Employment and Jobs

Moving Beyond Gratitude: Opportunities to Improve Essential Work

Event information

Among the many unexpected lessons of 2020 was a recognition of the importance of essential workers. We saw how much we rely on the people who work in our food systems, who care for our children and our loved ones, who deliver packages, and who keep our public spaces clean. We learned to say thank you to so many of them, and in this season of thanks, we will come together to reflect on how we can do more than say thank you by improving the quality of essential jobs. As the year draws to a close, join us for our virtual discussion on the important role of essential workers in our economy and society and a variety of approaches for improving essential work.

Our speakers include Angelina Drake (Chief Operating Officer at PHI, Aspen Institute Job Quality Fellow, and former home care worker); Terrill Haigler/Ya Fav Trash Man (Philadelphia Sanitation Worker); Linda Nguyen (Chief of Staff at the UFCW Local 770 and Aspen Institute Job Quality Fellow); Zeynep Ton (Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management and author of The Good Jobs Strategy); moderator E.J. Dionne (Columnist at the Washington Post and EOP Advisory Council member); and more to be announced.



Webinar: “Moving Beyond Gratitude: Opportunities to Improve Essential Work.” Dec 15, 2pm ET. Featuring guests from @PHInational, @UFCW770, @MITSloan, @washingtonpost, and more. Hosted by @AspenWorkforce. RSVP at as.pn/essential and join the conversation #talkopportunity.


Opportunity in America

The Economic Opportunities Program’s Opportunity in America discussion series has moved to an all-virtual format as we all do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the conversations about the changing landscape of economic opportunity in the US and implications for individuals, families, and communities across the country remain vitally important. We hope you will participate as we bring our discussions to you in virtual formats, and we look forward to your feedback.

We are grateful to the Ford Foundation, Prudential Financial, Walmart.org, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, and the Surdna Foundation for their support of this series.


Learn More

The Economic Opportunities Program advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. Follow us on social media and join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on publications, blog posts, events, and other announcements.