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The Origins of Regional Funding Collaboratives in the National Fund for Workforce Solutions

Charles Goldberg

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is an unprecedented national partnership testing new ways to address a critical problem: the large gap between the skills many workers have and the skills many employers need to compete. At the center of the initiative, 24 regional workforce collaboratives of funders come together to support workforce development projects—to decide, in partnership with employers and practitioners, how and where these investments should be made. This report traces the history of seven of collaboratives, from before the launch of the National Fund through early 2010. It notes what conditions gave rise to them, how they began and developed, what challenges they have faced, and what key lessons they can pass on to future project developers.