March 2007


Volume 4
 Issue 1

In this issue...

 NNSP, National Governors Association, and Corporation for a Skilled Workforce Collaborate

The New Orleans Region after Katrina

LA Recovery Authority Awards $38m to Support Sector Initiatives

A Glimpse at System Change in Flint, Michigan

NNSP Program Updates

Policy Updates

Funding Announcements

Partner Press Announcements

...back to Partner Press home page


An Agenda for Equity: Examining How Sector Initiatives Can Serve Immigrant and Communities of Color
NNSP recognizes that sector strategies can be powerful tool in addressing economic disparity within communities of color. NNSP is currently developing relationships with ethnic and racial community organizations that have a focus on workforce development. Last summer, NNSP presented with the Unity Council at the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) national conference in Los Angeles and partnered with NCLR to deliver sector training to NCLR’s workforce affiliates. NNSP is further exploring opportunities to work with African American, Asian American, and Native American community groups to document ethnic/racially specific program models and to work with community groups to utilize the sector approach.

Strengthening Community Colleges through Sector Strategies
Sector Strategies are emerging as a model for community colleges. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has placed an emphasis on sector strategies and is currently creating opportunities for its members to learn and implement sector strategies. NNSP recently collaborated AACC and the National Council on Education and the Economy to develop a training module for workforce professionals in community colleges. AACC is currently piloting a sector institute in four Midwestern states and has delivered the training module in Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana. NNSP will continue to explore how it can work more closely with AACC to strengthen community colleges capacity to implement sector initiatives.

Expansion of Funding Collaboratives in California
NNSP’s has been working to expand regional workforce funding collaboratives in California. Building upon the successful example provided by the Bay Area Workforce Funding Collaborative (BAWFC), the state of California set aside up to $3.9 million of matching funding to expand the funding collaborative model. BAWFC received a commitment of $1.2 million for early 2007 grant awards. Based on NNSP’s involvement which helped to establish the BAWFC, we have been asked to work with the State, the California Endowment, San Diego’s Workforce Partnership, the California Community Foundation, United Way of Los Angeles, and others to assist in developing additional collaboratives in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Strategic Venture Grantees
NNSP awards Strategic Venture Grants regularly to help NNSP affiliates build the cutting edge of the sector field. This year’s grant making focused on state policy, improving low wage industries, and expanding the role of community colleges in sector strategies.

Below are descriptions of each of the projects that received funding. For more information about the Strategic Venture Grant Program, contact Dexter Ligot-Gordon at

Bay Area Retail Industry Project, Jewish Vocational Service
JVS is working with Goodwill Industries, San Francisco Mission Hiring Hall, and Macy’s to create a regional sector initiative to build career paths in the retail industry. Their grant will be used for industry analysis and planning for the initiative.

Mississippi Community Based Allied Health Education Partnership, Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative
The Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative, an affiliate of Children’s Defense Fund’s Southern Regional Office, is leading an initiative to create allied health career paths that are centered in Mississippi community colleges. Their grant is supporting the planning and partnership development to launch the initiative.

Ohio Sector Strategies Group, WIRE-Net
WIRE-Net was funded to assist in grassroots advocacy to achieve policy change that strengthens state support for sector initiatives.

Expanding Career Pathways in Arkansas, Southern Good Faith Fund
The Southern Good Faith Fund has continued to play a leadership role in shaping policy in Arkansas to support sector initiatives. They were awarded a grant to work as member of a gubernatorially appointed team to expand sector strategies in the state. The team is exploring creating new career pathway programs to support the auto industry in the delta region.

New Models to Improve Low-wage Jobs, Wisconsin Regional Training Program (WRTP)
WRTP was awarded a grant to hold a forum to examine Preferred Employer Organizations, social enterprises that improve job quality for low-wage workers. The forum will engage experts in California, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.