A well-educated, highly skilled workforce is an essential part of the long-term health of our local, regional, and national economies. Gaining a postsecondary education is an important determinant of the difference in the lifetime earnings and incomes of workers, yet many low-income individuals struggle to access and complete post-secondary programs. These barriers are only compounded by tightened funding flows for workforce development: steady divestment of the public workforce system; minimal employer investment in training entry-level workers; limited philanthropic funding; and untapped capital markets.
Social Finance is currently partnering with Jewish Vocational Service to increases access to vocational English classes, skills training, and better jobs for approximately 2000 immigrants and refugees in Greater Boston to support successful transitions to employment, higher wage jobs, and higher education.
Declining economic mobility – together with other labor market indicators such as unfilled jobs and low labor force participation – suggests that our education and workforce systems are struggling to prepare workers for meaningful employment pathways and equip workers with the skills employer’s demand. Locally relevant solutions to enhance economic and social mobility are critical to engaging and growing a vibrant workforce.
The benefits of providing individuals with opportunities for upskilling is not limited to higher wages and better career growth opportunities. There is significant value to the federal, state, and local governments, as individuals with higher rates of employment will rely less on public assistance programs and will contribute more in tax revenue, amongst other short and long-term value propositions. Programs that demonstrate impact on an individual’s ability to gain and sustain employment meet the conditions for Pay for Success.
At Social Finance, we provide a suite of services tailored to the needs of our partners. Whether it is through a traditional Social Impact Bond (SIB) or the Career Impact Bond (CIB), we possess the experiences and tools to develop outcomes-based programs in workforce development that allow high-quality service providers to scale effective programming to in-need individuals. The result is a resilient and diverse labor force to meet the needs of the 21st century American economy.
Veterans CARE Pay for Success Project
The Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) project will support 480 unemployed or underemployed Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder in attaining competitive, compatible employment. The project deploys $5.1 million over 3 years to implement Individual Placement and Support at local VA medical centers across Massachusetts and New York City. This is the first Pay for Success project in the world to serve Veterans.
Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Pay for Success Project
The Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Pay for Success project increases access to vocational English classes, skills training, and better jobs for approximately 2000 immigrants and refugees in Greater Boston, with the goal of making successful transitions to employment, higher wage jobs, and higher education. This project deploys $12.4 million over 6 years to expand the work of Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), one of Greater Boston’s largest community-based workforce and adult education providers. This is the first Pay for Success project in Massachusetts and the United States to focus exclusively on workforce development.
Advancing Career and Technical Education through PFS
Social Finance and Jobs for the Future, through a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, will work with four service providers to advance high-quality career and technical education (CTE) across the country. Selected through a national competition, the providers are: South Bay Community Services in California, NAF in New York, Mahoning County Educational Services Center in Ohio, and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District in Texas.
Improving Outcomes for Veterans
Social Finance partnered with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to assess the feasibility of Pay for Success and Social Impact Bonds to serve US veterans, and explored opportunities in workforce development, wellness, and housing.