Workforce Development

Where you live shouldn’t determine how far you can go in life. The Opportunity Index is the nation’s first tool to holistically measure opportunity in communities. Connecting multiple economic, educational, and civic factors, the Index is a powerful way for states and counties to track and advance opportunity. The webinar included key highlights and trends from the latest data as well as examples of how leaders from the philanthropy, business and non-profit sectors around the country are using it to drive positive change.

Today, the Council on Foundations is releasing its 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report. The most comprehensive source on national foundation staff composition and compensation, the report provides us with an opportunity for self-reflection about our individual management practices. It also serves as a stark reminder of the demographic changes the country and field are experiencing.

Today, over 30 philanthropic organizations and corporations announced pledges totaling more than $170 million over the next five years to support veterans and military families. The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge was announced today by Joining Forces and a coalition of leading foundations at an event hosted by the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, and the White Oak Summit Steering Committee. The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge - initiated by Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Lincoln Community Foundation, and the McCormick Foundation - creates a community of funders and builds momentum for programs that will support service members, veterans and their families, in local communities as the country draws down from twelve years of war.

The Council is issuing a Call for Sessions to leading civil and social innovators. We are looking to you for well-developed sessions that offer diverse perspectives, concrete solutions, and fresh insights into our Spotlight Issue: The Role of Philanthropy in an Increasingly Polarized Society.

Labor turnover is a hidden, but very real, cost of doing business. It could mean overtime costs to the firm until a new employee is hired and working up to speed. There are also direct costs of hiring someone new—the personnel department costs, advertising, interviewing, training, and the costs of an employment agency or a search firm. In west central Minnesota, West Central Initiative (WCI) has possibly discovered a new way to reduce these costs. Through its Workforce 2020 program WCI is providing funds to support skills training for employees in manufacturing firms.

Last week a member of U.S. Senator Susan Collins’ staff called to ask for my help. Senator Collins, who is the ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, was launching a newsletter focused on the issue of aging. She wanted to be sure to cover the most important and interesting topics in Maine, which has one of the oldest populations of any U.S. state.

Last week, the Lumina Foundation released a new report, “A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education,” the fourth of its kind to track progress against its ambitious mission for 60 percent of Americans to hold high-quality degrees, certificates, or other postsecondary credentials by 2025.