Merit America

We incubated Merit America and helped entrepreneur-in-residence Rebecca Taber Staehlin found, develop, and lead this scalable model to upskill low-wage workers for good-paying, upwardly mobile jobs. 85 percent of job-seeking program graduates have secured a new job within six months of graduation. Merit America raised over $12.5 million in philanthropic and PRI financing, is on track to serve 10,000 low-wage workers in three years, and just moved out of America Achieves to become its own independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  

We helped secure substantial funding for Merit America, assisted with their evaluation plan and leadership team recruitment, and helped form key employer partnerships.

Philanthropic Advising and Convening

This includes an 18-month effort working with Bloomberg Philanthropies to develop a $25 million CTE package backing place-based initiatives that we have identified and helped develop. This work is continuing—and builds on prior work identifying, reviewing, recommending funding for, and supporting high-potential initiatives, e.g., CareerWise Colorado, YouthForce NOLA, and Delaware Pathways. Our work has included leading four day-long convenings over two years of 20+ national foundations learning about these issues. 

This work also includes an ongoing partnership that we initiated with Together Education to research and develop a vision, problem statement, landscape analysis, and theory of action for the education to employment field; in-depth analyses of leading providers; specific state and federal public policy recommendations; and an outline for a potential American Opportunity Initiative moving forward.

Article Development

This work includes writing and publishing articles synthesizing lessons learned in this work and offering guidance and recommendations for the field.