Workday Foundation Sharpens Focus on Workforce Development

When Workday established the Workday Foundation in 2013 with a stock gift, our early thinking about the Foundation’s mission centered on these intrinsic principles:

  • Reflect the company’s founding values
  • Align with the company’s core competencies
  • Be entrepreneurial in spirit
  • Eliminate barriers to opportunity

Workday Co-Founders Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri supported these principles and helped guide our approach toward creating opportunities for employees to make a positive impact in their communities. One of the first investments the Foundation made was “SF Gives,” a corporate challenge that brings together local businesses to fight poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area. Another was a grant to further develop PulsePoint, a mobile app that empowers CPR-trained citizens to provide lifesaving assistance to nearby victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

Workday has matured since its inception, and so has the Workday Foundation. After many hours spent speaking with stakeholders, analyzing the key issues facing our communities, and thinking strategically about how we could best use Workday resources to make the most impact, the Workday Foundation board of directors zeroed in on a mission we feel wholly reflects our initial intentions: To transform lives by creating career pathways that unleash human potential.

More specifically, the Foundation invests in innovative organizations that create career pathways for job seekers from under-served communities, focusing on youth, women, and military veterans. We seek out programs that have lasting impact and produce proven results—where participants can move from a survival wage to a thriving wage through job readiness training, technical skills development, internships, and access to in-demand job opportunities.  By lending our time, expertise, and dollars, we aim to help stop generational poverty in its tracks.
There is no better time than now to take action, as the White House earlier this year pointed out the opportunity that tech jobs can provide:

  • Positions requiring IT skills offer salaries that are roughly 50 percent higher than those of the average private-sector jobs, and they don’t require a four-year degree.
  • Through intensive technical training and certifications, people facing significant barriers to employment can become viable candidates for the estimated 500,000 unfilled tech jobs that currently exist in the U.S. alone.

Workforce Week 2015
The first major event in support of the Foundation’s new mission was Workforce Week, which took place May 11-15, 2015—an initiative we hope will become a signature event for the Foundation. During these five days, hundreds of Workday volunteers from 12  offices around the globe worked with local job-seeking support organizations to host workshops, including resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, mock interviews, job search tips, and more. At a company meeting in Pleasanton that week, we also collected 1,000 pounds of clothing and accessories to donate to YearUp Bay Area and Wardrobe for Opportunity.

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Workday employees teamed with members of job-seeking support organizations during Workforce Week.

Finally, a group of military veterans spent the week at our Pleasanton office, receiving administrator training on Salesforce.com through our nonprofit partner, Veterans2Work. To watch these motivated individuals fully commit themselves to a new post-service career path was inspiring.

As the Foundation continues to grow and innovate, we will look for more opportunities to be part of the transformational change for families that comes from careers that provide stability, economic self-sufficiency, and a bright future.

I will check back in with periodic updates in the coming months. In the meantime, if you would like to contact the Workday Foundation, please write us at foundation@workday.com, or visit us here for more information.