Who We Are

WorkRise is a research-to-action network on jobs, workers, and mobility hosted by the Urban Institute.

For many Americans, earning a decent living has been elusive, with wages for workers in low- and middle-wage jobs remaining stagnant for the past 30 years. Opportunities to grow their earnings and advance their careers have been relatively scarce. Benefits such as paid sick time and retirement savings continue to remain out of reach, including for a growing share of “gig” workers. And when unexpected shocks to our economy strike, such as a pandemic, these persistent inequities are only exacerbated.

WorkRise, hosted by the Urban Institute, is a national platform for identifying, testing, and sharing bold ideas for transforming the labor market. We do this by funding research on promising practices, policies, and programs underway across the country as well as foundational research on labor market trends. We generate data and evidence that strengthens employers, informs policymaking, and provides genuine economic mobility and security for workers—especially Black and other people of color, including women and youth, who face systemic barriers to opportunity.

WorkRise convenes and collaborates with often-siloed groups­—employers, worker advocates, practitioners, policymakers, scholars, and philanthropists—to ensure the solutions we deliver are relevant and scalable. We aim to be a trusted resource for the data, evidence, and tools today’s leaders need to shape a more equitable, resilient labor market.

Leadership Board

The WorkRise Leadership Board is a diverse group of visionary leaders across industries and sectors who are committed to transforming the labor market for low-wage workers. 

About Our Funders and Partners

About Our Funders and Partners

We are grateful to all of our funders who make it possible for WorkRise to advance its mission. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of WorkRise experts.

Founding Funders
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Logo

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seeks to unlock the possibility in every individual.

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Mastercard Center for Inclusion Growth

Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world.

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Walmart.org Logo


The Walmart Foundation works to strengthen communities around the globe.

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Cognizant US Foundation Logo

Cognizant US Foundation

The Cognizant U.S. Foundation supports organizations working to educate and train the next generation of workers in communities throughout the U.S.

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The James Irvine Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation’s singular focus is a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically.

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Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies

Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies is a global organization that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and advance equity.

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Additional Funders
Annie E. Casey Foundation logo

Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places.

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General Motors

General Motors works to create sustainable solutions that improve the communities in which we live and work around the world.

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Become a Funder or Partner

WorkRise invites employers, worker advocates, practitioners, policymakers, scholars, and the philanthropic community to join us in developing actionable and scalable evidence to rebuild a labor market that works for all workers. Is your organization interested in partnering with WorkRise for a specific project? Please get in touch at workrisepartnerships@urban.org.



WorkRise Awards $2.1 Million for Research on Accelerating Economic Mobility and Advancing Equity in the US Labor Market

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Urban Institute Welcomes Todd Greene as Executive Director of WorkRise

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Urban Institute Announces New Platform for Advancing Economic Mobility for Workers

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