National Projects

Below is a sample of our work to build sustainable, skill-based regional economic growth through national learning exchanges, evaluation, and policy development.

Aspen Institute Communities That Work Partnership: FutureWorks, together with the Aspen Institute, launched a U.S. Department of Commerce -funded program that brings together seven regional teams to accelerate the connections between economic development and workforce development. The 18-month initiative includes two national learning exchanges, technical assistance, and strategy development with seven regions. See more here.

Complete College America: FutureWorks provides technical assistance to CCA and dozens of states to significantly increase the number of Americans with a college degree or credential.  Read two reports that have been part of this work: Brian Bosworth's thought-provoking Certificates Count and John Hoops' analysis and report on the Tennessee Technology Centers.

Fellowship for Education Attainment: FutureWorks is facilitating a multi-year national learning network of business-civic leaders focused on improving education and talent development in the U.S. The effort brings together key leaders from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives to share learning from practice and identify evidence-based completion strategies.

Regional Prosperity Project: FutureWorks, in partnership with Mt. Auburn Associates and supported by the Surdna Foundation, wrapped up a three-year network of 10 metro regions focused on linking economic growth and opportunity. See the project page for more on the regions and partners. Read our reports Linking Growth and Opportunity and Raising the Bar on Skill Development.

Purpose First: FutureWorks is helping Complete College America to launch a new initiative that combines workforce connections, predictive analytics and career advising to help students better connect their education to career objectives. The project includes research with national experts and several two-year and four-year colleges.

National STEM Consortium: Our team guided a 10-college consortium that tested new approaches to training for high-demand jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. This is part of FutureWorks' support of Complete College America's national effort.

CEOs for Cities Talent Dividend Network: FutureWorks designed and led a national learning network of cross-sector leadership teams in major U.S. cities supported by the Ford Foundation. The program worked with more than 32 city-regional teams to mobilize regional leadership and sharpen strategies to increase educational attainment.

National Fund for Workforce Solutions Evaluation: FutureWorks staff has been part of the national team that provides evaluation and technical assistance to this partnership across 30 communities. The National Fund brings together employers, workers, communities and philanthropy to strengthen local economies by implementing demand-driven strategies for talent development.

Ford Fellowship for Regional Sustainable Development: FutureWorks designed, provided content, and delivered ongoing technical expertise to a network of high-level executives of business-civic organizations and chambers of commerce representing more than 100 cities and regions across the country. During the Fellowship's five years, leaders defined market-driven agendas to pursue sustainable and inclusive regional development.

WorkNet: Brian Bosworth managed this national learning consortium of workforce development related organizations from Cleveland, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Louisville. These regions financed WorkNet from their own resources.

Minding Their Civic Business: FutureWorks analyzed innovative practices of regional business-led organizations in 30 metro areas. The resulting report, Minding Their Civic Business, has been used for the last decade by business and civic groups to frame how business-led efforts can shape more inclusive and sustainable growth models.

High Skills for High Growth Careers - New Approaches to Postsecondary Career Education: FutureWorks initiated this project with the U.S. Department of Education to explore and document new strategies and structures for postsecondary education to better satisfy the complex education needs and skill demands of the 21st century knowledge economy.

MetroBusinessNet: From 2000 to 2006, FutureWorks designed and convened a national action-learning network composed of regional, business-based civic institutions. MetroBusinessNet was created with support from the Ford Foundation to demonstrate how the business community can engage in an agenda of sustainable regional economic development.

Pathways to Advancement: FutureWorks entered into a partnership with the National Governors' Association Center for Best Practices to launch this 28-month project. The "action learning academy," supported by the Lumina Foundation for Education, helped eight states expand postsecondary access and attainment for low-income adults.

Getting Serious About Lifelong Learning: With the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, FutureWorks used data from the Internal Revenue Service, the National Household Education Survey, and the National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey to uncover the use and value of the federal Hope and Lifetime Learning higher education tax credits for working adults.