A research-to-action network for jobs, workers, and mobility


three people working in a factory

WorkRise’s spring 2020 RFP/RFI cycle is currently closed. We will be launching the WorkRise website later this summer in time for the fall 2020 funding cycle. For more information, please write to


The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences for workers, and the crisis has been especially acute for those earning low wages. Millions have lost their jobs, have little to no safety net, and wonder how they will make ends meet.  Others continue to work in jobs that are deemed essential but face grave risks to their health. School and day care closures have generated additional uncertainties for working parents.  

Even in the booming labor market of the past decade, many workers—particularly those in communities of color—saw few gains. Their wages have stagnated, and opportunities for career advancement have been scarce. Workers face unpredictable schedules and unstable incomes, and many lack access to benefits and job protections. The rise of the gig and contract economy has meant more flexibility—but less security—for workers.

Though the current crisis has accelerated and aggravated fundamental inequalities in our labor market, it also opens opportunities for generating new knowledge on the policies and practices that could lead to meaningful change.

WorkRise, a research-to-action network for jobs, workers, and mobility, is a unique platform that brings together researchers, employers, worker advocates, service providers, policymakers, and the philanthropic community to fill critical knowledge gaps on creating durable economic security and pathways to opportunity for workers. We will test potential solutions for rebuilding a more equitable and resilient labor market.

As our economy and society begins to recover, WorkRise will engage a diverse set of stakeholders to build, share, and scale the evidence, tools, and resources necessary to help workers not simply regain their footing but thrive at work and in life. 


About WorkRise’s Funding

WorkRise receives funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Mastercard Impact Fund in collaboration with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, and Walmart Foundation. We are grateful to them and 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. Further information on funding principles of the Urban Institute, WorkRise’s parent organization, is available at