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. 

Staff
Our Funders

Our Funders

We are grateful to funders who make it possible for WorkRise to advance its mission through critical financial support and thought partnership. Funders do not determine the research findings, insights, or recommendations of WorkRise staff, grantees, or partners. 

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

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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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 WorkRise Funder

WorkRise invites philanthropic organizations to join a growing network of funders investing in actionable research and evidence towards building a labor market that accelerates economic mobility and opportunity for all workers. Are you are interested in supporting WorkRise? Please get in touch with Erin Kundolf, senior director of development, at ekundolf@urban.org.

Our Partners

Our Partners

WorkRise partners with a wide range of institutions representing key labor market stakeholders: employers, small business, workers’ advocates, practitioners, policymakers, and the research community. These partnerships inform WorkRise’s research agenda, provide valuable thought leadership, and support dissemination of our research to key actors with the power to put evidence into action towards improving the economic well-being of workers.

Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the greatest challenges of our time.

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Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable CEOs lead America’s largest companies employing over 19 million workers and help sustain and grow tens of thousands of communities and millions of medium- and small-sized businesses.

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Burning Glass Technologies

Burning Glass Technologies delivers job market analytics that empower employers, workers, and educators to make data-driven decisions.

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Opportunity@Work

Opportunity@Works aims to rewire the U.S. labor market so that all individuals Skills Through Alternative Routes (STARs) can work, learn, and earn to their full potential.

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PolicyLink

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by lifting up what works.

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R Street Institute

The nonprofit, nonpartisan R Street Institute’s mission aims to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government.

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Reimagine Main Street

Reimagine Main Street is a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector initiative focused on advancing and uplifting innovative solutions to ensure that Main Street is at the center of our recovery.

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Rework America Alliance

The Rework America Alliance is opening opportunities for millions of unemployed and low-wage workers to move into good jobs, particularly people of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the current economic crisis.

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Roosevelt Institute

Drawing on the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor, the Roosevelt Institute champions new ideas and new leaders to make our economy and democracy work for the many, not the few.

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TIME’S UP Foundation

The TIME’S UP Foundation is the industry and impact arm of TIME’S UP, an organization that insists upon a world where everyone is safe and respected at work, where women have an equal shot at success and security, and where no one lives in fear of…

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Become a WorkRise Partner

Is your organization interested in partnering with WorkRise or getting to know more about our network? Please get in touch at workrisepartnership@urban.org.  

News

News

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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