The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program Supports Governors Through Workforce Innovation Network

July 22, 2021

EOP’s participation in NGA WIN builds on its longstanding commitment to expanding opportunity and enhancing job quality for all workers

Contact: Adrienne Lee
Senior Communications Manager
Economic Opportunities Program
[email protected]


Washington, DC, July 22, 2021
The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) announced today that it is supporting Governors in their efforts to catalyze an equitable post-pandemic recovery for American workers through the National Governors Association (NGA) Workforce Innovation Network.

EOP is among more than 20 new philanthropic supporters, subject matter experts, practitioners and industry leaders that have signed on as supporters of the Workforce Innovation Network to assist Governors and state leaders in their workforce innovation efforts through future grants and technical assistance.

Founded in January with support from the Cognizant Foundation, the NGA Workforce Innovation Network (NGA WIN) is a nonpartisan learning and action collaborative for state leaders committed to building an inclusive and resilient workforce and leading an equitable post-pandemic recovery. In March, NGA announced that Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington joined the first cohort of grantees focused on coordinating service delivery to help job seekers have the supports they need to get back to work.

“We’re thrilled to join the NGA Workforce Innovation Network and collaborate with our partners on this important work,” said EOP Executive Director Maureen Conway. “EOP’s focus and experience align strongly with the goals of the Network—such as helping workers access essential supports and build digital skills—and we’re especially eager to help partners think through strategies to enhance job quality for all workers, which is a key pillar of our work. There are many ways to promote quality jobs, and it’s exciting to advance these ideas in such an influential and wide-reaching forum.”

Building on the success of the first NGA WIN grantee cohort, NGA has secured additional partnerships with Intel, Microsoft and Western Governors University to expand the network, including future grantmaking and technical assistance.

Through this new funding, as well as continued support from the Cognizant Foundation, NGA will announce a second round of grant funding from the Workforce Innovation Fund this year and deliver ongoing support to current grantees in partnership with new providers. A future request for proposals will focus on closing digital equity gaps and ensuring every adult has the digital skills needed to learn, work and thrive in the modern economy.

NGA will convene all NGA WIN advisors to amplify one another’s resources, tools and programs, exchange best practices, and collaborate in support of Governors and state leaders who are committed to transforming their workforce systems for a more equitable and prosperous future.

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The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. We recognize that race, gender, and place intersect with and intensify the challenge of economic inequality and we address these dynamics by advancing an inclusive vision of economic justice. For over 25 years, EOP has focused on expanding individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity. Learn more at https://www.aspeninstitute.org/programs/economic-opportunities-program/

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org

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