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WorkAdvance Request for Proposals Now Available; Innovative Workforce Development Program to Pilot in Northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND--Oct. 27, 2010--Northeast Ohio workforce development providers are invited to submit proposals for WorkAdvance, a sector-based and skills-focused career development program. The Fund and its national partners, the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, are seeking workforce intermediaries, social service providers, job training programs, community colleges and other non-profits interested in seeking funding for workforce development programs that align with proven principles found nationally and in CEO’s successful sector-based programs in New York City. WorkAdvance aims to prepare, train and place unemployed and low-wage workers in good-quality jobs with established career tracks. The program emphasizes close connections to hiring employers in growth industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, financial services and hospitality. The WorkAdvance request for proposal (RFP) is now available at http://nyc.gov/html/ceo/html/sif/work_advance.shtml

“Innovation and collaboration in the workforce system are central to Northeast Ohio’s economic revitalization,” said Brad Whitehead, President of the Fund for Our Economic Future. “Programs selected for WorkAdvance funding will embody these qualitities and provide services that benefit both Northeast Ohio’s low-skilled workforce and its growing employers. This type of alliance will contribute to building a brighter economic future for our region.” The Fund encourages projects that are either regional in nature through a network of collaborators or highlight an explicit path by which innovative programming can be spread from one geographical location to other parts of the region. Applications are due November 30. It is expected that two to three regional collaborations will be selected by a board consisting of representatives from national consulting firm MDRC, CEO, the Fund for Our Economic Future and invited national experts. The total funding for WorkAdvance in Northeast Ohio will be up to $1.1 million annually for up to five years. WorkAdvance funding is also offered in Tulsa, OK and New York City, NY. More information, including the RFP, is available here. Applicants will also find frequently asked questions, program goals, descriptions of the key components of each model, target population(s), locations, research design and other requirements and guidance. Earlier this year, the Fund helped convene the region to pursue and win the federal government’s highly competitive Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant that will fund WorkAdvance. SIF is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service to help communities collaborate, test and expand innovative programs “Cities across the country have recognized the importance of finding new, better ways to support low-income families,” said NYC Center for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Veronica M. White. “We are pleased to work with Northeast Ohio and our other partners to test a range of innovative programs, and to share lessons with our colleagues in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.” ### ABOUT THE FUND FOR OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE The Fund for Our Economic Future (www.futurefundneo.org) is a collaboration of more than 100 foundations, organizations and philanthropists from across Northeast Ohio that strengthens the region’s economic competitiveness through grantmaking, public engagement and research.