Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative





The Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative (BWFC) at Maryland Philanthropy Network is thrilled to launch its new strategic and operating framework. This document sets forth a new vision, mission, and set of values. It recognizes the rich history of the BWFC dating back to 2006 and then sets forth a new set of strategic principles, pillars, and tactics for the future. This framework also lays out a plan for how the Collaborative is structured to operate. READ OUR FRAMEWORK HERE!


The Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative is a group of private and public funders established to support the alignment and pooling of resources around common workforce development goals and strategies. The BWFC is hosted by Maryland Philanthropy Network and is a signed partner of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.

Vision: We envision the Baltimore region as a place of equity and shared prosperity, where all communities and workers can access employment that brings dignity and enables families to thrive and build wealth.

Mission: The BWFC is a collective committed to advancing equity, job quality and systems change efforts that lead to family-sustaining wages, strengthened communities, and a vibrant local economy.

We Value:

Racial Equity, Justice and Inclusion: The systematic fair treatment of all people through transformative and reparative action as the foundation of our work, resulting in prosperity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who have been excluded from the benefits of the American economy.

Harnessing the Power of the Collective: The amplified and increased impact that occurs when we bring our ideas, expertise, and resources together as a group.

Continuous Learning: The importance of an ongoing journey as a collective includes personal, professional, and organizational growth for Collaborative members, learning from grantees, policymakers, community, and individuals with lived experience.

Courage to Take Risks: The responsibility to show up as a leader in support of unemployed and underemployed residents and the willingness to support early innovation in the field.

Trust: The commitment to being honest with each other, stakeholders, partners, and grantees; and to strive to achieve transparency and integrity in our decision making and grantmaking.

Our Roles:

The BWFC is comprised of private and public funders. Together our primary roles in this work are to:

  • Provide resources and thought partnership to support strategies and tactics that are aligned with the BWFC’s mission and vision,
  • Help increase overall investment by aggregating investments, attracting external resources, and forging partnerships,
  • Take risks to catalyze and incubate new approaches and ideas,
  • Create and sustain local momentum to change narratives, expand practices, and improve policies to support workforce equity,
  • Drive aligned grantmaking and collective action, and
  • Share learnings to help improve outcomes and support our grantees.






Race should not be a determinant of one’s employment outcomes or wealth. We recognize and work to dismantle systemic racism, bias, and anti-blackness.


Employers are essential partners in this work. Advancing worker wellbeing and closing racial wealth gaps often requires changes in employer practice.


Those who do the work of providing services and solutions are our partners in this work and we, as funders, commit to listening to these partners and approach them with humility and respect.


We apply an asset framework to our work and our communications. We acknowledge all people’s aspirations, gifts, and excellence. We do not define people by their challenges.


We use a systems approach to workforce problems and solutions.  This means that we look across our ecosystem at interconnected policies, practices and mindsets that sustain inequities.


The adults and youth most impacted by the work need to be heard and have agency. Jobseeker and worker voice is essential.










  • Increase the supply of effective training and education that leads to good jobs
  • Support opportunities for career progression to occupations that can sustain families and build wealth
  • Offer accessible, effective supportive services
  • Support city and county efforts to build more coordinated workforce systems
  • Fund and advocate for approaches that eliminate systemic barriers to good jobs
  • Support and incentivize employer-based hiring, training, and workforce practices that improve job quality
  • Elevate worker / jobseeker voice
  • Support good jobs policy making and enforcement
  • Educate and empower workers and jobseekers to have agency in the labor market
  • Facilitate peer learning, collaboration, alignment, and pooling of funds
  • Support adoption of equitable workforce grantmaking practices
  • Collect and share data about workforce grantmaking
  • Provide learning opportunities for funders

Supporting Industry Sector Partnerships

Collectively, BWFC members provide financial and technical support to sectoral workforce programs across a variety of industries. Target industries are selected based on their strength in the local economy, the availability of quality employment opportunities that match the skills and aspirations of unemployed and underemployed Baltimore residents and the potential for advancement along career pathways that lead to family-supporting jobs. Employers within these sectors are committed to partnering on the design, oversight and implementation of these efforts. Industries served through BWFC-affiliated sector programs include: Automotive, Construction, Culinary Arts/Food Service, Energy Efficiency, Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing, and Maritime TDL (Transportation, Distribution and Logistics).

Wage Record Study

BWFC works with the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore to conduct analysis of pre- and post- training earnings for participants of Baltimore’s workforce development programs. Data from the State’s Unemployment Insurance records supplement demographic and training outcomes collected from workforce development grantees, helping understand the impact of workforce interventions. Click here to read more about the Wage Record Study and to access the 2022 report.

Capacity Building

Efforts to expand upon the capacity of key stakeholders in Baltimore’s Workforce Development system have included educational workshops for non-profit workforce staff, sponsorship of attendance at national conferences, ad hoc technical assistance and support of peer learning opportunities. The Weinberg Sector Skills Academy was a year-long learning and leadership experience for senior professionals who provide workforce development services and technical training in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The Academy consisted of nine retreats, meetings, and webinars; and concluded in May 2016 with three capstone presentations. Click here to see a final report about the Academy.

Good Business Works

Good Business Works (GBW) aims to advance good jobs practices among employers in consumer-facing industries including home improvement, retail and food/beverage. Through customer acquisition services and marketing support, including a Socially Responsible Business Directory, BWFC grantee, Civic Works, incentives employers to upgrade job quality. GBW is guided by an Advisory Board comprised of non-profit organizations and city representatives, all committed to advancing high quality employment opportunities for front-line workers in Baltimore. This work is supported through grants from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the Hitachi Foundation, Open Society Institute-Baltimore and Walmart Giving.


Abell Foundation*

The Annie E. Casey Foundation*

Bank of America

Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development

Baltimore Gas & Electric

Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development*

Caplis Family Fund

Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation*

Hoffberger Family Philanthropies

Kaiser Permanente

Thalheimer Eurich Charitable Fund


*founding members