US Department of Commerce, Aspen Institute announce BAVC Media’S participation in the national “Communities That Work” partnership

Published On: October 28, 2015 |

San Francisco, CA – Seven regional teams across the United States have been selected to participate in the Communities that Work Partnership (CTW Partnership), a new joint project of the Workforce Strategies Initiative (AspenWSI) of the Aspen Institute and the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The CTW Partnership is an effort to strengthen regional economies by equipping American workers with the skills needed for 21st century jobs and accelerating industry-led workforce development and training efforts.  


BAVC Media and its team organizations were selected through a nationally competitive review process to be one of the seven teams. BAVC Media will partner with the City and County of San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, CBS Corporation, and work2future/San Jose Silicon Valley Workforce Investment Board as the only San Francisco Bay Area regional site.  BAVC Media will pursue job-driven talent development strategies as part of the CTW Partnership.


“We are thrilled to participate in this national effort to accelerate talent-based economic development across America,” says Carol Varney, BAVC Media’s Executive Director. “We look forward to working closely with our regional partners in pursuing employer-driven talent development strategies to promote economic growth and opportunity for people across the San Francisco region. We’re especially interested in helping to think through strategies to better support contract-based and freelance workers. We think this partnership with the Aspen Institute will help us do that work more effectively.”


The seven regional site teams, or regional partnerships, will begin a 15-month intensive accelerated learning exchange designed around each region’s pursuit of job-driven talent development strategies to promote economic growth. AspenWSI and FutureWorks Consulting will facilitate in-person and virtual learning exchanges and provide customized technical assistance by engaging national experts in economic, workforce, and talent development.


The CTW Partnership will culminate in a number of publications outlining systems-change progress and lessons learned among the seven regional site teams, which will be disseminated nationally in the Fall of 2016. They will describe how networks of local leaders can work in new ways across traditional silos to build more effective regional workforce initiatives, and begin to influence and guide similar strategies in other communities across America.


The CTW Partnership was launched from a dialogue between Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, and Aspen Institute President and CEO, Walter Isaacson in April 2015. Their discussion addressed the need to learn from successful regional job-driven workforce development efforts in order to inform practices in other communities around the United States.


The other six regional site teams selected to participate in the Communities that Work Partnership, by Lead Agency, are:  

  • Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council, Cox Communications, Western Alliance Bank (Greater Phoenix area)

  • Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Erie County Executive Office, National Grid (Buffalo-Niagara Falls area)

  • Greater Houston Partnership, San Jacinto College, United Way of Greater Houston, Gulf Coast Workforce Solutions (Greater Houston area)

  • Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Anacostia River Initiative/Federal City Council Anacostia Waterfront Trust (Greater Washington, DC, area)

  • National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Employment Law Project, Hand in Hand (New York City)

  • Northwest Georgia Regional Workforce Partnership, J+J Flooring Group, Technical College System of Georgia, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce (Northwest Georgia)


Further Online Information

More information about the Communities that Work Partnership may be found at AspenWSI’s website. Visit:


The Communities that Work Partnership is made possible by the generous support of the Economic Development Administration of the US Department of Commerce and by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.


The US Economic Development Administration (

The mission of the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the US Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for US workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


The Workforce Strategies Initiative (AspenWSI) is one of three ongoing initiatives in the Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) at the Aspen Institute, along with Skills for America's Future and FIELD. AspenWSI works to identify, evaluate, and promote promising and successful practices and policies that improve access to quality training and employment for low-income adults.


The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit