Social Finance and Jobs for the Future Announce Partners to Develop First-in-the-Nation Pay for Success Projects in K-12 Education

Press Release


Contact: Karyl Levinson, Vice President, Communications, Jobs for the Future
Contact: Alex Zaroulis, Director of Communications, Social Finance

Sites in California, New York, Ohio, and Texas will work to increase access to and improve outcomes in career and technical education programs

Boston, MA (June 27, 2017)–Social Finance, Inc. and Jobs for the Future (JFF), through a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), today announced those sites that will participate in the largest single Pay for Success grant in the department’s history. Selected in a national competition, the awardees 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.* Pay for Success is an innovative funding model that mobilizes capital to scale high-performing programs and, through this initiative, will advance high-quality career and technical education (CTE) across the country.

“Investing in CTE is a proven strategy that helps prepare youth for the jobs of the future and meets employers’ workforce needs, advancing both economic mobility and economic development,” said Maria Flynn, JFF’s president and CEO.

Pay for Success works as a public-private partnership that combines nonprofit expertise, private funding, and independent evaluation to transform how government leaders respond to chronic social issues. The model leverages private capital to scale effective programs and ensures that government only pays for results. This shifts the focus from outputs to outcomes, such as educational attainment, directing taxpayer dollars to programs that work.

Social Finance and JFF will support the winners in exploring how Pay for Success can help them create or expand CTE programming for high-need, underserved youth. JFF and Social Finance will then work with project-ready sites to identify private investors to fund the CTE programs and will assist the sites to develop their projects. Pay for Success projects typically span four to six years, allowing programs to measure long-term impacts.

“We are particularly excited about the diversity of the selected CTE sites, spanning different geographies, program models, and populations served,” said Tracy Palandjian, Social Finance co-founder and CEO. “With support from the Department of Education, we will explore how Pay for Success can equip young people with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy.”

The partners intend to implement or expand an array of CTE programs serving low-income youth from diverse geographic regions:

  • South Bay Community Services in San Diego County, California will apply JFF’s Back on Track framework, which incorporates enriched preparation, postsecondary bridging, and first-year postsecondary support, to launch a cohort-based, trauma-informed CTE initiative that serves opportunity youth ages 16-24.
  • NAF, which manages a well-established network of career academies, will pilot a new approach, called Future Ready Labs, to scaling fully paid internships in new sites, which may include Dallas, Miami-Dade, Minneapolis, or New York City.
  • In Northeast Ohio, the Mahoning County Educational Services Center will significantly expand its career-focused, early college programs to reach twice as many young people.
  • Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley will increase enrollment––especially among underrepresented students of color and female students––in its new agriculture, food, and natural resources program, which exposes youth to potential careers and opportunities to earn postsecondary credentials in the region’s in-demand agriculture industry.


About Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States. JFF develops innovative programs and public policies that increase college readiness and career success and build a more highly skilled, competitive workforce. With over 30 years of experience, JFF is a recognized national leader in bridging education and work to increase economic mobility and strengthen our economy.

About Social Finance, Inc.
Social Finance, Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to Pay for Success (PFS) and outcomes-based financing. As a Pay for Success intermediary, Social Finance helps drive government performance to achieve greater impact and builds the field through research and advocacy. Its sister organization, Social Finance UK, launched the world’s first Social Impact Bond in 2010.

*Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District Superintendent Daniel King is on the Board of Directors of Jobs for the Future. Mr. King was not involved in the selection process.

*This project is funded through a $2 million award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office and Career and Technical Education (Grant #V051B160002). This award comprises 91% of total project funding, with 9% of the project financed through a non-federal program match.

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