Statement from the Barbara Bush Foundation about Literacy Skills and Workforce Development

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is proud to be an investor in an exciting new project that was launched this morning.

The Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Project is a Pay for Success (PFS) initiative that will increase employment opportunities for limited English speakers and help them progress up the economic ladder by providing workforce development services. Pay for Success provides a tool for results-based government financing, leveraging evidence-based nonprofits and private capital to enable government and society to respond to chronic social issues.

Liza McFadden, President and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, shared: “We’re pleased to invest in this terrific project that will help English language learners acquire the literacy skills they need to find family-sustaining jobs and meet workforce needs. And we’re excited by the possibilities of the Pay for Success model, which is a new frontier for us—and for education nonprofits on the whole. This investment represents an important step toward our goal of taking part in collaborative, forward-thinking initiatives, such as public-private partnerships like this one, that explore new ways to help American families improve their futures through literacy. By making this investment, we hope not only to help adult learners and employers in the Boston area, but to encourage other potential investors to think about how the Pay for Success model might be used to produce solutions for their constituencies.”

The program—administered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), and Social Finance—is the first Pay for Success project in the nation dedicated to workforce development. It will combine nonprofit expertise, private funding, and independent evaluation to increase access to workforce development services, including vocational training, English language classes, job search assistance, and college-transitioning programming for approximately 2,000 adults over three years.

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