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Press Release
Workforce Boards in Six States Selected for National Partnerships to Help Get Americans Back to Work

November 19, 2020

At a Glance

$6 million Grand Challenge competition reimagines employment services through the application of advanced technologies, data analytics

The Future of Work Grand Challenge is bringing together the best of emerging technology with the critical infrastructure of local workforce organizations

Workforce Boards in Six States Selected for National Partnerships to Help Get Americans Back to Work

BOSTON (NOVEMBER 19, 2020) — Launched in 2020 in response to unprecedented labor market volatility, the Future of Work Grand Challenge today announced its selection of workforce board pilot partners, regional organizations that advance community-led workforce and economic development strategies. Chosen for their records of innovation and effectiveness, each workforce board selected will receive tailored support and funding to pilot innovations to connect more than 25,000 COVID-impacted workers with new skills and employment opportunities.

The Future of Work Grand Challenge was created through a groundbreaking collaboration between leading social impact organizations New Profit, JFF, XPRIZE, MIT Solve, and Jobcase. The data gained from piloting new technology will help regional teams refine solutions in real time, create shorter feedback loops, and better align new approaches to employment services with workforce boards across the county.

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Across the country, future-focused workforce boards are evolving their operations, strategies, and services to the changing world of work and the ever-shifting labor market brought on by COVID-19. The Future of Work Grand Challenge is bringing together the best of emerging technology with the critical infrastructure of local workforce organizations to build a better career navigation and employment experience for workers in need of support.

Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF

With each local site drawing upon its unique reach and expertise within its region, the local workforce boards will be responsible for connecting project teams with employers to inform the development of solutions that reflect real-time local or regional labor market demand. The boards will also be responsible for recruiting participants for each pilot project.

Here are the workforce boards selected as pilot sites for the Future of Work Grand Challenge:

  • Capital Workforce Partners, a Hartford, Connecticut-based nonprofit that helps individuals overcome barriers to employment and works to close the skills gap in the local labor market to meet employers’ hiring needs.
  • Hampton Roads Workforce Council, a Southeastern Virginia service provider that develops strategic workforce development solutions to help qualified workers identify job openings and training opportunities.
  • MassHire Central Region Workforce Board, a Worcester, Massachusetts-based organization that provides career development services and more to meet the needs of diverse employers and jobseekers in more than 40 communities.
  • San Diego Workforce Partnership, an agency that funds and delivers programs that empower jobseekers to meet the current and future workforce needs of employers in San Diego County, California.
  • West Michigan Works! in partnership with Michigan Works! Southwest and Michigan Works! Berrien-Cass-Van Buren, engages with employers, educators, and community organizations to launch workforce development efforts that meet the region’s talent needs.
  • Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, a provider of competitive solutions that help employers find quality workers and connect people with quality jobs.

This unprecedented collaboration between entrepreneurs, philanthropy, employers, and local workforce development infrastructure is designed to spur innovation by putting equity at its core. This is about breaking down historic silos within our public workforce system to help better serve the needs of employers and unemployed workers alike.

Dr. Angela Jackson, partner at New Profit

New partners JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Comcast will provide meaningful support across the scope of the Future of Work Grand Challenge—from scaling the solutions themselves to expanding the capacity of selected workforce development boards.

The Future of Work Grand Challenge is supported by major funding from and Strada Education Network. They are joined by additional funders, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Comcast, Morgridge Family Foundation, CSU Global, and others. The Grand Challenge was launched earlier this year to identify and fund the most promising ideas and solutions to support a more equitable economic recovery and better meet the needs of low-income, middle-skill, and underserved workers in their communities.

Learn more about JFF and the workforce board pilot partners: Visit the Future of Work Grand Challenge landing page to learn more about the opportunities to engage:

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