Funders Partnering to Drive Innovation in Job Training and Mobility, Jennie Sparandara
Funders Partnering to Drive Innovation in
Job Training & Mobility:
Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN)
Social Innovation Exchange Conference
June 25, 2013
Today’s Game Plan
1. Introductions 10-15 min
• Name, Organization, Location
• What are you most excited about learning at this
• Do you have a goal for this session? What is it?
2. Case Study for Engagement & Collaboration 20 min
• JOIN as a model of mobilization and collaboration
3. Group Discussion and Experiences 35 min
4. Wrap Up 10 min
Two numbers offer insight into the urgency of JOIN’s mission.
550,000A majority of Philadelphia’s working age-adults -
about 550,000 people - are functionally low
literate, and thus lack the basic skills needed to
compete in an increasingly knowledge-based
211,000Only 3 in 10 Philadelphia jobs – about 211,000 –
can be filled by a worker who is functionally low
SOURCE: Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board “Help Wanted” Report (2009)
More than half of
Philadelphians compete for
less than one-third of the
available jobs in the economy.
In the 21st century American economy, skills are essential.
▪ Tech expertise: Workers must be able to operate industry-specific
technology in areas from nursing to green building.
▪ Ability to learn continuously: Since businesses are constantly changing
their models to adapt to the economy, staff need to be constantly learning
▪ Economic security: Workers need income stability in order to deal with the
more frequent shocks of the modern economy.
Jobs yesterday Jobs today
▪ Manual labor-based
– 1 in 4 jobs in Philadelphia was in manufacturing
– 27% of jobs were skilled (1950)
▪ Moderate returns to education
– College grads earned 1.4x HS grads (1975)
▪ Moderate wage differentiation
– 28:1 CEO:worker pay ratio* (1970)
– 1 in 20 jobs in Philadelphia is in manufacturing
– 70% of jobs are skilled (2009)
▪ High returns to education
– College grads earn 2x HS grads (2007)
▪ Acute wage differentiation
– 369:1 CEO:worker pay ratio (2005)
Keys to success in the 21st century American economy:
SOURCE: Business Week, Univ. of Southern California, NBER, Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, American Community Survey, 2000 U.S. Census
Philadelphia residents lack the skills needed for today’s economy, and thus a
majority are either out of work or earning poverty wages.
Philadelphia has a dramatic shortage of skilled workers compared to labor market needs.
Education of Philadelphia adults v. US workforce, 2007
• Philadelphia ranks 92nd of the 100 largest US
cities in its percentage of adults with post-
• Worse yet, education levels may “overstate”
Philadelphia’s work readiness. Estimates
indicate that as much as half of adults with
only a high school diploma are functionally
low-literate (6th grade or below) in math and
• This low level of educational attainment is in
the context of a Philadelphia employment
market whose focus is on “meds and eds.”
This means the percent of Philadelphia jobs
requiring some college is ~5-10% higher than
Philadelphia ranks 96th out of the top 100 cities in labor market participation.
• 45% of Philadelphians are neither working nor looking for work.
• Another 40% of working Philadelphians are earning poverty wages.
Philadelphia has a staggering poverty rate (25%) that is nearly twice the national average.
Philadelphia’s median household income ($36,222) is more than one-third less than the U.S. average ($52,175) and
well below self-sufficiency standards.*
* Family Sustaining Wage for 1 adult, 1 preschooler is ~$41,863 or approximately $20 per hour/
SOURCE: Business Week, Univ. of Southern California, NBER, Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, American Community Survey, 2005-2009
8% 9% 11%
PA adult pop. Employed
Less than HS
Our current public and private systems are not adequately resourced or
structured to address Philadelphia’s tragically untapped human capital.
SOURCE: Mt. Auburn Associates report to Surdna Foundation board
The public system is not adequately resourced or structured…
… and the private sector is not investing in lower-skilled adults.
The public system should work with
employers to improve the region’s human
capital. To realize this goal, the public
system needs to be:
• Industry-led to ensure that individuals
are trained for high-demand jobs, as
well as to incentivize employer
• Integrated to enable individuals to
receive coordinated supportive
services, literacy education, technical
skills, and case management.
• Aligned with the region’s
education, economic development, and
social service strategies.
• Career-oriented to ensure adults have
the skills needed to compete in an
increasingly competitive global
HS grad Some
Percentage of workers that receive
formal training from their
• U.S. employers spend
over $125 billion
annually on employee
development. But this
overwhelmingly to highly
• The system focuses on short-term training and job placement, not on
comprehensive education and training. The system is not given nearly enough
resources to put lower-skilled adults on the path to career readiness.
• The system provides temporary interventions rather than integrated
solutions. Adult education, technical training, and supportive services all come
from separate funding sources and are often delivered independently of one
• The system is not fully connected to businesses and regional economic
development efforts, and so it can sometimes prepare individuals for jobs that
no longer exist.
WHO PARTNERS IN JOIN?
Multiple Stakeholders Working Together
First and foremost, JOIN is a public-private partnership
of regional & national funders
Western Association of Ladies
for Relief and Employment of
Each Investor Brings Unique Expertise to the Table
o United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey is JOIN’s lead agency.
It brings a focus on financial independence for families, a bond with regional
employers, and a network of community partners.
o The Knight Foundation, LISC, the Scattergood Foundation, and the William Penn
Foundation bring experience investing in healthy, thriving communities and an
understanding of how workforce development efforts connect to other key
o The Philadelphia WIB and the State Department of Labor and Industry bring
workforce expertise, a commitment to systems change and innovation, and a
willingness to co-invest.
o Bank of America, Sunoco, Boeing and other corporate funders bring industry
expertise , private sector credibility and employer voices .
o The National Fund for Workforce Solutions brings knowledge and expertise from a
network of 32 peer collaboratives across the country that are experimenting with
new workforce models.
JOIN creates a collaborative space for developing and testing models to build an
industry-led, integrated, and career-oriented workforce system.
(at United Way)
Investment in new
Advocacy for best
10+ job training orgs.
10+ job training orgs.
Policy Insights &
Investor in JOIN’s efforts
Advisor on JOIN’s strategy
• Interactive. Every partner is
both a “change agent” and a
“changed agent.” Partners are
expected to contribute and test
ideas while embracing new
• Nimble. JOIN’s small center
guides model development and
evaluation, while distributing
implementation across existing
• Industry-led. JOIN’s work is
guided by employers, both as
advisors and partners.
• Flexible. JOIN’s openness to
new models enables local
Source: “Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity”, Stanford Social Innovation
Review, January 21, 2013, John Kania and Mark Kramer
JOIN’s Collective Impact Approach
• Create a Common Agenda to Mobilize Key Stakeholders
– Public and private investors
– Industry and employer partners – who collaborate both as funders and
clients in workforce partnerships
– Community based organizations, including labor organizations
– Educational institution
JOIN is flexible, partners change and evolve
Key ?: What stakeholders do you need around your tables to
move your work forward? How do you keep stakeholders
engaged over time?
JOIN’s Collective Impact Approach
• Collaborating across sectors through mutually reinforcing
– Non profit
JOIN is entrepreneurial, opportunities help to guide
Key ?: Who are your surrogates? Who else is carrying the
banner for your work?
HOW WE PARTNER
Investments, Evaluation and Systems Change
Through effective and innovative approaches, JOIN increases the number of
Greater Philadelphia adults who earn family-sustaining wages.
Investment: JOIN invests in innovative
models that have the potential to improve
outcomes for both businesses and low-skilled
Evaluation: JOIN evaluates the impact of its
partnerships, identifying best practices and
illuminating opportunities for improvement.
Policy & Communication: JOIN advocates for
the incorporation of best practices into public policy, the
public workforce system, and stakeholder practices.
JOIN achieves its mission through a three-pronged approach:
JOIN currently invests in 3 workforce models.
Young adult &
MODEL TYPE DESCRIPTION
• The sector-based partnership model works by forming a bridge between employers
and workers. First, these partnerships bring together numerous employers in the
same industry to identify talent gaps. Then, the partnerships connect these
employers to job training providers and social service agencies that prepare low-
skilled adults to fill these positions.
• This “earn and learn” model moves young adults and adults into career and
educational pathways. Participants are paid a full-time salary and go to school part-
time. At the end of the program, participants have a marketable, portable credential
to apply for permanent employment within one of Philadelphia’s strongest industry
JOIN’s models are not mutually exclusive, and they have a
number of overlapping features.
• This model provides current prison inmates with intensive job training in landscaping
and horticulture, as well as life skills support and work exposure. Upon release from
prison, program graduates obtain landscaping jobs.
Each model embodies the features needed in the workforce system.
• Multiple employers in a
common industry come
together around shared talent
• Employers determine what
training is provided on flexible
Young adult and
career training and
• Partnerships are in areas
that are key to
healthcare and advanced
Career-oriented and integrated
• Services include career
literacy, and vocational training.
• Services are delivered in
• Multiple employers in a
common location (West
Philadelphia) come together
around a commitment to hire
from the community.
• Partnership is tied to
development strategy in
• Services include workplace
training, work exposure, and
degree attainment support.
• Services are delivered in
• A single, large employer plays a
leadership role in providing
transitional jobs and a pathway
to broader employer
opportunities. A small number
of smaller employers play
• Partnership is tied to
initiatives and services to
move ex-offenders into
• Services include vocational and
life skills training, legal
management, and wrap-
• Services are delivered in
Benefits of Partnership
• Leverage public & private resources
• Encourage the dissemination of best organizational practices
• Establish relationships that accelerate industry-wide product and
Strategic Partnerships facilitate:
• Strategic, business expansion, and succession planning assistance
for small businesses
• Connection to the resources of the workforce system
• Training subsidies through group discounts and public incentives
• Development of customized training and educational curricula
• Development of and training to support industry-recognized
Why JOIN invests: WPSI’s innovative model features provide opportunities to test features that
are critically needed in the workforce development system. Here are three examples:
West Philadelphia Skills Initiative
Challenge: The public workforce
system is disconnected from
business and economic
Challenge: The public system
focuses on short term training and
placement for jobs of variable
Challenge: Labor market information
is not the same as labor market
intelligence – both are needed to
determine whether opportunity and
Solution: WPSI leverages UCD’s
existing employer relationships to
implement an employer-driven
approach to workforce
development and addresses the
national need for a model that
engages anchor institutions in
workforce development. WPSI
leverages tuition assistance
benefits provided by employers to
create a pathway for non-college-
bound young adults to pursue
college credits while they build
their careers in positions of high
need in area institutions.
Solution: WPSI developed a series of
job and systems maps to define career
pathways into entry level positions with
opportunities for advancement.
• WPSI defined exactly what they
intended to map, then developed a
detailed definition of the parameters
of an “entry level” position to be
used by all institutional partners to
determine job opportunities.
• Next, WPSI developed and piloted an
instrument to survey turnover and
hiring data across entry level
positions to determine whether
there were real human capital
Solution: WPSI’s apprenticeship
model combines contextualized
career readiness with
coaching, specific skill training and on
the job learning for positions with
• Participants are paid a full-time
salary and go to school part-time.
At the end of the
program, participants have a
marketable, portable credential to
apply for permanent employment
within one of Philadelphia’s
strongest industry sectors.
• “Earn and learn” forms bridges
between work and education.
• Early investor: Providing critical flexible start up resources
• Model tester: Connecting program to rigorous third party evaluation
• Amplifier: Working to incorporate best practices into public policy 20
The bigger picture – systems change
Public and Private
Institutions Private Sector Public Policy
Objective Increased public and
private resources support
demand- driven workforce
partnerships that increase
opportunity for low-skilled
training curricula aligns
demanded skills and
Employers improve and
for low-wage workers.
opportunities for low-
Local Examples Philadelphia’s public
partnerships with local
funding and coordinating
The School District of
educational curricula is
driven by industry
needs and sound labor
partner with adult
education providers to
offer ESL classes on-
site. Local healthcare
institutions provide “up
front” tuition to low-
Department of Labor and
Industry codifies the
partnership program into
JOIN’s Role Lead local reform efforts
on behalf of Philadelphia
Works to integrate
local public system.
Closely connect JOIN-
groups to ensure talent
pipelines do not leak.
Clarification of job
unnecessary barriers to
Coalition building and
organizing to successfully
advocate for passage of
Investments in innovative and effective workforce partnerships are a key element of JOIN’s strategy.
However, the greatest value in those investments rests in JOIN’s ability to translate the lessons learned
through them into a systems change agenda, catalyzing improvements to public policy, institutional practices
and employer behavior.
Translating Outcomes to Impact
• Evaluation activities must be compelling
– Can’t rely on the information/data to be compelling solely
• ROI 360 provided a new lens from which to understand the impact
of JOIN’s workforce partnerships
• Moving from white papers to case studies – we’ll track the impact
on readership and action
• Communicating what we learn is key to JOIN’s
success and advancing our agenda
Key ?: Who does evaluation well? What can we learn from their
example? What is our thought leadership agenda?
Next Steps for JOIN
Our current “hot spots”
• Engagement – Sustaining partner engagement
over the long term and keeping the
• Systems Change – Developing clear agenda
and setting periodic milestones
• Thought Leadership – Developing intentional
targets for our learning and connecting with
them most effectively
Discussion Questions - Partners
1. What stakeholders do you need around your
table to move your work forward?
– Your theory of change and strategic plan
2. How do you keep partners engaged over
– How can you be flexible and focused at the same
3. Who are your collaborators and surrogates?
– Who else is carrying the banner for your work?
Discussion Questions – Tools
1. What are your tools and levers?
– Investments & grants, evaluation, technical
assistance, employment, initiatives & programs?
2. How can you use evaluation as a tool and
– (How) are you currently using evaluation?
– Who does evaluation well? What can we learn
from their example?
– Who is interested in what you are learning?
• Who should be interested in what you are learning?
Discussion Questions – Thought Leadership
How are you communicating, regularly and
intentionally with your key audiences?
Discussion Questions – Catalytic Change
How do you move from promising practice to systems
• What are you working to change?
– Public policies and/or funding?
– Institutional practices
• Educational systems, workforce investment systems, economic
– Employer practices
– Practitioner behavior
• How can you set realistic goals and milestones?
For More Information
To Learn More
Visit JOIN’s website www.joincollaborative.org
Follow us! @joincollab & @joinjennie
Read the ROI study Download for free at
Appendix: JOIN’s Theory of Change
• National, regional, local
spotlight on jobs
• National focus on (and local
infrastructure of) industry
and sectoral partnerships
• Mayor launches Philadelphia
• Waves of development and
economic expansion (Navy
• 40% of Philadelphia workers
earn poverty wages and 1/3
of Philadelphians lack basic
• Region’s largest foundations
are non committal to issue
• Great Recession and
uncertainty around recovery
(and labor demand)
We will increase:
• Participation by charitable
foundations in supporting
the advancement of low-
• Basic and occupational
skills in targeted industries
• Awareness and action
within the greater Phila.
civic and business
communities of the crisis
of marginally attached
workers and the power of
the sectoral approach
• Draw a finer picture of
our understanding of
low-skilled labor supply
• Scan the economic
employer landscape to
anticipate demand for
entry level workers
• Provide thought
leadership on innovative
solutions to regional
• Develop the primary
vehicle for engaging
foundations in the
• Act as a laboratory for
sector based approach
to skills training
prosperity for low income
adults in Greater
addressing critical talent
shortages in key industries