Powering Climate & Infrastructure Careers for All
REBUILDING OUR PLANET WITH UPLIFTING CAREERS
Across the United States, a clean energy and infrastructure boom is underway. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and other recent legislation put more than $2 trillion to work to fast-track our shift to a stronger, more sustainable economy. Paired with billions in private investments, these laws are projected to create 15 million jobs in the next decade. Yet companies are struggling to hire and retain enough talent just to keep up with today’s demands. Meanwhile, millions of people are interested in new, uplifting career opportunities but are too often unable to get a foot in the door.
Our path to a net-zero economy and 21st-century infrastructure will require millions more trained, specialized workers. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the associated opportunities will extend to underinvested communities and deliver uplifting, quality careers.
Powering Climate and Infrastructure Careers for All will help deliver on the promise of this moment, deploying philanthropic capital to help tackle workforce implementation challenges and connect people in underinvested communities—especially women, rural and low-income communities, and people facing racial inequities—to uplifting careers in clean energy, construction, and other specialized industries. Through $50 million in grants, strategic partnerships, and technical assistance, we will provide critical support to public agencies, employers, education and training providers, and nonprofits on the frontlines of this transition – and advance at least one million uplifting careers along the way.
in public and private funding leveraged
equity outcomes than industry averages
- Catalytic models for training and career pathways
Investing directly in models to train, place, support and retain a diverse workforce that meets the growing labor demand in clean energy, infrastructure, and related industries
- State and local workforce planning and implementation
Supporting government agencies and their community partners to plan for and implement good jobs and effective, inclusive workforce development
Apply for Challenge Funding
Applications are open for the Powering Climate and Infrastructure Careers Challenge, awarding grants of $150,000 to $1.5 million to scale inclusive workforce development and support effective planning and implementation.
Government agencies and nonprofit organizations are invited to apply by January 19, 2024.
Become a Co-Funder
As momentum builds, fundraising for this initiative is ongoing, with our total financial commitment expected to grow throughout 2024.
We’re excited to hear from philanthropies interested in joining this collaborative effort.
- Unequal access to good jobs. Only 44% of the U.S. workforce says they have a good job. These numbers are lowest for women, people of color, young people, and people without a college degree.
- Implementation pressure. States and localities are receiving a massive influx of funding with no clear workforce playbook, putting significant pressure on implementation. There are incentives to invest in workers, equity, and good job creation, but not enough technical assistance or support.
- Not enough trained workers. There are not currently enough trained, ready workers to fill the country’s labor needs in climate and infrastructure. The U.S. is also experiencing a historically tight labor market, and the infrastructure workforce is older with 17 million people expected to retire in the next decade.
- Sub-scale training. There are many innovative, effective models for training and apprenticeships created by the private sector, unions, educational institutions, and nonprofits. However, many are sub-scale or have been underinvested in. Many community-based programs have never had access to public funding.
PARTNERS & ADVISORS
Powering Climate & Infrastructure Careers for All is supported and steered by an esteemed group of leaders in philanthropy, business, government, labor, policy, and workforce development. Their collective wisdom and guidance have shaped an initiative that will deliver uplifting careers across diverse sectors and communities nationwide.
- The Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Ascendium Education Group
- The Autodesk Foundation
- Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
- The Ford Foundation
- Invest in Our Future
- The James Irvine Foundation
- JP Morgan Chase & Co.
- The Joyce Foundation
- The JPB Foundation
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- Truist Foundation
- Debbie Clifford, Chief Financial Officer and Board Chair of the Foundation
Kate McElligott, Senior Future of Work Practice Lead
- Margaret Spellings, President & CEO
Bipartisan Policy Center (former U.S. Secretary of Education)
- Jason Walsh, Executive Director
- Xavier de Souza Briggs, Senior Fellow
Brookings Institution & Senior Advisor, What Works Plus
- Shaun Donovan, CEO and President
Enterprise Community Partners (former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development)
- Darren Walker, President
Sarita Gupta, Vice President for U.S. Programs
The Ford Foundation
- Peter Colavito, Executive Director
Invest in Our Future
- Maria Flynn, President & CEO
Taj Ahmad Eldridge, Managing Director – Climate Innovations
Jobs for the Future
- Clarence Anthony, CEO
National League of Cities
- Thomas J Kriger, PhD, Director of Research and Education
North America’s Building Trades Unions
- Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President
Danielle Goonan, Managing Director, Economic Equity Initiative
Rachel Isacoff, Director, Economic Equity Initiative
The Rockefeller Foundation
- Tracy Palandjian, CEO & Co-Founder
- Jason Mark, CEO
U.S. Energy Foundation
- Talya Karr, Vice President
What Works Plus and Freedman Consulting
- Clair Minson, Co-Director
- Pronita Gupta, Senior Fellow
Workshop (former Special Assistant for Labor and Workers to the President of the United States)
“As we prepare individuals for the jobs of tomorrow, it’s critical that workers from all backgrounds and communities have access to and can fully participate in the economic growth sparked by innovations in the clean energy sector. Initiatives like this one play an important role in better connecting the public and private sectors, helping us realize the potential for good job creation at a time of historic investment. Today’s announcement is part of our ongoing commitment to create long-term solutions that advance economic inclusion.”Tim BerryGlobal Head of Corporate Responsibility and Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region, JPMorgan Chase
“As a champion of economic opportunity, I am thrilled to support Powering Climate and Infrastructure Careers for All. This effort by the Families and Workers Fund transcends political divides, focusing on the universal goal of uplifting American workers into fulfilling careers.”Margaret Spellings CEO & President, Bipartisan Policy Center Former U.S. Secretary of Education
“Good climate jobs are key to achieving a just, equitable, and sustainable future for us all. Philanthropy has a vital role to play to augment historic federal investments and ensure the benefits of this once-in-a-generation transition extend to every corner of our society, especially to those who have traditionally been left behind.”Darren Walker President, The Ford Foundation
“Attracting and training new talent across the energy, infrastructure, and construction sectors is a critical component in driving better, more sustainable solutions in these industries. As board chair of the Autodesk Foundation, I’m grateful to have played a role in our decision to direct philanthropic capital toward the Powering Climate and Infrastructure Careers initiative; it’s a great example of how aligning financial and philanthropic priorities can help create a better world for all.”Debbie Clifford Chief Financial Officer, AutodeskBoard Chair, Autodesk Foundation
“With the clean energy transition accelerating, it's crucial that historically under-invested communities aren't left behind. The Powering Climate and Infrastructure Careers for All initiative not only addresses our country’s workforce needs but helps drive sustainable, equitable growth.”Shaun Donovan
CEO and President of Enterprise Community Partners
Former U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development