New Orleans Works (NOW)

This grantmaking program is currently closed, but we encourage you to revisit this page often to learn about new grant cycles.


New Orleans Works (NOW) is seeking proposals from hospitals/other healthcare facilities to develop hospital-led or hospital-centric workforce partnerships in the greater New Orleans area. We envision that available funding will enable hospitals/other healthcare facilities to prepare low-skilled job seekers and incumbent workers for career pathways to address critical workforce needs, improve worker retention and satisfaction, and increase patient satisfaction. Hospitals/other healthcare facilities should offer innovative approaches that enable the above population to advance and cultivate a more robust workforce. The New Orleans Works Collaborative will provide funding to cover a range of activities, including the cost of licensure and/or certification training and coaching for entry-level and incumbent workers that lead to career lattice advancement.


The total amount of funds available for implementation over the next 12 months is $250,000. Depending on the strength of the proposals submitted, we anticipate funding up to three projects, but reserve the right to award fewer or more, or make awards above or below this amount.


A Workforce Partnership is a collaborative group comprised of key stakeholders that work together to meet the workforce skill needs of employers and offer best practices for training low-skilled workers for jobs within an industry sector that is critical to a region’s economy. Workforce Partnerships support and enhance education, training, and job placement for low-income, low-skilled unemployed adults or incumbent workers. High-quality workforce partnerships are employer-driven, innovative sector approaches to help low-wage workers succeed in the economy while also improving the competitiveness of a group of employers.


Non-profit, not-for-profit, and for-profit hospitals/other healthcare facilities as well as their 501(c)3 foundations may apply for this grant. We recommend that hospitals/other healthcare facilities select a training partner that has the sector knowledge and capacity to execute a training intervention that addresses their workforce development and soft skills needs.  The funding must be awarded to an entity with the financial management system capability to accept federal funding.

The workforce partnership at a minimum  must include one hospital/other healthcare facility and one experienced training provider. The hospital(s)/other healthcare facility(ies) will need to contract with the provider(s) of choice for workforce development services unless there is an alternative internal training plan acceptable to NOW. Additional consideration will be given to partnerships between hospitals/other healthcare facilities.

Internal training services can also supplement contracted services. Acute, sub-acute, and teaching hospitals/other healthcare facilities are eligible. Preferred education and training providers are those that have the expertise and capacity to help hospitals/other healthcare facilities address the soft-skills, training, and retention challenges that low-skilled workers face. Hospitals/other healthcare facilities are encouraged to engage postsecondary institutions and to include the participation of women, minorities and people with disabilities. Applicants must provide evidence of their recruiting, retention, and management capability, organizational capacity, and concrete advancement opportunities.

All grantees will be expected to collect data on program outcomes as part of NOW and National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) evaluations.

LENGTH OF PROGRAM: One year — November 2012, through October 2013.


NOW is a public/private initiative led by foundations and regional public workforce systems to generate employer-focused workforce development solutions that offer low-skilled adults (entry-level as well as incumbents) the opportunity for career advancement and enable key industry sectors to fulfill their workforce needs.

NOW follows the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) model for creating workforce partnerships; building capacity; and fostering systems change that together result in: long-lasting relationships among employers, workers, education, training, and support service providers to create a cohesive pipeline to jobs that offer career pathways.

NFWS  is a $31-million, five-year effort to fuel high-impact workforce partnerships and advance 30,000 workers in 32 regions in the U.S. NOW promotes change at three levels — individual, institutional, and system-wide — leading to better jobs, a larger pool of skilled workers, and an enhanced public workforce system in the greater New Orleans area. The Foundation serves as NOW’s fiscal-lead organization.

To learn more about the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ successful, evidence-based workforce partnerships in other parts of the country, please review the following sites:

Additional resources are available in the  Knowledge Center  on the NFWS website.


NOW seeks to create innovative, sustainable workforce partnerships within the greater New Orleans area that enable low-skilled workers to advance in careers and businesses to compete. The Collaborative’s members — including private foundations and public workforce systems — pool funding, develop strategy, support sector-based programs and develop workforce partnerships that meet the career-advancement needs of workers and employers.

NOW is a public-private partnership  housed at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. It is funded by a grant from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and matched with local partners including the City of New Orleans, BioDistrict New Orleans, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Baptist Community Ministries and Urban Strategies. National Philanthropic partners include the Ford, Kellogg, JPMorgan Chase, and Surdna Foundations.

To access Now Workforce Partnership Application,  click here [PDF].