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Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative
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As a membership organization of funders, we are pleased to host the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative (BWFC)

For further information on the BWFC, please contact Linda Dworak, Director.

Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative brings philanthropic and public funders of workforce development together in a common commitment to align investments that create and sustain successful workforce strategies. BWFC holds highly collaborative/high-trust monthly meetings where funders:

  • share and explore lessons learned,
  • discuss opportunities for aligned grantmaking, and
  • engage in shared strategy formulation.
BWFC’s role is to:
  1. Facilitate collaboration, coordination and learning among workforce funders;
  2. Conduct coordinated measurement and evaluation;
  3. Support workforce providers though capacity building and access to funding opportunities;
  4. Advocate for designated revenue streams and sustained funding for industry partnerships;
  5. Work to strengthen relationships with the public sector, businesses and other partners; and
  6. Facilitate strategic alignment and collaboration with local and regional workforce initiatives.


Recent Publications:

1. Strengthening Baltimore's Workforce: Reflections and Lessons Learned 

2. A Call To Action: Creating New Opportunities for Baltimore City's Disconnected Youth 

3. Connecting Baltimore's Opportunity Youth To Careers

4. Expanding Sector Employment Opportunities for Young Adults in Baltimore 

Supporting Industry-Sector Workforce Partnerships
BWFC provides financial and technical support to workforce partnerships that deliver industry-specific training, wrap-around support and job placement services in a range of industry sectors. These partnerships have already moved thousands of low-income city residents into jobs and careers, creating new financial security for them and their families.


·         Biotechnology: BioTechnical Institute of MD

·         Healthcare: Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare and the Caroline Freiss Center

·         Construction: JOTF’s JumpStart

·         Retail/hospitality/food service: Saint Vincent de Paul of Baltimore’s Next Course, Humanim, Choice Program at UMBC

·         Energy Efficiency Careers: Baltimore Center for Green Careers

·         Manufacturing: Jane Addams Resource Corporation

·         Transportation, Distribution and Logistics: Maryland New Directions

·         Information Technology: NPower and YearUp


Coordinated measurement and evaluation

BWFC is committed the collection and analysis of data about who is served by workforce programs and what outcomes result from strategic efforts. Through aligned and pooled funding, BWFC aims to direct resources to practices and programs that demonstrate effectiveness.

Beginning in 2017, BWFC is hosting an effort to use administrative data to track the pre- and post- program wage records for participants of workforce programs in the Baltimore region. The Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore has been contracted by BWFC to lead the data analysis. 


Advancing Job Quality

BWFC envisions a thriving, equitable local economy where workers can access and advance in family-supporting careers and business can succeed by adopting high road employment practices. BWFC is working to engage employers and workforce development organizations in economic inclusion and job quality improvement efforts. In 2017, BWFC was selected to participate as a grantee in the Hitachi Foundation’s Good Companies @ Work program and Walmart’s Advancing Careers in Retail initiative. To implement these projects, BWFC is partnering with Civic Works, a Baltimore non-profit with a track record in using customer demand to create a “race to the top.” BWFC also works to advance economic inclusion goals in tandem with the Baltimore Integration Partnership, another program hosted by ABAG.


Capacity Building

BWFC assists the local workforce development field to adopt highly effective strategies and practices. Capacity building services have included support of the Weinberg Sector Skills Academy, facilitation of a Data Users Group, support to non-profit partners for participation in national learning opportunities, a range of workshops and information sessions hosted at ABAG, and more.


Leveraging Resources and Building Public Support

Over 15 years of support by BWFC for Baltimore’s Industry-Sector Workforce Programs has leveraged increased investment. BWFC helps develop and obtain national funding for local workforce development initiatives, resulting in close to $3 Million in grants to Baltimore from national funders and approximately $14 Million in aligned investments by BWFC members.

Results from BWFC-supported workforce strategies have provided evidence needed to foster public-sector investment in the industry partnership model in Maryland. EARN Maryland, a new state-funded, competitive grant program to support strategic industry partnerships, has provided over $4Million in support for Baltimore industry partnerships to date and continues to expand. And the One Baltimore for Jobs initiative, funded by the US DOL and administered by the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, has provided another $5 Million for sectoral workforce approaches and linked barrier removal services. 


Our Members
BWFC has emerged after more than a decade of work by local investors to seed and support workforce partnerships. Current members are:
  • Abell Foundation
  • Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development
  • Bank of America
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • EARN Maryland (DLLR)
  • France-Merrick Foundation
  • PNC Bank
  • Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation
  • United Way of Central Maryland
  • The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
  • Wells Fargo

BWFC is affiliated with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS), an unprecedented initiative of national and local funders whose goal is the career advancement of low-wage workers using a model of substantial employer engagement. Since 2007, the National Fund has invested in more than 35 communities and supported local collaboratives of funders, businesses, and workers. These investments have helped National Fund collaboratives leverage $315 million from more than 700 local and national funders. 

For More Information
Contact Linda Dworak at the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers by phone: 410-410-727-1205 or email:
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