"Over the next 20 years, the U.S. must address an aging labor force, a need for highly trained workers who can compete globally, and increasing numbers of low-income working families struggling to climb the economic ladder." -- Annie E. Casey Foundation in the 2005 paper, Building Family Economic Success: Workforce Development.
Workforce development is a person-centered approach to economic development. It concentrates on building the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that are needed by individuals in the workforce to deliver services both now and in the future. Nonprofits working in the sector use numerous approaches to allow for both individuals and businesses to reap the benefits.
Recently, Philanthropedia surveyed 103 experts working in the field of workforce development with an average of 17 years of work experience to identify those organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in the field.
Philanthropedia’s experts, including funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, consultants, etc. identified 16 top nonprofits (out of 181 total reviewed nonprofits), with a tie for 8th place, making an impact at the national and multi-state level. Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also see who our experts were by clicking here.
Which nonprofits were among the top?
Experts were asked to recommend nonprofits focused on various approaches within workforce development. Examples could include employment services, support for job retention/stability, advancement to better jobs, technical training, helping the formerly homeless, imprisoned, and hospitalized move to work, helping employers to invest in their own workforce, and more. Expert were encouraged to consider nonprofits working with an array of populations including adults with low literacy skills, adults or youth with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, youth, welfare recipients, businesses, or the community at large. These nonprofits could focus on different kinds of activities: policy, research, advocacy, direct services, education, technical assistance, etc. Specifically excluded from consideration were for-profit organizations such as head hunting and for-profit staffing agencies.
The following is the list of the expert-identified nonprofits best achieving their mission in the sector. Click the link to visit each organizations profile and read expert reviews. Experts have commented on each nonprofit’s impact, other organizational strengths, and how each organization could further improve.
- National Skills Coalition
- The Aspen Institute
- Center for Law and Social Policy
- Jobs for the Future
- Jewish Vocational & Career Counseling Service
- Year Up
- (tied) National Council For Workforce Education and Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership
- Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute
- Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC United)
- National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
- Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
- Manufacturing Institute
- Center for Employment Opportunities
- National Council of La Raza
I invite you to visit the profiles of each of these top organizations on our website to read the expert reviews here. Experts commented on the impact each nonprofit has had, what the nonprofit’s other organizational strengths are, and how each organization could further improve.
I'd love to hear what you think about this list and what experiences you’ve had with these great organizations! You can reach me, Jasmine Marrow, any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget to check out our other new rankings of high-impact nonprofits in the areas of educational support for at-risk youth in Minnesota, and reproductive health, rights, and justice.