The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBankSF) and the New World Foundation (NWF) are excited to announce the Quality Jobs Fund (QJF), a $100 million initiative to support quality job growth in underserved communities primarily in the bank’s three-state region of California, Arizona, and Nevada, and several other states across the country. The fund will seed sustainable, long-term, well-paid jobs, and skill upgrading for working people.
Our goal: to address the problems of inequality through quality job expansion and skill development for a diverse workforce.
The Quality Jobs Fund investments will seek opportunities to support innovative initiatives, and will go to: Organizations that provide debt or equity financing to small businesses to support business expansion and job creation; organizations with a track record of preparing individuals for higher paying, quality jobs through job training and upskilling.
“We are pleased to be committing a substantial amount of funding to such a worthwhile endeavor, one that is good for our region and for the country. Creating middle-class jobs is one of the best ways to enable more families to afford to buy a home and build robust communities.”
President & CEO, FHLBankSF
Why is the FHLBankSF launching this initiative?
The FHLBankSF recognizes that good jobs and homeownership are the mainstays of true wealth in the community. The Bank also recognizes the inequality that results from rising long-term underemployment and the decline in homeownership has exacted a strong negative impact on people’s lives — locally and nationally.
These conditions led us to collaborate with the Aspen Institute on a 12-month intensive study and planning process that included five roundtable meetings with community leaders, business leaders, labor leaders, academics, job training professionals, and national and regional experts. Based on the information gathered and best practices examined, we developed the strategy behind the Quality Jobs Fund.
How to get involved in the Quality Jobs Fund
To be eligible for a direct investment from the Quality Jobs Fund, organizations and investment funds must qualify as an intermediary. Intermediaries will be chosen based on innovative new programs and long-standing ventures with a proven track record in either a) providing expansion capital to underserved segments of the small business market or b) successfully implementing skill development and training programs that result in higher quality jobs.
The FHLBankSF will collaborate on this major initiative with the New World Foundation, a long-time trusted ally in community and economic advancement. Through its pioneering COIN program, the New World Foundation has successfully built models that advance skill development, job readiness, and financial literacy training for young adults in low-income communities nationwide. In addition, NWF’s Local Economies Project has been investing in job creation, market access, and food-chain entrepreneurship in New York State, and is beginning to advance that work to other states.
In relation to the Quality Jobs Fund, the New World Foundation is responsible for surveying the field, due diligence for grantmaking purposes, and spearheading, monitoring, and evaluation for investment and grants made. The New World Foundation will evaluate inquiries and then will invite a select number of applicants to move forward in the selection process.
“When people gain a stake in their own communities, they commit to improving their own lives and the lives of their neighbors.”
President, the New World Foundation
Initial criteria for Quality Jobs Fund intermediaries include:
- Capability needed to build a tailored portfolio to address our cross-cutting insights and intervene where skill-building and capital access gaps exist.
- Track record of improving wages of lower income workers.
- Ability to leverage a Quality Jobs Fund investment to harness additional resources.
- Minimum asset base and minimum track record in middle-skilled job sector.
- Demonstrated linkages with employers in region.
- Senior staff experience and capacity.
- Experience incorporating policy, training, and technical assistance into programs.
- Commitment to recruiting and training women and minorities.
- Track record of investing in businesses that increase quality jobs.
- Track record of providing capital to small, medium-sized, minority-owned, or employee-owned businesses.
Interested intermediaries should review the eligibility criteria and submit an inquiry if appropriate.