Declining economic mobility is one of the defining challenges of our time. The path to better jobs through good training and workforce programs is narrower now than ever before. But we’re seeing a promising response: innovative workforce partnerships that are building more adaptive, results-based models of funding and risk-sharing.

These partnerships—often between government agencies, employers, and training institutions—suggest a broader realignment in how we prepare the future workforce. They carefully balance incentives—making sure, for example, that training institutions have a stake in student outcomes, or that programs making progress on policy goals have a pathway to scale. They often link funding to results, defining success in advance and measuring progress along the way. And they work to expand access to education and training opportunities while fairly allocating the risks and benefits of training across partners.

Workforce Realigned: How New Partnerships are Advancing Economic Mobility is a new book from Social Finance and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia containing 19 case studies and nascent ideas by leaders from government, higher education, business, and social service organizations, including former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Innovation Dr. Zia Khan, and General Assembly CEO Lisa Lewin.

The Workforce Realigned series includes a podcast and action groups to bring these ideas to life and shift funding toward positive workforce outcomes.

“In an era of declining economic mobility, it’s critical to rethink our education and training systems to reopen pathways to the middle class. Workforce Realigned brings together innovative ideas from a diverse set of leading thinkers—policymakers, employers, philanthropists, higher education leaders—to build smarter, more accountable partnerships that place worker outcomes at the center.”

— Dr. Raj Chetty,
William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics,
Harvard University

"It is critical that we’re building an equitable future for everyone. New, sophisticated partnerships are emerging that expand access to training and help workers to be successful, broadening and diversifying the talent pipeline. Innovative ideas, like the case studies presented here, provide a roadmap for business leaders as they adapt to a fast-changing economy and uncover better ways to find and retain great people."

— Lata Reddy,
Senior Vice President of Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial
and Chair, The Prudential Foundation

“America’s declining economic mobility and mounting student debt crisis are a direct result of systemic failures in education, training, and employment. Workforce Realigned provides a blueprint—grounded in real-world examples—of a dynamic and equitable new system that promises to meet the needs of workers and employers and ensure that the tremendous public and private investment we make is well spent.”

— Jim Shelton,
Chief Investment and Impact Officer, Blue Meridian Partners
and former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

“Volatile economic and social conditions threaten to widen the racial wealth gap. Reimagining an economy that is inclusive of everyone, especially those who have not been fully engaged, takes bold partnerships and innovative solutions. Workforce Realigned provides real-life examples of investments that scale equitable opportunities for skill building and addresses systemic inequities and inefficiencies in the marketplace.”

— Carla Thompson Payton,
Vice President for Program Strategy,
W.K. Kellogg Foundation

E-book download available soon


To request a printed copy of the book, please fill out this form. Books will be shipped in Summer 2021.

Download Individual Chapters

Acknowledgments and Advisory Committee

Table of Contents

Dr. Raphael Bostic, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Dr. Patrick Harker, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; and Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder, Social Finance

Dr. Stuart Andreason, Assistant Vice President and Director, Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Sarah Miller, Senior Adviser, Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Ashley Putnam, Director, Economic Growth and Mobility Project, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; Jake Segal, Vice President, Social Finance; and Meredith Segal, Associate Director, Social Finance

Public Policy

1. Buying Outcomes: Lessons from the Past
Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, President, American Idea Foundation

2. Governing for Results: Case Studies from Massachusetts (coming soon)
Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary James Peyser, Secretary Rosalin Acosta, and Assistant Secretary Mark Attia, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

3. A Whole New Menu: Outcomes Rate Cards in Practice
David Wilkinson, Executive Director, Tobin Center for Economic Policy at Yale University

4. A Good Job at the End of Training: Rhode Island’s Outcomes-Focused Approach to Workforce Development
Dr. Jeffrey Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Former Governor Gina Raimondo

5. Outcomes Funds for Economic Mobility
Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman, The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and author, Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change

6. Going All In: Linking Funding to Outcomes at Texas State Technical College
Chancellor Michael Reeser, Texas State Technical College System

7. FastForward: Tripling Credentials by Sharing Risk and Responsibility
Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Virginia Community College System

8. Money-Back Guarantee: A Staffing Agency for the Social Sector
Amelia Nickerson, CEO, First Step Staffing and CaSonya Thomas, Assistant Executive Officer, Human Services, San Bernardino County

Employers and the Workforce System

9. Rewiring Workforce Partnerships: Training Model Innovation in Philadelphia
Tyrone Hampton Jr., Manager of Workforce System Initiatives, Philadelphia Works and Ashley Putnam, Director, Economic Growth and Mobility Project, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

10. A Grand Challenge to Reinvent Workforce Development
Dr. Angela Jackson, Managing Partner, New Profit

11. Save on Retention, Build Equity
Dr. Zia Khan, Senior Vice President for Innovation, The Rockefeller Foundation

12. Derisking New Hire Training: A New Talent Model
Dr. Jeff Frey, Vice President of Innovation, Talent Path and Nicole Durham, Director, Enertia Software

13. Could Outcomes Funding Work in Rural America?
Dr. Mark Rembert, Head of the Rural Innovation Network and Aidan Calvelli, Research and Communications Analyst, Center on Rural Innovation

Student Payment

14. The Emergence of Income Share Agreements
Dubravka Ritter, Advisor and Research Fellow, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and Dr. Doug Webber, Associate Professor of Economics, Temple University

15. Back a Boiler
Brian E. Edelman, President, Purdue Research Foundation

16. Unlocking Education and Economic Mobility with Income Share Agreements
Brooke Valle, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, San Diego Workforce Partnership

17. Access to Opportunity: The General Assembly Career Impact Bond
Lisa Lewin, CEO and Tom Ogletree, Vice President of Social Impact and External Affairs, General Assembly

18. Consumer Protections for Income Share Agreements
Sheila Bair, former Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Preston Cooper, Visiting Fellow, Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity

19. Paying It Forward: Adapting the Career Impact Bond into a Public Policy Tool
Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder, Social Finance



June 3, 2021, 1:00-2:30pm ET

Registration coming soon

The national launch event of Workforce Realigned: How New Partnerships are Advancing Economic Mobility will feature a conversation with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Social Finance CEO Tracy Palandjian. The virtual event—hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta—will feature remarks from its President and CEO Raphael Bostic, New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President and CEO Patrick Harker. The event will explore the emergence of a new breed of cross-sector partnerships—focused on outcomes, aligned incentives, and shared accountability. It will also feature an overview of the Workforce Realigned book, the state of American economic mobility, and breakout group discussion.



Workforce Realigned is a special series within the Economy Matters podcast, which has been produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for more than five years. The Workforce Realigned podcast series offers innovative ideas about how to reboot economic mobility in America—using new financial tools to accelerate the shift from paying for uncertain training programs to paying for measured outcomes. Workforce Realigned shares cases from across the country and is aimed at a broad audience including policymakers, employers, and training providers. The series is presented by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia in partnership with Social Finance.



Learn more about the Atlanta Fed’s Funding and Financing Workforce Development Initiative and the Philadelphia Fed’s Economic Growth & Mobility Project.

Read about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Finance initiative.

Action Groups

Starting Fall 2021, we will convene action groups of practitioners dedicated to adapting promising practices from the Workforce Realigned book to their communities—shifting funding toward positive workforce outcomes.

If you’re interested in joining an action group, contact Sima Baran.

Advisory Committee

  • Gayatri Agnew, Senior Director, Opportunity,
  • Maria Flynn, President and CEO, JFF
  • Sameer Gadkaree, Senior Program Officer, The Joyce Foundation
  • Sarah Keh, Vice President, Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial
  • Chauncy Lennon, Vice President for Learning and Work, Lumina Foundation
  • Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation
  • Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • Jason Tyszko, Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation