MDC worked with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) to help rural regions create better systems of employment and training.

The NFWS approach sought to create innovative workforce partnerships by encouraging local philanthropy and other funding agencies to issue grants for demonstration projects and capacity building.

MDC managed a rural affinity group that consisted of four NFWS-funded rural sites and other communities that were interested in the method. Collaboratives included organizations in the San Joaquin Valley of California, the Mississippi Delta, Central Wisconsin, and the Dan River Region of Virginia.


  • Assist rural regions' ability to meet workforce development challenges facing their communities
  • Provide knowledge and expertise to individuals and organizations working to implement innovative workforce solutions in a rural context
  • Share best practices in rural workforce development with the broader workforce development community


  • MDC provided interactive learning opportunities to network on a wide variety of workforce development topics including sector based strategies, entrepreneurial growth, and the creative economy.
  • We shared best practices between rural funding collaboratives.
  • We assisted in the adoption of innovative workforce practices by various collaboratives.

go deeper

For more information, contact Colin Austin, JD.