Bay Area Workforce Funders Collaborative

Please note: As the foundation implements its equity strategy, we are taking a close look at our special programs, initiatives, and funding collaboratives. Please watch this space for information about the future direction of this work.

The Bay Area Workforce Funders Collaborative (BAWFC), an initiative of The San Francisco Foundation, is a group of local, state and national foundations focused on creating a diverse, equitable Bay Area economy where all workers can live and thrive. Through pooled funding, convenings, and field building, BAWFC cultivates new ideas and perspectives for how workforce development can better align with the current and future needs of low wage workers and employers.

BAWFC was launched in 2004 in partnership with the California Employment Development Department, and is currently a partnership of 8 philanthropic foundations. Since its inception BAWFC has made over $10 million in grants to programs that prepare low-income adults and displaced workers for jobs in high-demand industry sectors that offer family-sustaining wages and career advancement opportunities. Since 2008, the BAWFC has focused its investments on building the workforce training capacity of community colleges.

In 2018, the Bay Area faces unprecedented income inequality and a dire risk of displacement of many low-income people, especially people of color. In recognition of both the increased urgency felt in our communities, and the historic inability for the workforce system to successfully serve low-wage workers as well as employers, BAWFC is shifting its strategy to focus on evolving the regional workforce system itself to be more effective and equitable.

Rather than funding exclusively programmatic interventions, BAWFC will intentionally take the long view and focus on systems change that will increase worker income, improve job quality, and strengthen the Bay Area workforce funding community. It will do so by:

  • advocating for more transparency and data accessibility around workforce outcomes;
  • creating opportunities for historically marginalized voices to join the conversation around work and workforce development; and
  • investing in strategies that bring the skills and mindset needed for the emerging future of work into the regional workforce system.

For more information please contact Initiative Officer Rob Hope.