- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $1.1 million grant to a nonprofit that connects front-line workers with resources and education to address challenges such as housing, finances, healthcare, childcare or transportation, according to a Nov. 21 announcement. The grant comes as "a major boost" to The WorkLife Partnership's 10-year project, according to a press release.
- The organization said its benefit is based on connections with "resource navigators" with deep knowledge of local resources and specialized training in assisting people to address complex personal and financial challenges.
- The grant will further the organization's pursuit of custom technology, data collection and delivery services, the press release said. WorkLife Partnership aims to reach 1 million workers by 2025.
Many employers are moving to address the issues WorkLife Partnership targets with its benefit. And while front-line workers are not typically the recipients of the most progressive benefits, many employers, including several high-profile companies, are beginning to offer more comprehensive benefit packages.
Because caretaking duties can so drastically complicate employment arrangements, many organizations are offering related benefits such as parental leave options, child care subsidies and back up care arrangements. Goldman Sachs, for example, bumped up its parental leave to 20 weeks, and Qualtrics, a Utah-based software company, will soon offer on-site child care in its new headquarters, the company announced in November. Meanwhile, Starbucks announced a partnership with Care.com to offer workers 10 subsidized backup care days per year for children, adults or seniors who need care. And sweetgreen now offers five months of fully paid parental leave to its workers.