Last week I tweeted on the Gates Foundation investing in skills in the energy workforce, and here is another story on not-for-profit funding in labor markets.  In this case, it’s the Living Cities Collaborative investing in five inner city projects, including employment, aka workforce.  The cities in the project are:

  • Baltimore – focus on creating job opportunities and improving neighborhoods in Central and East Baltimore, while preparing residents for opportunities created by the construction of the Red Line, a 14-mile east-west transit line.
  • Cleveland – implement procurement, hiring, employee incentives and capital investment programs that develop local jobs and businesses that benefit low-income people in the region
  • Detroit – create a model for older industrial cities of concentrating population and activity in sustainable corridors, expanding opportunity for low-income residents, and reusing vacant land
  • Newark – integrated investments in housing, public safety, access to healthcare, green space, fresh and healthy foods and employment
  • Twin Cities – develop frameworks to create and preserve transit-accessible affordable housing and mixed-use, mixed-income developments, catalyze neighborhood-led development, link residents with job opportunities, and establish a more appealing private investment environment in transit corridors

These are very interesting workforce supply opportunities for employers who are in, or could be leveraging, these areas.  In a workforce planning sense, they are new sources of supply, most of which may results in lower cost and higher engagement, particularly due to the collaborative, local approaches to the projects.  Employers who get involved in these initiatives may be able to create long term workforce advantage in these locations.  They are non-traditional, but potentially highly valuable.

Are your workforce planning and/or strategic sourcing teams paying attention to opportunities like these, or are you more likely to be trying to get involved later, when the risks are lower…but so are the potential benefits?