Lumina Foundation awards grant to WorkingNation to develop powerful stories about the future of work

The grant marks Lumina Foundation’s first large-scale media commitment to highlighting the changing world of work in the United States.

Lumina Foundation has awarded a $750,000 grant to Los Angeles-based nonprofit campaign WorkingNation to support original video and digital journalism that increases awareness and understanding about the future of work.

The two-year grant is Lumina’s first media grant award for this kind of storytelling. Lumina is a private, independent foundation dedicated to increasing the share of Americans with college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications, and other credentials beyond high school.

WorkingNation, operating in partnership with its 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor, the California Community Foundation, will use the grant to support a series of mini-documentaries and digital storytelling that highlight post-high school education as a lifelong antidote to restlessness about the evolving nature of work.

WorkingNation launched in September 2016 and in its first year has produced a series of original content that explains how automation and other factors are affecting the U.S. workforce, how the pace of change is moving faster than ever anticipated, and what can and is being done to keep Americans working.

WorkingNation has assembled a talented editorial team comprised of network journalists with years of experience in production and hard news.

The next phase of original content funded by the Lumina grant will cover subjects including the hollowing out of the American middle class, the importance of lifelong postsecondary education and training amid economic upheaval, and the effects of technological shifts on the U.S. workforce.

Tri-C fire academy cadets Dwayne Johnson, Nicholas Giavonnette and Savon Collins. Photo – Jonathan Barenboim

Additionally, WorkingNation will highlight pioneering organizations and initiatives that are training American workers for the future of work and emphasizing education beyond high school as a lifelong endeavor.

“WorkingNation is telling solutions-oriented stories that benefit all of us like no one else,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “These stories highlight how much the nation’s system of educating people beyond high school still needs to evolve to prepare Americans for a rapidly changing economy.”

RELATED STORY: Lumina Foundation’s Jamie Merisotis and WorkingNation’s Joan Lynch appear at The Atlantic’s Future of Work 2017 summit

“Lumina Foundation is the country’s leader in advocating for postsecondary training and education as the avenue to a sustainable future,” said Art Bilger, founder and CEO of WorkingNation. “We are thrilled to be working closely with Lumina to develop content that shows the American public how a rapidly changing U.S. economy is making the need for postsecondary training and re-skilling even more imperative than ever before.”

To date, WorkingNation has released the animated mini-documentary “Slope of the Curve” illustrating how advances in technology and others factors are contributing to a growing skills gap in the United States.

The mini-documentary series “FutureProof” takes a look at how companies such as Toyota are equipping employees with skills that won’t be automated.

The “Do Something Awesome” series shines a light on programs across the country working to prepare Americans for jobs of the future.

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