Pay It Forward Funds

Our Approach

We spend trillions of dollars on public and private workforce training each year in the U.S. Despite all our spending, we’re not making enough progress. Workers are struggling to find education and employment opportunities that lead to in-demand jobs, and businesses don’t have the skilled talent they require. We need effective, sustainable innovations to finance training that will help people land good jobs and find economic mobility.

Pay It Forward Funds are place-based workforce funds that more sustainably invest in worker upskilling. They amplify the impact of public and philanthropic dollars by recycling funds to ‘pay it forward’ for future learners. Our Career Impact Bond financing equips learners to land good-paying jobs and businesses to invest in and retain diverse, skilled talent.

Nursing student in a Nursing Simulation Lab at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, NJ.
Nursing student at Hudson County Community College, a training provider in the New Jersey Pay It Forward Program. Photo courtesy of Charles Sykes/AP Images for Johnson & Johnson.

How It Works

Featured Work

See All Work

Hudson County Community College students standing to receive their diplomas.
Governor Murphy visits Hudson County Community College to announce the Pay It Forward Program with Social Finance CEO Tracy Palandjian, HESAA Executive Director David Socolow, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, and Hudson County Community College Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Darryl Jones(Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor’s Office).

New Jersey Pay It Forward Program


Revolving workforce fund to upskill residents and fill critical job openings

A student celebrates graduation from CrossPurpose, a training provider in the Colorado Pay It Forward Fund.

Colorado Pay It Forward Fund


Revolving workforce fund to upskill residents and fill critical job openings

Woman working on her laptop while her young daughter draws next to her.

United Way Miami Workforce Project

Pay It Forward Fund pilot focused on veterans, people of color, and single female heads of household in Miami-Dade County, Florida

With ‘Pay It Forward,’ New Jersey isn't just entering this national discussion [on the impact of student loans on American families]—we're bringing a real, live, tangible example of what the future can look like.

Governor Phil Murphy

State of New Jersey

Phil Murphy Headshot
We believe that the Pay It Forward model, a workforce development program based on the individual’s ability to repay, is an innovative solution to allow those in the program to thrive and help others in the community.

Symeria T. Hudson

President and CEO, United Way Miami

Symeria T. Hudson headshot