Advancing New Pathways to Employment for Parents and Families with Young Children

SANTA FE, NM - Today, Innovate+Educate (I+E) and the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) announced the winners of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) Two-Gen Grant. This work will advance new pathways to employment for parents and families with young children (0-8 years) while providing linkages between early childhood development and employment that will lead to economic advancement. This grant is unique in that it addresses two-generation families through the lens of early childhood learning and employability of the parent and families. The winners represent a diverse group of American communities who have gathered to discuss strategies and best practices during the Close-It Summit: 

  • Arizona@Work in Maricopa County, AZ
  • WorkSource Montgomery in Mongomery County, MD
  • Workforce Solutions Borderplex in El Paso, TX

In the coming months, the grantees will work collaboratively to develop a scalable, sustainable two-generation model for linking early education and care to employment for low-income families through partnerships between workforce development boards, early childhood learning organizations, and national affiliates focusing on these key issues. This grant is the first of its kind to link early childhood resources with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) investments for low-income jobseekers, leveraging technologies and data to provide a research-driven model for scale.

“NAWB is pleased to take a leadership role working with Innovate+Educate as a partner in this critical work. NAWB continues to seek innovative strategies to define and advocate for federal policies and funding that enable Workforce Development Boards to help implement new strategies for low-income families. We know how critical early childhood development is to families seeking employment, and this grant will tackle the alignment we believe necessary for improving strategies that address two-generation families — with an ultimate impact on changing the future for the family.” said Ron Painter, CEO of NAWB.

“Not only are the alignment of strategies and funding critical for two-generation families, also key is assuring that the technologies that support the families are easy to use, easy to access, and connect the dots between early childhood for children of parents seeking employment,” said Stephen Yadzinski, CTO of Innovate+Educate.
“This effort will also focus on technology tools that will improve effectiveness for counselors providing family services that not only include workforce counseling but also access to early childhood resources, access to critical services necessary for employment such as transportation and training, and a personal career account that allows the client to navigate their many opportunities that link the early childhood and workforce services in a single location.”

“We believe that this grant will also support the development of technology tools to connect these families to other community resources that will elevate the overall approach to service and resource delivery within the public workforce system writ large. This has been a goal of NAWB for many years and we are excited to build the overall capacity and know-how of nation-wide network of Workforce Development Boards and American Job Centers,” saidJosh Copus, COO, NAWB.

“The ultimate goals of the project is to create a scalable, sustainable model for regional workforce boards that have a focus on childhood poverty rates working through families and workforce centers,” stated Jamai Blivin, CEO, I+E.  “A large number of unemployed candidates are facing barriers that include taking care of their family and small children. We believe this work is a critical part of addressing economic mobility, which is at the heart of all of our projects.  We thank the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for this opportunity to work with NAWB and its members.”

For more information contact:             
Erin Muffoletto Baca
Director of Strategic Partnerships

About NAWB
NAWB is the national voice for Workforce Development Boards, the regional and local business-led organizations that convene and collaborate to reduce unemployment and boost economic development by preparing job seekers and connecting employers with a highly-skilled workforce

NAWB represents approximately 600 business-led Workforce Development Boards and 12,000 business and public sector volunteers who sit on those Boards and plan state and local workforce development initiatives and job training programs in their communities. NAWB members provided assistance to more than 13 million people in the year ending December 31, 2015 and placed approximately 7.8 million of those people in jobs. For more information, visit

About Innovate+Educate
Innovate+Educate is a national leader in developing strategies and implementing solutions to address the skills gap. The mission of Innovate+Educate is to create new pathways to employment with a focus on the shift from the demand side to a competency-based framework.  Key to the shift and the work of Innovate+Educate is the development and use of technology solutions that advance competency based education, training and hiring. For more information, visit

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit