The State of Massachusetts, in partnership with Jewish Vocational Service and Social Finance, has announced the launch of a $12.43 million pay-for-success project aimed at helping limited English speakers in the greater Boston region transition to employment, higher-wage jobs, and higher education.
In collaboration with the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet (WCS), the Pathways to Economic Advancement Project will work to match employers with potential employees, and employees with the skills employers need. To that end, the program will combine nonprofit expertise, private funding, and independent evaluation with the aim of increasing access to workforce development services, including vocational training, English-language classes, and job search assistance for approximately two thousand adults over three years.
As part of the project, JVS will offer four distinct program tracks that draw on its expertise in integrating adult education with job readiness programs. Each track will accommodate different levels of language proficiency as well as participants' employment objectives and educational goals. In support of the project, Social Finance, a 501(c)(3) organization that mobilizes capital from private investors to drive social change, has secured funding from forty investors, including financial institutions, donor-advised funds, individuals, and foundations. One of those, the Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, has committed $250,000 to the project.
"MA Pathways represents an important step forward in the evolution of outcomes-based financing. For the first time, we are measuring success in terms of gains in employment productivity and not just savings to the government," says Kimberlee Cornett, managing director of Kresge's Social Investment Practice. "Through this program, people who came to this country seeking a better life will gain important skills that will help them support their families and be more productive workers in the community."