Social Finance’s $6 Million Investment in Learning Alliance Corporation Aims to Increase Access to Critical Telecommunications Jobs

Press Release

The national nonprofit is providing more people with a path to economic mobility while strengthening the U.S.’s telecommunications workforce.   

BOSTON and TAMPA — Social Finance’s UP Fund has made a $6 million investment in telecommunications training provider Learning Alliance Corporation (Learning Alliance) to help people across the U.S. train for in-demand jobs as broadband and fiber technicians.  

Expanding access to broadband installer training is critical to filling gaps in the telecommunications workforce, especially with $65 billion of federal funding set to flow to a variety of broadband initiatives in the next four years. 

This three-year partnership aims to help 900 people pay for two- and four-week broadband installer training programs and land good jobs. More than two thirds of learners served by the program to date are veterans.  

Learning Alliance has a track record of successful outcomes. In 2023, 86% of their graduates were placed in jobs earning an average annual salary of $45,000.  

A man with a beard taking a selfie in a warehouse.Allen, a 59-year-old navy veteran living in Idaho, did not have the savings to pay for training or the credit to quality for financing. Though he is a veteran, his window to use his GI funding had passed. This partnership made it possible for Allen to enroll in Learning Alliance’s fiber installer program. Two days after graduating, he landed a job as a fiber technician with a local telecommunications company earning $25,000 more than in his prior role. 

“I’m making great money, great benefits,” said Allen. “I can splice fiber, which is a very in-demand job. Everything has opened for me.” 

An Outcomes-Based Approach 

Participants like Allen enroll in training with a $100 down payment. The UP Fund covers their tuition and supportive services. After graduating, only participants who find jobs earning above $40,000 repay their tuition costs.  

Program tuition includes transportation to and from Learning Alliance’s facility in Florida, plus room and board throughout the duration of the program. Participants receive other supports, like job placement coaching and access to essential gear, to ensure they are equipped to succeed through training and beyond.  

“Our partnership with Social Finance will allow us to prepare even more students for careers as broadband installers and technicians,” said Learning Alliance CEO Cesar Ruiz. “The demand for quality training from our employer partners is huge, and this program improves our ability to meet that demand.” 

“We’re excited to partner with Learning Alliance Corporation to provide more people a path to good jobs in the growing telecommunications industry,” said Social Finance Vice President of Impact Investments Andrew Chen. “This program is designed to meet employer needs for skilled workers to help expand high-speed broadband access across America.”  

Learning Alliance is the sixth training provider supported by Social Finance’s $50 million UP Fund, following partnerships with other training providers in skilled trades, health care, and information technology. To date, the UP Fund has financed more than 2,000 learners through the Career Impact Bond—a student-centric financing model that expands access to quality, industry-recognized career training for people who face barriers to education and employment. 

Interested learners can enroll directly through Learning Alliance.  

Disclaimer: The UP Fund offered partnership interests only to eligible investors and admission to the UP Fund as a limited partner was not open to the general public. Partnership interests in the UP Fund were offered solely to U.S. persons who are “accredited investors” within the meaning of Rule 501(a) of Regulation D as described in the fund’s Confidential Private Offering Memorandum and related documents. 

Supporting Quotes 

“Social Finance’s partnership with Learning Alliance is helping more individuals become skilled fiber optic technicians, a critical and rapidly growing field,” said Ty Brauch, Vice President of New-tech Construction. “By hiring graduates of the program, we are not just investing in individual futures, but also in the broader health and diversity of the telecommunications industry.”  

“I applaud this collaboration between Social Finance and Learning Alliance,” said Leticia Latino van-Splunteren, CEO of Neptuno USA, Corp and member of the FCC’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council’s Innovation and Access Working Group. “Initiatives like this will make a huge difference in the outreach effort and in creating a diverse candidate pipeline, areas where the industry has struggled. Broad stakeholder collaboration and out-of-the-box initiatives like this are crucial to change certain industry dynamics that need to be addressed in order to ensure success on this front.”    

About Social Finance 

Social Finance is a national nonprofit and registered investment advisor (SF Advisors, LLC). We work with the public, private, and social sectors to create partnerships and investments that measurably improve lives. Our Impact Investment team designs, launches, and manages impact-first investments. Our Advisory team partners with government and philanthropy leaders to implement data-driven programs for social impact. And through the Social Finance Institute, we aim to build the field and change systems through actionable research, communities of practice, and educational outreach. Since our founding in 2011, we have mobilized more than $350 million in new investments designed to help people and communities realize improved outcomes in workforce and economic mobility, health, and housing. Learn more at       

Media Contacts
Carrie Benjamin
Director of Media & Communications, Social Finance
(857) 340-6064 

Related News