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 low-wage earners.
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 and 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.
Design and manage an investment program supported by the $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund to empower more than 20,000 learners to realize over $1 billion in aggregate wage gains over the next decade. Learn more >
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. Learn more >
Support unemployed, underemployed, or vulnerably employed veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or military sexual trauma in attaining competitive, compatible employment through Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services. Learn more >
Invest in 8-12 Career Impact Bonds through a $40 million impact investment fund to help unemployed and underemployed students secure good jobs in a changing economy. Learn more >
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.
- “Governor Murphy, NJ CEO Council, & Social Finance Launch New Jersey Pay It Forward Program to Prepare Students for Good-Paying Jobs in Health Care, IT, and Clean Energy,” Social Finance
- “Google Creates $100 Million Fund for Skills Training Program,” The New York Times
- “Our new $100 Million Google Career Certificates Fund,” Google
- “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.