past event
Employment and Jobs

The Low Cost of Good Jobs

Audio (MP3)

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In MIT Sloan professor Zeynep Ton’s game-changing book, The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs & Boost Profits, she discusses how companies such as Costco offer good jobs to workers, low prices and excellent service to customers, and great returns to shareholders all at the same time. What makes good jobs not only possible but very profitable—even in low-cost service businesses—is a set of counterintuitive choices that transforms the company’s investment in workers into high performance. What are these choices? Offer less, combine standardization with empowerment, cross-train, and operate with slack. It’s a combination that lowers operating costs, increases worker productivity, and, as “The Good Jobs Strategy” shows over and over, puts workers — yes, even cashiers and stockroom workers—at the center of a company’s success. In this strategy, “everyone — employees, customers, and investors — wins.” In this discussion, Ms. Ton and Mr. Richard Galanti, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Costco Wholesale Corporation, explore how the strategy works in a company like Costco and the implications for creating better jobs in our economy.


Featured speakers

Susan Crane
Executive director at SkillUp Washington

Sally Clark
Councilmember, Seattle City Council

Zeynep Ton
Associate professor, MIT Sloan School of Business

Richard Galanti
Executive vice president, chief financial officer and director of Costco Wholesale Corporation



Maureen Conway
Director, Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program


This event is part of the Working in America series, an ongoing discussion series hosted by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program that highlights an array of critical issues affecting low- and moderate-income workers in the United States and ideas for improving and expanding economic opportunities for working people. For more information, visit




Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #talkgoodjobs.

Event information
Fri Jun 13, 2014
3:30pm - 6:00pm GMT+0000
Town Hall
1119 Eighth Avenue (entrance to downstairs on Seneca St.)
Seattle, WA, United States