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Government Partnerships & Policy

Partnerships that build an inclusive economy

As the economy emerges from the pandemic, the public and private sector must work together to build an inclusive and equitable economic recovery. Through effective policy-making, partnerships, and government investment in employment social enterprises, we can ensure that all people have the opportunity to work and thrive.

REDF plays a key role in making this collaboration a reality – developing impactful public-private partnerships and influencing policy at the federal and state levels to promote public investment in employment social enterprises.

Through our Government Partnerships and Policy work, we aim to grow and strengthen the national field of employment social enterprises – and increase economic mobility for their employees.

Government Partnerships

REDF works as an intermediary for communities that seek to build partnerships with ESEs and provides capacity building consulting to ESEs on accessing public funding sources.

We co-created and manage the nation’s first public-private partnership that connects the workforce system with ESEs – LA:RISE – as well as other government programs. In 2020, we partnered with the County of Los Angeles to distribute $46 million in CARES Act Funding to 1,400 social enterprises, small businesses, and non-profits. See below for our active government partnerships.

Policy

To create systemic change, REDF informs and influences policymakers on the federal, state, and local levels to invest in ESEs – and mobilizes ESE leaders as advocates on policy issues.

Most recently, REDF sponsored legislation in California that was signed into law, defining employment social enterprise in the labor code and opening state and federal funding opportunities. Additionally, we established the national policy coalition RESET to advocate for capital, resources, and policy change.

Read our federal and California policy recommendations. Find more information about our policy work here.

Active Government Partnerships

LA:RISE

The Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE) is the nation’s first public-private partnership connecting the workforce system with ESEs. By uniting the City and County of Los Angeles, this program helps Angelenos building a better life after experiences of homelessness get jobs and stay employed.

Learn More

SNAP Employment & Training

REDF, in partnership with Seattle Jobs Initiative and Center for Employment Opportunities, has launched a program providing technical assistance for ESEs seeking to become SNAP Employment & Training third-party partners. These partnerships unlock a diverse and sustainable public funding source for ESEs, allowing them to serve more people.

Learn More

Current Policy Advocacy

Read our 2022 National Policy Recommendations and 2022 California Policy Recommendations, and see our recent policy successes.

We are actively advocating for legislation that would support the growth of the ESE sector, including:

Federal Legislation

California Legislation

California Budget

ESE Advocacy

On top of our legislative and budget wins, REDF and our partners continue to meet with Congressional offices and federal agencies and testify before Congress, demonstrating the role ESEs can play in stimulating the national economy, combating multi-generational poverty, and addressing economic, gender, and racial disparities.

All of this work is supported by our national coalition — Resourcing Social Enterprises Together (RESET). In just over a year, it has grown to almost 60+ organizations nationwide and advocates for ESE inclusion in economic recovery packages to serve even more people who are especially vulnerable to the economic and health crises, and the racial inequities that so starkly persist.

These wins and organizing – at a critical time for shaping our economic recovery – will have ripple effects for years to come. Language is powerful, and we will continue to encourage our government leaders to ‘come back’ and ‘build back better’ in partnership with ESEs.

Some recent ESE advocacy highlights include:

ESEs and worker co-ops are innovative, evidence-based approaches that train employees while they’re earning a paycheck, radically transforming the lives of people who are all too often seen as unemployable. Offering skills training and employment together is one of the best ways to enable successful returns to the workforce and strengthen our economy long-term.

CA State Senator Josh BeckerD-Peninsula

Los Angeles is a city of second chances, where anyone can succeed…We are making these strides by bringing everyone together – local government, nonprofits, our business community – all working towards a shared goal: to make sure everyone shares in the wealth of opportunities this city creates. That’s why I launched the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE) along with our partners at REDF.

Mayor Eric GarcettiCity of Los Angeles, CA

I can’t overstate the importance and urgency of ending homelessness in Los Angeles County. Homelessness will not be solved overnight. However, through innovative and collaborative partnerships, we can together support our most vulnerable residents and provide hope for a better future. That is why I’m proud to continue my support for LA:RISE.

Supervisor Hilda SolisLA County Board of Supervisors, First District

I was excited to visit CRCD and see the incredible work they are doing in our district to make sure that people returning from jail or prison, and those experiencing homelessness, get the support they need to stay free, productive and off the streets. By combining jobs, training, and services, they are helping to ensure that all Angelenos have access to economic opportunity, housing, and safe communities. All of which reduces crime rates and recidivism. Thank you for the work you do.

Representative Karen Bass D-CA