The Economic Opportunities Program’s Workforce Strategies Initiative conducts research and evaluation to explore strategies that help workers attain stability and mobility, including through training, education, and broader systems change. As we enter 2018, I want to take this moment to share some of the exciting work that you can expect from WSI this year.
Increasing access to quality jobs
WSI’s recent research has focused on “raise the floor and build ladders” strategies, which improve the quality of jobs and promote mobility for low-wage workers. In 2018, we will continue learning with local partners and experimenting with strategies to work with businesses to improve job stability and mobility in the retail sector and beyond. We are learning from the work of innovative leaders such as the Economic Opportunities Program’s 2017-18 Job Quality Fellows, who are exploring and developing promising job quality strategies across the country.
WSI is also pleased to be working with FIELD, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and the New World Foundation on the Quality Jobs Fund – an initiative to enhance community wealth and opportunities for working families through quality job expansion in underserved communities. We are excited to evaluate and learn from the New World Foundation’s investments throughout the year and will be sharing insights on the new WSI website and the Aspen Institute blog.
Exploring strategies for inclusion
WSI will also explore policies, practices, and strategies to promote equity and inclusion in today’s dynamic economy. Over the next few months, we will be releasing results from our survey of programs that provide pathways for entry-level job-seekers to construction trades work or registered apprenticeship programs. We will release new research on a workforce development strategy that builds a step of interim employment into the continuum of services to prepare young adults for long-term career opportunities.
Highlighting intersecting opportunities
Throughout 2018, WSI leaders will engage with the workforce development, business, economic, and higher education communities to highlight the intersecting roles we all have to play in restoring the promise of work. Maureen Conway recently shared her ideas for more integrated economic opportunity strategies this year among these key sectors.
We are excited about plans to expand our local workforce leadership academies in 2018. We’ll be working in more communities to help build capacity to implement strategies that respond to the complex challenges in today’s economy and advance opportunity for working people.
We look forward to sharing our work with you in the months to come and hope you will continue to follow WSI’s updates throughout 2018. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. We are currently conducting a survey on EOP’s and WSI’s publications, events, and leadership and networking programs. You can let us know what you think of our work by filling out that survey or tweeting @AspenWorkforce. We hope to hear from you!