Improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country.

Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears

An initiative to bolster efforts in six Midwest states to help working-age adults who need to expand their skills.

Skills For Chicagoland's Future

Skills For Chicagoland's Future

New City Of Chicago And Cook County Program To Put Chicagoans Back To Work

Employment Program

Employment Program

Creating Economic Opportunity



Skill-building programs can empower students with the basic and technical skills needed for new, better-paying jobs that can transform their lives and support their families. The Joyce Foundation works to improve workforce development and education systems to help underprepared adults learn important skills, earn credentials and pursue jobs in their communities.

Our Approach

Basic Foundational Skills

Adults who need basic literacy, math, technology, and problem solving skills learn best when the material is relevant their careers. The Joyce Foundation Employment Program supports preparing adults with the skills required for jobs in today’s market. In particular, the Foundation supports the evaluation and expansion of promising adult education programs that prepare people for post-secondary education and careers. Learn More.

Industry Training Partnerships

Training is most valuable when it leads directly to an available job. By promoting industry training partnerships, the Joyce Foundation works to ensure training aligns with local job opportunities. Specifically, the Foundation supports expanding partnerships between industry associations or groups of businesses and educational organizations to create and promote career advancement opportunities.

Grants encourage development and promotion of industry-recognized credentials that help low-skilled workers advance in the labor market. The Foundation also supports research into the return on investment relating to employer-sponsored skill development programs. Learn More.


Some adult education and training challenges demand new thinking; some promising new solutions need further development. That’s why the Joyce Foundation supports efforts to find and test new approaches that promise to dramatically improve the field. This effort champions new programs, technologies, or policies that improve the quality of, expand access to, and lower the cost of education and training. Learn More.

Latest News From The Employment Program

12/4/2014 9:21:00 AM

Top U.S. Community Colleges Commit to Collectively Graduating Additional 6,500 Students by 2020

New $100,000 Aspen Prize award for “Most Improved” in student success, also announced.​

12/2/2014 9:35:00 AM

More Than Half of Small Business Owners Can’t Find Job Candidates with the Right Skills

Small Business Majority poll shows that small business owners are hiring, but the skills gap continues to be a challenge.​

10/29/2014 9:17:00 AM

Learning Science and Personal Success Skills: A Path to Redemption for Education Innovation

Employment Program Officer Matthew Muench blogs about the future of edtech for 1776.​


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