BHEF Awarded $2M Grant to Build on the Success of the Workforce Partnership Initiative

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation awarded the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) $2M to deepen its work on the Workforce Partnership Initiative (WPI), a Business Roundtable-led effort to leverage the collective interest and need among CEOs for a skilled workforce. BHEF serves as the implementation partner for WPI and will continue to execute strategies and amplify its impact. 

WPI represents business’ commitment to driving inclusive economic growth in regions with a focus on increasing workforce diversity, supporting business-higher education partnerships, and accelerating and scaling best-in-class workforce development programs. This second phase of the initiative brings refined set of goals, strategies and outcomes, and the engagement of new companies and regions. 

“The outcomes and impact of the first phase of WPI work proved that regional-specific skills development can have a meaningful effect on employers’ talent needs,” said Brian Fitzgerald, CEO of BHEF. “BHEF is excited to continue collaborating with BRT to bring scalable methodologies for advancing business-higher education partnerships to our partners.” 

Developed jointly with BRT, and in consultation with several site leads, the goals for the second phase of WPI work include: 
1.    Implement best practices that result in higher representation of traditionally underrepresented populations in the workforce
2.    Accelerate access to a full spectrum of competitive, ready-to-work learners with in-demand skills
3.    Foster high performing industry-higher education partnerships built on market-driven knowledge, skills, and abilities

BHEF will continue to work with select sites from the first phase of the initiative, as well as welcome new regions to WPI. As work progresses, it will track impact in areas such as number of partnerships and programs developed, curricula enhanced, and total participants—both individuals and organizations. 

For more information on current regional partnerships in WPI, find a series of case studies on BHEF’s website

The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) is a private, non-profit membership organization of leading C-Suite business executives and university presidents who employ the latest market intelligence to inform strategic partnerships that create innovative talent solutions and increase diversity in high-demand emerging fields. Members provide leadership by encouraging their peers to act on critical talent needs. For more information about BHEF, visit