Skills-First Talent Movement Receives Major Boost as Rework America Alliance Transitions to National Nonprofit Jobs for the Future

Career Climbers / 10th October 2023

Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit that drives transformation of the U.S. education and workforce systems, and the Markle Foundation, which works to improve the economic security, national security, and health of all Americans, have announced plans to transfer one of the foundation’s marquee initiatives, the Rework America Alliance, to JFF. The addition of the Alliance’s unique coalition of organizations committed to helping millions of workers in low-wage jobs move into quality jobs will play a significant role in accelerating JFF’s recently announced North Star goal to help 75 million people facing systemic barriers to advancement work in quality jobs within the next 10 years. 

“This is a pivotal moment for the skills-based hiring movement and more importantly for the more than 60 percent of U.S. workers who are building skills through experience, but do not have four-year degrees,” said Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF.  “The Rework America Alliance has developed the infrastructure and resources needed to deliver career coaching to workers seeking better jobs, and the practical know-how for employers eager to implement talent management practices that will allow them to cultivate a strong workforce. By bringing the Alliance to JFF, together we can move faster to support workers in securing not just any job, but a quality job.” 

The Alliance is a unique collaboration of education providers, civil rights organizations, private sector employers, labor unions, and state governments that are helping workers who have built skills through experience and training without a bachelor’s degree move into quality jobs. The Alliance is made up of 40 partners including UnidosUS, National Urban League, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and McKinsey & Company. It provides career coaching resources that help job seekers cultivate in-demand skills, find jobs, and navigate the hiring process, with a special emphasis on supporting people of color. The Alliance’s portfolio of employer-facing guides, toolkits, and online training help employers develop the talent management strategies necessary to broaden their talent pool and support the advancement of workers without a college degree.  This transition also brings the well-established 31-member Rework America State Network, which will transition to JFF’s leadership. 

“We are delighted JFF will be taking leadership of the Alliance and bringing it into its workforce portfolio,” said Beth Cobert, acting president at the Markle Foundation. “Working with our dedicated Alliance partners, Markle has established the capabilities, relationships, and commitments which promise to achieve real impact on system-level change. We are excited by the opportunity to magnify the impact of the Alliance and accelerate progress in building a fair and inclusive labor market.” 

This transition will allow JFF to scale the impact and effectiveness of the Rework America Alliance by increasing visibility among federal and state policymakers and through a robust policy agenda as well as through JFF’s Fortune 1000 employer network and a vast array of community colleges, workforce boards and community-based organizations. Additionally, JFF will engage its Center for Racial Economic Equity and Center for Justice & Economic Advancement to better support people facing barriers to employment.  

“We enthusiastically partnered with the Markle Foundation to launch the Rework America Alliance, a pioneering movement centered on skills-based hiring,” said Janet Murguía, president and CEO of UnidosUS. “This next phase of the Alliance will provide the kind of support millions of learners and workers will need to adapt to our rapidly evolving economy. We look forward to working with JFF, our affiliate network, and private sector partners to continue helping to put more Latinos on the path to good jobs and prosperity.”

This comes as JFF celebrates 40 years in the education and workforce development field. Within the past two years, JFF has brought aligned nonprofit organizations, including Education Quality Outcomes Standards (EQOS) and Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation’s Second Chance Hiring program, into the organization. In both cases, JFF has successfully integrated teams, resources, services and tools, and reimagined strategy to scale assets, purpose, and impact. 

As part of the transfer, the Markle Foundation will help JFF sustain Alliance operating expenses and funding for delivery partners. The official transfer will take place in December 2023. 

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