Helping Today’s Workforce, and Tomorrow’s to Benefit from the
New-Economy Jobs

Two new Requests for Proposals issued today

Foundation is prepared to award up to $4 million in grants for compelling proposals

PITTSBURGH (February 15, 2023) – The Richard King Mellon Foundation today is issuing two new Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to help more people in our region to benefit from the new-economy jobs that are available here today and that will be even more abundant tomorrow.

“The Foundation and many other organizations are working hard to implement economic-development strategies to make the Pittsburgh region a national and global hub for new-economy jobs,” said Foundation Director Sam Reiman. “But these efforts only will be truly successful if the people of our region are fully prepared to seize those transformative new jobs. These two RFPs are meant to advance that preparedness. The Foundation stands ready to award up to $4 million in grants to nonprofit and public-sector organizations with bold ideas in response to these RFPs.”

The two RFPs – both issued under the Foundation’s Economic Development program – are:

Science and Technology Talent Development 

The Pittsburgh region has the opportunity to become a beacon for talent and employment opportunities in the new economy; it is home to growing new-economy industries such as biomanufacturing, automation, robotics, space, energy, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and creative endeavors (e.g., design, film, media, entertainment). Yet, as documented by a recent RAND research study, the science- and technology-focused education, workforce, and employment ecosystem is not keeping pace with the growing demands for skilled talent in the new economy.  

To address the critical challenges facing the Pittsburgh region, the Foundation seeks bold, creative, collaborative and innovative proposals for initiatives that aim to improve the skills and pipeline of talent to become employable in the new economy, specifically in science- and technology-focused jobs. 

Proposals submitted for this RFP fit within the Economic Development program’s Talent Development investment area, which focuses on how the region’s education and workforce systems can support the skills and training the adult talent pool needs to be competitive in the new economy.

Grants awarded in response to this RFP are expected to be in the range of $200,000 to $500,000.

Employment in the New Economy: Supporting Disconnected and Gig Economy Workers

The region’s economic prosperity is hindered by a widening gap in economic opportunities among residents and a large number of workers who have dropped out of the workforce altogether or who hold tenuous contract or gig-based work to make ends meet.  

Through this RFP, the Foundation welcomes creative, collaborative and innovative proposals for services, products, or technologies that aim to benefit disconnected workers – those who have left the labor force – become gainfully employed in the new economy and gig economy workers—those whose work often provides limited access to traditional employment-related benefits such as internal job ladders, health and pension benefits, or access to on-the-job-training. 

Proposals submitted for this RFP should fit within the Economic Development program’s Employment Opportunities investment area. This RFP is a reissuance of an RFP first issued in 2022

Grants awarded in response to this RFP are expected to be in the range of $200,000 to $500,000.

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About the Richard King Mellon Foundation: Founded in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest foundation in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and one of the 50 largest in the world. The Foundation’s 2021 year-end net assets were $3.4 billion, and its Trustees in 2022 disbursed more than $152 million in grants and program-related investments. The Foundation focuses its funding on six primary program areas, delineated in its 2021-2030 Strategic Plan.