Our Mission

We aim to Lift People Out of Poverty Through Employment.


Begun in 2005 by social innovators, Mr. Peter Cove and Dr. Lee Bowes of America Works, the Work First Foundation was founded on the idea that employment is the most important first step towards lifting people out of poverty. Soon after its founding, the organization began its fellowship program, which provides a service-year and research opportunity, allowing young professionals interested in public policy to have a direct impact on urban poverty. Today, the foundation operates in San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C. and Baltimore, conducting demonstration programs that connect disadvantaged job seekers to opportunities. It also engages in advocacy efforts that promote economic self-reliance for needy individuals and produces research on ways to improve access for low-income individuals' entrance to the workforce. 

The Work First Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to research, employment and spreading the success of the Work First strategy.