While economic mobility has been declining for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts demonstrate an urgent need to reimagine and rebuild pathways to economic mobility. Over 50 million people, almost a third of our nation’s workforce, filed for unemployment in 2020—with disproportionate impacts on people of color and lower-wage workers.
Social Finance develops innovative financing solutions to increase access to effective education and training programs and prepare workers for jobs that lead to sustainable careers and a more equitable society.
How We Help
- Design and deploy innovative financing strategies, such as Career Impact Bonds, Social Impact Bonds, and state-level pay-it-forward funds to build pathways to economic mobility.
- Advise governments, employers, philanthropies, and service providers on outcomes-driven solutions for reskilling and upskilling, job placements, supportive services, and retention.
- Conduct data-driven analyses to identify effective workforce interventions poised for public and private investment.
- Implement performance management and capacity building for organizations implementing workforce training.
Increase access to vocational English classes, skills training, and better jobs for approximately 2,000 immigrants and refugees in Greater Boston. This project deploys $12.4 million over six years to expand the work of Jewish Vocational Service, one of Greater Boston’s largest community-based workforce and adult education providers. This is the first Pay for Success project in the United States to focus exclusively on workforce development.
Support 480 unemployed or underemployed veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder in attaining competitive, compatible employment. The project deploys $5.1 million over three years to implement individual placement and support at local U.S. Veterans Affairs medical centers across Massachusetts and New York City.
Retention-based Contracts with Seedco and Employer Partners
Develop a first-of-its-kind retention-based contract between Seedco, a NY-based nonprofit, and select employer partners. The project delivers post-placement job services to improve job retention and other employment outcomes and tests the viability of employers serving as outcome payors in an outcomes-based contract.
- “Job Training That’s Free Until You’re Hired Is a Blueprint for Biden,” The New York Times
- “For Low-Income Workers, a Chance to Learn New Skills Without Paying a Dime Upfront,” The Boston Globe
- “Workforce Realigned: How New Partnerships Are Advancing Economic Mobility,” Social Finance and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia
- “Sailing to Graduation: Improving Completion Rates for Community College Students in Lorain County, Ohio,” Social Finance
- “Social Finance’s Tracy Palandjian Explains the Career Impact Bond,” Social Finance
- “Improving Workforce Outcomes for Rural Community College Students,” Social Finance
- “Making Entry-Level Talent Stick,” Social Finance
- “Improving Workforce Outcomes with Pay for Success,” Social Finance
- See more publications >>
Our staff brings experience from government and leading financial, consulting, nonprofit, and legal firms and is deeply committed to excellence, collaboration, and impact. Over the last decade, our team has:
- Established and staffed a $40 million impact investment fund, the UP Fund, to deploy 8-12 Career Impact Bonds across the country.
- Launched and managed four Social Impact Bonds that are mobilizing more than $34 million for workforce outcomes, serving refugees and immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals, and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Advised on the development of workforce-related outcomes rate cards, with governments including the Cities of Memphis and Austin.
- Developed expertise on economic mobility issues through our broad portfolio of workforce-related projects and close collaboration with cross-sector stakeholders.
If you are interested in learning more about our economic mobility work, contact Vice President Jake Edwards.