Why Workforce Development?Third Sector’s Second Round SIF Competition

Pay for Performance (P4P) contracting can be a powerful tool to align limited resources with results. The innovative contracting model has been leveraged across the country to address our most pressing social problems. Third Sector’s first Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Competition is empowering nine governments and organizations to explore the impact of performance-based contracting across issue areas, from homelessness to maternal health, from criminal justice to education. In 2016, Third Sector is building off this work by launching a second round SIF competition.

This competition is dedicated to only one issue area: youth workforce development. The competition will support government and local workforce agencies who are interested in using Pay for Performance and new workforce legislation to improve outcomes for youth ages 14-24, through career exploration and guidance, educational support, and skills training. With a critical demand and new performance-driven funding streams, there has never been a better time to improve outcomes for young people. Here’s why:

"With a critical demand and new performance-driven funding streams, there has never been a better time to improve outcomes for young people."

1. Over 5.5 million young adults are out of work, out of school, and/or lack opportunities to enter the mainstream economy (Source: Measure of America). Many of these youth are higher-risk individuals who may not have access to workforce services. For youth who are homeless, in the juvenile or adult justice system, in foster care, out of school and/or unemployed, or in an out-of-home placement, the need for more accessible and effective workforce opportunities is paramount.

2. P4P is an opportunity to improve long-term outcomes for this population: Our competition will empower governments to use their limited resources more effectively and track results over a longer time horizon. By enabling jurisdictions to test and scale high-impact, longer-term workforce development strategies, they will be able to direct more resources to programs that work. Improved government spending will result in long-term improvements in employment and earnings for those most in need.

3. The time is now: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act has permanently established Pay for Performance contracting as an eligible use of its funds. States and local boards are now able to allocate a significant portion of funds towards P4P programs. This unprecedented allocation for P4P presents an opportunity to leverage the contracting model towards powerful workforce development programs.

Applications will be available on January 4th 2016, and the deadline to apply is February 19th. Letters of Interest are due Dec. 31st (encouraged, but not required). For more information on Third Sector’s competition, including application requirements and guidelines, visit Third Sector's SIF Competition page, and view our recorded informational webinar. For inquires, please email SIFcompetition@thirdsectorcap.org.

Blog post written by Joe Gayeski.