Families and Workers Fund joins the White House and partners to announce more than $70 million in infrastructure workforce funding aligned with the Talent Pipeline Challenge
November 2, 2022 – Press Release
The Fund has been collaborating with White House on its Talent Pipeline Challenge to help mobilize philanthropic giving for equitable infrastructure workforce development
Today, the Families and Workers Fund participated in a White House event in which President Biden announced the results of the Talent Pipeline Challenge, a call to action for philanthropy, employers, unions, workforce development providers, and state and local governments to help grow the infrastructure workforce and ensure all infrastructure jobs are good jobs. The Families and Workers Fund, along with partners at the What Works Plus Collaborative and America Achieves, has been proud to collaborate with the White House on mobilizing philanthropy in response to the Challenge, and we are thrilled to together announce aligned grants totalling more than $50 million as well as new initiatives that will mobilize an additional $20 million. The philanthropic leaders making some of these critical investments in the infrastructure workforce include Amalgamated Charitable Foundation, Ascendium Education Group, Autodesk Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Local Infrastructure Hub, Lumina Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, Strada Education Fund, Siegel Family Endowment, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Families and Workers Fund.
Speaking to hundreds of leaders in philanthropy, business, labor, education, and the nonprofit sector gathered at the White House and online to celebrate the results of the Talent Pipeline Challenge, President Joe Biden said, “This is what it looks like when America comes together to get something done.”
This past June, Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, accelerate the development of clean energy infrastructure, and ensure every person in the country has access to clean drinking water and broadband internet. These ambitious goals will be carried out by workers on the ground, and the United States does not yet have enough trained, ready infrastructure workers to fill the quality jobs created by this much-needed law. Furthermore, many young people, people of color, and women may not previously have had access to, or awareness of, career opportunities in these sectors.
To continue to mobilize more philanthropy to make the most of this once-in-a-generation public investment, the Families and Workers Fund has launched a pooled fund portfolio to help expand and build diverse talent pipelines into the infrastructure workforce with a focus on community-rooted models, racial and gender equity, and green jobs. The Fund seeks an additional $5 million for this effort, building on $7.2 million in already committed funding.
“The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has the potential to be a major driver of racial and economic opportunity and equity, but only if we create more accessible, evidence-based training and talent pathways into these sectors and ensure that all infrastructure jobs are safe, family-sustaining jobs that offer pathways to economic mobility,” said Rachel Korberg, Executive Director of the Families and Workers Fund.
Better Builder®, a Families and Workers Fund grantee that exemplifies a scalable, community-rooted, and equity-centered approach to building the infrastructure workforce, joined FWF staff at the White House event. Better Builder’s innovative model began as a small, ground-up experiment created by immigrant construction workers in Texas, and it was recently adopted on a $10.3 billion project partially funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will expand the Austin metro region’s transit system, which may impact up to 10,000 direct jobs and improve livelihoods for thousands of families.
“Better Builder®, is a proven model for what’s possible when government partners with philanthropy and advocacy organizations like Workers Defense to guarantee that economic growth is founded on good, safe jobs. We’re thankful to the Families and Workers Fund for their investment in our program and look forward to the continued expansion of the Better Builder® Program across Texas and as a model for rest of the country,” said Andrea Nicholls, Better Builder® Director.
Learn more about the individual funders and grantees involved in this effort and learn more about a new philanthropic registry and matchmaking service led by America Achieves and the What Works Plus Collaborative.
Contact the Families and Workers Fund if you’re interested in giving to the infrastructure workforce pooled fund portfolio or if you’re a prospective grantee seeking funding.
About the Families and Workers Fund
The Families and Workers Fund is a coalition of diverse philanthropies working to help repair and reimagine the systems that fuel economic security, opportunity, and mobility. By deploying funding and building partnerships, the Fund seeks to advance jobs that sustain and uplift people and invest in developing a more inclusive, effective public benefits system.
Sumaq Alvarado del Aguila – Communications & Philanthropy Associate