Fall 2017 News & Updates
Welcome to our Fall 2017 newsletter! Workforce Matters is a national network that leverages the collective knowledge, relationships, and experience of grantmakers to advance the field of workforce development. Read on to learn more about recent events, planned activities, and partner resources.
Three Questions for
Jenny Riggenbach

Jenny Riggenbach is the Director of Workforce at Incourage Community Foundation in central Wisconsin, leads Workforce Central, the National Fund workforce site in the region, and serves on the Steering Committee for Workforce Matters.  She was also recently named to the 2017-18 class of Job Quality Fellows at the Aspen Institute. Incourage and its approach to economic development was recently featured in a Stanford Social Innovation Review article on breakout innovation. Workforce Matters is hosting a webinar this November to learn from these efforts and how they can be applied to workforce development.  Excerpts from our interview with Jenny are included below.  Read the full interview here.
 
Q. What are the primary workforce challenges your community faces? For over 100 years, Wisconsin Rapids was the smallest city home to a Fortune 500 company. The sale of Consolidated Papers in 2000 led to the loss of local ownership and a decline in the number of good paper making jobs.  It also highlighted the workforce challenges of smaller growing businesses and the quality of the jobs that remained....Read more. 
 
Q.  What do you think is the role of the community foundation in addressing these challenges?
Community foundations are unique in that they are led by and accountable to the local community and committed to serve that community continuously into the future. For Incourage, ensuring that residents have access to good jobs and local businesses have skilled and committed workers is core to our vision of a community that works well for all people. Our vision, values and long-range focus has enabled collaboratives to test new ideas that our partners could not pursue on their own.  Read more.

Q.  What have you learned about what it takes to not only spark innovation but also sustain forward movement in this work?
We believe that people are our community's greatest asset. When it comes to sparking innovation, employers and workers who experience workforce challenges first hand have the wisdom and knowledge to design solutions.... A commitment to inclusivity, shared power, transparency, and decision making are critical to sustaining forward movement. Read more.
Upcoming Events
Please note that Workforce Matters events are reserved for grantmakers and their representatives, including those based at private, independent, family, corporate, community, and operating foundations, corporate giving programs, and United Ways, as well as individual philanthropists.
Webinar: Community Voice and Breakout Innovation
Thursday, November 2nd | 2:30pm EDT 1:30pm CDT 12:30pm MDT 11:30am PDT

A growing number of workforce development grantmakers are interested in incorporating the voice and perspective of workers in the design, implementation, and evaluation of their grantmaking. In this webinar, we'll explore this nascent field via conversations with four national leaders in this space:  Joanna Levitt Cea and Jess Rimington, whose article - Creating Breakout Innovation - recently appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and  Kelly Ryan and Jenny Riggenbach of Incourage Community Foundation, who have been endeavoring to apply these principles in their own work.

Register to participate on the Webinars page of our website or by emailing sarah@workforce-matters.org.
Apprenticeship Learning Network

During our July Learning Network call, several Workforce Matters members identified learning interests related to youth apprenticeship. In response, we're launching a youth apprenticeship facilitated email exchange this November, and you're invited to participate. Here's how it will work: 
 
1. We'll select one topic related to youth apprenticeship as our focus each week (e.g., CTE and youth apprenticeship).
 
2. Over the course of the week, Workforce Matters will send out a series of emails that provide a list of relevant resources, answers to questions raised by participants, and examples of relevant programs.

3. Each participant will have the opportunity to weigh in with your questions and ideas.
 
All grantmakers are invited to join us! But we need your help to identify the topics and questions you're most interested in exploring.  Learn more on our website and email us if you'd like to participate. At the end of the exchange, we'll wrap up with a capstone webinar and discussion featuring Brent Parton of New America (Date TBD). 
Race Equity Learning Network

The Race Equity Learning Network is hosting three upcoming events:

1) A Conversation with Steve Dawson about Employer Engagement and Race Equity, October 30, 2017 at 1 pm EDT | 12 pm CDT | 11 am MDT | 10 am PDT  
Register for the call.
 
2) Race Equity Learning Network In-Person Convening, November 28, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Race Matters Institute will be facilitating this training and convening for Workforce Matters members. If you are interested in attending, please register as soon as possible so we can reserve your spot!  Space is limited.

3) Workforce Matters Networking Dinner, November 28, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Coming to town for the Race Equity meeting on November 28? Staying for the National Fund's 10th anniversary celebration on the 29th?  Join Workforce Matters for dinner on the 28th!  Please RSVP by November 14.

Interested in joining the Race Equity Learning Network? Please let us know, and we'll add you!
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Join the Conversation!

We've launched a new Google Group where Workforce Matters funders can directly connect with one another to ask questions and share information. The group has already grown to 37 members. Available via digest.

  Email Us Today if You'd Like to Join!
In Case You Missed It...
Webinar:  Income Volatility and the Online Platform Economy (08/28/17)

Workforce Matters held a webinar on August 28 with Fiona Greig of the JPMorgan Chase Research Institute, who provided members with an overview of the Institute's research in this area and discussed implications for workforce development. Read the reports or  contact us for a link to the recording.
Webinar: Federal Policy Update (08/03/17)

Workforce Matters convened a call to provide members with an update on the federal workforce policy landscape with three national experts: Kermit Kaleba, Federal Policy Director, National Skills Coalition; Thomas Showalter, Director, National Youth Employment Coalition; and David Socolow, Director - Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, CLASP .   Download the slides to view resources suggested by our speakers.  Or click here to view the recording   (password required; email us to request the password).
Field Notes
Investing in America's Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers 
A Federal Reserve System initiative in collaboration with the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, the Ray Marshall Center of the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Headed to the conference? RSVP if you'd like to join other Workforce Matters members for dinner on October 5th. 

Austin, TX | October 4-6 | More Information
GIST Fall Meeting:  Philanthropy, Racial Equity and Fiscal Policy
Join GIST this fall for a one-day funders discussion on the intersection of racial equity, fiscal policy and the role of philanthropy.
 
Washington, DC  | October 10, 2017 | More Information
Celebrate Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning
Join national and international leaders in apprenticeship and work-based learning for this recognition luncheon hosted by Jobs for the Future. 

Washington, DC | November 9, 2017 | More Information
GEO Leading Change Conference 2017
Held in partnership with Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, the Leading Change Conference is an opportunity for participants to become stronger advocates for and leaders  of change.

Pittsburgh, PA | November 13 - 14 |  More Information
National Fund for Workforce Solutions Celebrates 10 Years
Join the National Fund is inviting funders that have participated at the local or national level over the last ten years to join an event on the power of collaboration and the future of workforce philanthropy at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.   

Washington, DC | November 29, 2017 | More Information
Field Notes are provided by Workforce Matters as a courtesy to our members and colleagues from other funding networks and workforce development programs. Field Notes announcements are shared for informational purposes only and do not imply a Workforce Matters endorsement or affiliation. 

Have an announcement to share? Please contact us at  info@workforce-matters.org

Are you headed to these or other workforce events soon?  Let us know and we'll keep you apprised of Workforce Matters networking opportunities at upcoming conferences.
News & Resources
Job Quality Fellows Named

Recently the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program announced it was creating the Job Quality Fellowship. Formed with generous support from The Prudential Foundation and the Ford Foundation, the Fellowship aims to support and strengthen the work of leaders dedicated to expanding the availability of better quality jobs in our economy. Learn more.
Blue Collar Boost

The Summer 2017 issue of Philanthropy magazine - a publication of The Philanthropy Roundtable - features articles on "revving economic engines" at community colleges, apprenticeship programs, expanding educational opportunity in America's rural counties, and more. Click here to access the issue.
Our Contact Information Has Changed

We recently migrated our email over to the workforce-matters.org domain. Our new addresses are as follows:

General Information:  info@workforce-matters.org
Sarah Oldmixon:  sarah@workforce-matters.org

For the time being, the wfmatters@gmail.com address will continue to forward to our new accounts. 
Thank You to Our Supporting Members!

Workforce Matters is made possible through the generosity of our Supporting Members. A special thanks to our 2017-2018 funders: Annie E. Casey Foundation,  Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Hitachi Foundation, Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, The New York Community Trust, Siemens Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Walmart Foundation.

Questions, comments, or ideas? Email us at info@workforce-matters.org .