THE CAREER IMPACT BOND

The Career Impact Bond is a student-friendly financing model that expands access to quality, industry-recognized career training to people who face barriers to education and employment like low income, criminal justice involvement, and immigration status. The Career Impact Bond can take the form of an income-share agreement or outcomes-based loan. It works like this:

Impact investors, governments, or philanthropies provide catalytic capital that covers upfront training costs and critical support services for learners.

Learners participate in high quality training programs. Those who gain meaningful employment following graduation repay program costs through income-based monthly payments that are capped at a set dollar amount over a specific period of time. Those who don’t achieve employment success pay nothing.

Learner repayments are shared among impact investors, governments, or philanthropies, and training providers or are recycled to fund training for future learners. This aligns incentives and ensures all parties are focused on learner success.

Video: Matter of Fact TV on our Career Impact Bond with American Diesel Training Centers

THE CHALLENGE

Even before Covid-19, there was an urgent need to reimagine and rebuild pathways to economic mobility. Americans were taking big risks to pursue postsecondary education opportunities that could no longer guarantee them places in the middle class. They were leaving paying jobs and accumulating massive debt to enter programs that did not result in career success or even employment.

Now, due to pandemic-related shifts in the labor market, positions in many industries have disappeared and might never return. Millions have weathered prolonged unemployment or underemployment. The need for accessible career training and reskilling is greater than ever before.

While there are a growing number of accelerated training models that provide skill building for in-demand occupations, these options often come with significant upfront costs.

HOW IT WORKS

The Career Impact Bond supports incentive alignment among learners, training providers, impact investors, governments, and philanthropies. Here’s how we build each Career Impact Bond:

Find in-demand, high-growth job opportunities

We identify good-paying jobs in industries poised for growth.

Design interventions for maximum impact

Each Career Impact Bond’s terms and flexible support services are designed to help learners overcome barriers to education and training.

Collaborate with proven training providers

We partner with education and training programs that have high job placement rates and relationships with employers.

THE DIFFERENCE

The Career Impact Bond is a holistic, career-based approach to job training meant to catalyze economic mobility at scale. Five key features underpin the Career Impact Bond:

People-centered design. The Career Impact Bond is designed for unemployed or underemployed people who face barriers to education, including ineligibility for private loans or scholarships for non-Title IV programs, poor credit history, justice system involvement, and immigration status—barriers that disproportionately affect people of color.

Wraparound support services. The Career Impact Bond prioritizes wraparound support services, including career coaching, emergency aid funds, and benefits enrollment assistance, to help learners address real-life challenges so they can focus on their training.

Consumer-friendly repayment terms. Learners have access to consumer-friendly repayment features like payment caps, fixed repayment terms, and downside protection, all of which are outlined in a Student Bill of Rights.

Impact-first capital. Impact-first capital covers program costs and wraparound support services. These dollars come from philanthropically-motivated impact investors through vehicles like our UP Fund. Governments can also develop Career Impact Bonds without the participation of impact investors and recycle funds via Pay It Forward Funds to train future workers.

Aligned incentives. An outcomes-based contract focuses the project on learner success and creates incentive alignment among learners, training providers, and funders.

Active Career Impact Bonds

General Assembly

GENERAL ASSEMBLY CAREER IMPACT BOND

The General Assembly Career Impact Bond expands access to software engineering and user experience design programs for people who qualify for public benefit programs or who have come into contact with the criminal justice system.

Acuitus

ACUITUS CAREER IMPACT BOND

The Acuitus Career Impact Bond prepares graduates to become system administrators, network engineers, and IT specialists, with a focus on individuals who qualify as low income or served in the military.

Alchemy

ALCHEMY CODE LAB CAREER IMPACT BOND

The Alchemy Code Lab Career Impact Bond creates pathways to careers in mid-level software developer and engineering roles, particularly for women and LGBTQIA+ individuals, and it offers the option to cover students’ living expenses.

ADTC

DIESEL TECHNICIAN CAREER IMPACT BOND

The American Diesel Training Centers Career Impact Bond provides hands-on training to become a diesel technician, an in-demand occupation that faces labor shortages across the country.

Clinical Research Fastrack

CLINICAL RESEARCH FASTRACK CAREER IMPACT BOND

The Clinical Research Fastrack Career Impact Bond helps people facing barriers to employment, including immigrants and refugees with medical or science degrees earned outside of the U.S., find careers within the growing clinical research industry.

PAY IT FORWARD FUNDS

Social Finance is partnering with state and local governments, place-based workforce funders, and employers across the country to create pools of recyclable job training dollars called Pay It Forward Funds.

Learn more about Pay It Forward Funds >>

PUBLICATIONS


Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about partnering with Social Finance on a Career Impact Bond, contact Vice President Jake Edwards.