2020-2021 Fellowship Description


The Work First Foundation seeks highly motivated candidates with a passion for direct service and an interest in fighting poverty through employment for our 2020-2021 Work First Fellowship cohort. Ideal candidates will have a strong academic background, experience with research and teaching, and an interest in working directly with adults from disadvantaged and underserved populations.

Fellowship Description

The Work First Fellowship, a partnership between the Work First Foundation and America Works, connects young professionals interested in public policy with the opportunity to have a direct impact on urban poverty. The Work First Foundation is a workforce innovation laboratory that pilots demonstration employment programs, conducts research, and disseminates findings to policy experts, business leaders, and academics. The America Works network of companies (America Works) are job placement agencies with locations throughout the nation that supports individuals who are receiving public assistance. Work First Foundation and America Works collaborate together on recruitment, management, and co-sponsorship of events for the Fellowship program.

Through America Works offices, Work First Fellows provide employment support services to America Works clients: individuals above the age of 18 receiving public assistance, many of whom are experiencing homelessness, are veterans, justice-involved, and / or face other barriers that often impact low-income communities. The services that Fellows provide include teaching, case management, and program administration tailored to help America Works clients reach self-sufficiency and gainful employment. Fellows’ research and professional development responsibilities are sponsored by the Work First Foundation. Fellows complete a year-long research project on a topic related to workforce development and urban poverty with guidance from the Foundation and advisers. The Fellowship culminates ina presentation of each research project to policy experts, business leaders, and other workforce development stakeholders. 

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum Degree Required: Bachelor’s degree

  • Capable of providing confidential support to clients’ sensitive case management

  • Interest in teaching in a classroom environment daily (while previous formal teaching experience is not necessary, a desire to learn how to effectively teach is required)


  • Work full-time in one of the America Works offices

  • Perform case management duties for America Works Clients

  • Assist America Works clients with job placement and retention

  • Provide job-readiness services such as resume reviews and interview preparation

  • Teach courses and design curricula on a variety of topics

  • Attend policy discussions and professional development events

  • Conduct a year-long research project on a workforce development / urban poverty topic

  • Write a report and present findings based on research done throughout the year


  • New York, NY (Bronx, Brooklyn, Jamaica, Manhattan, and Staten Island)

  • San Francisco, CA

  • Los Angeles, CA

  • Washington, DC

  • Baltimore, MD

  • Milwaukee, WI

  • Los Angeles, CA

  • Memphis, TN

*Responsibilities may differ based on location.

**Locations are subject to change and will be communicated to candidates


July 2020– July 2021


A $40,000/calendar year salary rate plus benefits (10 Vacation Days, 5 Sick Days, 2 Religious Holidays, 9 Company Holidays, Pre-Tax Commuter Benefits, and the option for Health Care Coverage)

An additional $5,000 award is available to eligible Fellows upon successful completion of each Fellow’s individual research project