Lafayette Square Announces Collaboration With Aspen Institute Focused on Modernizing Workplace Benefits and Community Impact

Lafayette Square, an impact investment platform, and the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization founded in 1949, announced a collaborative relationship focused on building financial security for the American worker and equitable access to workplace benefits.

In connection with the collaboration Lafayette Square will support the Aspen Institute’s Benefits21 initiative, focused specifically on creating a modernized system of public and private benefits that ensures financial security for all workers.

Lafayette Square will actively leverage Aspen Institute’s evidence-based research to support the development of innovative workplace benefits and identify what benefits and services companies should be offering to improve the lives of their workers.

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This announcement comes shortly after Lafayette Square announced their participation in the Good Jobs Champions group, a diverse group of leaders convened by The Families Workers Fund and supported by Lafayette Square, The Aspen Institute, Bloomberg Beta, and others with the goal to spur the growth of jobs that provide both economic security and upward mobility for all.

“We are proud to collaborate with the Aspen Institute to champion the Benefits21 initiative, with a joint vision of providing equitable access to workplace benefits for employees across the country,” said Antony Bugg-Levine, Managing Director and Co-Head of Community Impact at Lafayette Square. “We believe strongly in our model of combining capital and a comprehensive set of services such as workplace benefits to help entrepreneurs build financially secure workforces and, as a result, stronger and more successful companies.”

“The Aspen Institute understands that workplace benefits should meet the needs of their employee base, which can vary depending on community and place,” said Don Baylor Jr., Managing Director of Services and Co-Head of Community Impact at Lafayette Square. “With our combined data and resources, we can determine which solutions will generate impact that improves the financial stability of workers, particularly in low-to-moderate income communities.”

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Baylor Jr., has joined the Benefits21 Leadership Advisory Group at the Aspen Institute. As a member, Baylor Jr. will contribute his unique perspective on building an innovative, private sector human services platform that is integral to Lafayette Square’s impact investment model.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the team at Lafayette Square, who bring a unique private sector mentality and an actionable impact investment approach that aligns with our objectives of transforming the standard for workplace benefits,” said Ida Rademacher, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program. “Everyone needs benefits in order to be financially secure. Yet not every family has equal access to them across America. Benefits21 aims to address the antiquated, complex, and fragmented benefits system – centering workers, their needs, and their wellbeing.”

The Benefits21 initiative aims to transform public and private benefits along four key principles:

  • People-centric: making workers and their voice, life, and experience central to system design and delivery.
  • Interoperable: using technology to integrate benefit systems and platforms to ensure seamless and responsive access.
  • Portable: to ensure continuity of access and funding as workers transition to new jobs, enter new work arrangements and piece together different types of work.
  • Inclusive: to protect all workers regardless of the work arrangement and employment status.

Benefits21 convenes leaders across business, policy, nonprofit and research organizations who have the common goal of developing a more modern, inclusive, and equitable system of benefits. The initiative will engage with employers, benefit advisors, benefit providers and administrators, policymakers, and legislators to spark innovation and accelerate the paradigm shift to modernize benefits for the 21st century workforce.

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