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Skills for America’s Future Seeks Partners Nationwide to Expand Its Unique Model for Addressing Unemployment in Disinvested Communities

CHICAGO, April 10, 2023--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Skills for America’s Future (Skills) today released a request for partnership (RFP) seeking to partner with organizations in cities across the country to expand its unique model for addressing underemployment and unemployment that persists in disinvested communities. After proven results in Chicago and Rhode Island, and poised to launch in Phoenix this year, Skills is working to expand its model to 25 additional new sites over the next 10 years and place over 500,000 individuals into jobs with 25% of Fortune 500 companies, as well as other national and local employers.

Already, Skills has placed over 19,000 formerly unemployed and underemployed job seekers through its Chicago and Rhode Island sites by unlocking the key to economic mobility in connecting unemployed individuals with companies in need of workers, leveraging its robust network of local and national hiring partners.

In its RFP, Skills is seeking nonprofits that are looking to add to or accelerate their workforce efforts through Skills’ national employer network, existing playbook and toolkit, and access to affiliate network and learnings. Skills’ jobs-first model is intended to be additive, not duplicative to existing workforce solutions.

"We are very excited to hear from talent providers and nonprofit organizations across the country that are interested in partnering with Skills to better address unemployment in their communities," said Daniel Cervantes, SVP of National Expansion & Strategic Initiatives at Skills. "Our unique model has helped tens of thousands of individuals realize job and career opportunities that in turn, have helped them build their lives and their futures. With new partners in cities nationwide, we can touch the lives of hundreds of thousands more talented job seekers looking for work from communities where unemployment has remained high."

National Expansion RFP

RFP applications will be accepted through May 26. Two informational webinars during this period will provide an opportunity to learn more about Skills’ approach to workforce development, hear from leaders who have experienced the impact of their work, and provide an opportunity to ask questions. To learn more about the webinars and RSVP, visit the Skills for America’s Future website.

Importantly, Skills is offering participation stipends for organizations selected to explore a partnership. This funding will be used to compensate each organization for their time to explore and evaluate the feasibility of a potential partnership and to create a project plan and budget together. Upon conclusion of a three-month period of exploration of partnership, Skills and the organization will determine whether to move forward with a formal partnership.

The Skills Model

Skills’ success has been rooted in its unique approach to addressing unemployment by taking a holistic and consultative approach with employers. Skills’ "jobs-first" approach starts by going directly to employers to understand their hiring needs, company culture and long-term goals. Skills then connects those employers to unemployed individuals who Skills has helped coach, prepare and advocate for to find employment.

This approach increases economic mobility for thousands of under- and unemployed individuals; aligns employers’ hiring needs with diverse, job-ready talent; provides data, expertise, and resources to implement a proven approach to workforce development; and provides access to a network of national employers already working with Skills, including some of the country’s top corporations.

Annually, the U.S. spends $41 billion on workforce development, yet marginalized populations – primarily low-moderate income and Black and Latinx communities – still experience unemployment rates well above national averages. The Skills approach is unique because of its deep network of employers while serving as a recruiter, connection, coach, and advocate for job seekers.

Companies or cities interested in learning more about the expansion campaign can visit

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