned funding. The following private funders have supported various Workforce Funders initiatives in New York City:

  •     Altman Foundation
  •     Brooklyn Community Foundation
  •     The Clark Foundation
  •     Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
  •     Ira W. De Camp Foundation
  •     Deutsche Bank
  •     James & Judith K. Dimon Foundation
  •     Ford Foundation
  •     Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation
  •     William T. Grant Foundation
  •     JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  •     Kate Spade & Company
  •     Leon Lowenstein Foundation
  •     Morgan Stanley
  •     Mizuho USA Foundation
  •     MUFG Foundation
  •     National Fund for Workforce Solutions
  •     The New York Community Trust
  •     Carroll & Milton Petrie Foundation 
  •     The Pinkerton Foundation
  •     Charles H. Revson Foundation
  •     Rockefeller Foundation
  •     Taconic Foundation
  •     Tiger Foundation
  •     United Way of New York City
For more information, contact Pat Jenny at (212) 686-7069. 

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