NEW YORK, 27 April 2010 — Today, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions received the 2010 Distinguished Grantmaking Award for Collaboration from the Council on Foundations at its annual conference in Denver, Colo. The award recognizes the National Fund’s innovation, leadership and vision in effectively advancing workforce development programs in the United States and helping Americans achieve job success. The Ford Foundation is one of the National Fund’s founding members.

An Unprecedented Effort

“At a time when the council brings all elements of the philanthropic field together to see ourselves as a movement, there is no better example of leadership than the National Fund for Workforce Solutions,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “The vision and leadership that has brought together hundreds of funders nationwide in an unprecedented effort to help low-income Americans build careers and businesses compete, represents our collective work for the future.”

The Ford Foundation, one of nine national funders recognized by the council, shares with all the recipients a commitment to developing effective workforce solutions to the critical problems facing poor and marginalized people.

“We are grateful for the recognition from the Council on Foundations, for the program innovators we support, and for increasing funder support around the country that is making these programs a reality in their regions,” said Rick McGahey, who was formerly a program officer in economic development and now serves as the Ford Foundation’s director of Impact Assessment.

About the Fund

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a five-year collaboration to expand effective workforce initiatives throughout the United States. It aspires to help:

  • At least 30,000 people advance in the workplace
  • More than 1,000 businesses recruit, retain and improve skills of employees
  • At least 25 regions in the United States develop local workforce initiatives

Established in 2007, more than 200 local funders, 500 employers and 22 sites are a part of the National Fund today. Six pilot projects, such as Skillworks, in Boston, Mass., are already yielding promising results. The National Fund continues to explore lessons learned from local initiatives and how to apply them on a national scale.

Since the mid-1990s, Ford Foundation grants have supported emerging efforts to focus workforce programs on particular sectors of the economy where there is great potential to connect with employers and to help low-income people build assets and access opportunities. We continue this work today through our Quality Employment initiatives.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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