We are looking to identify promising new ideas from organizations working with employers to advance more inclusive practices that improve economic mobility for immigrant and refugee workers.
The application portal for this funding opportunity will re-open by September 2021.
Immigrant workers in the U.S. represent 17 percent of the labor force, and yet are also 21.3 percent of low-wage workers, despite their wide range of skills, education, and experience. Better career pathways and training programs for workers in low-wage jobs are essential in helping immigrants and refugees achieve economic mobility and security; however, they alone are not enough.
Research supports the business rationale for investing in workers and creating good jobs. Beyond the benefits to individual employers, immigrant workers are critical to future economic growth in the U.S. more broadly. With declining U.S. birth rates and an aging workforce, immigrants and refugees are key to a vibrant economy.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted immigrant and refugee workers, it has also highlighted the experiences of workers whose voices have not previously been heard. Looking ahead, we have a unique opportunity to harness this moment and build back an economy centered on workers’ success, and an economy that addresses the structural barriers individuals may experience due to race and ethnicity, gender, immigrant, refugee, or other identities.
Since the Fund first launched in 2019, we’ve been learning from our grantee partners who are working to improve employer practices, including through high-road partnerships and demand-driven training programs. We are now building on this work and are looking for additional partners to learn alongside us and who are committed to creating a more inclusive economy for all.
The application portal for this funding opportunity in 2021 is now closed. We will begin accepting letters of intent (LOIs) for 2022 funding in early September 2021 and will share more details here. Subscribe to our email list to be notified when the 2022 portal re-opens.
Following the review of LOIs, selected organizations will be invited to submit a full proposal. Awardees will receive grants that are up to two years in length and range up to $150,000. Selected applicants will become grantee partners of the WES Mariam Assefa Fund as part of the Fund’s partner community and have access to peer-learning, capacity building, and other programming.
Please be sure to first read through the full details on this page and in our FAQs. Then, eligible organizations may submit LOIs through our online application portal, SurveyMonkey Apply. You will need to create an account there first.
All LOIs must be submitted through SurveyMonkey Apply. Paper applications and applications sent by email will not be accepted.
We’re looking to fund ideas from organizations to directly engage employers to:
Beyond the WES Mariam Assefa Fund team, a group of external reviewers will review LOIs and select applicants to move to the full proposal stage. We’re thrilled to be working with the following leaders who will share their perspectives and experiences to help with the selection process.
Applications will be reviewed using the following seven criteria areas: