Aspen Institute’s 2022 Job Quality Fellows Advocating for Economy that Values Workers

February 24, 2022

Fellows will seize opportunities to advance workers’ rights during a period of widespread job dissatisfaction and mounting resignations  

Contact: Adrienne Lee
Economic Opportunities Program, Aspen Institute
[email protected]

Washington, DC, February 24, 2022 —Today, the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program is proud to announce a new class of Job Quality Fellows, who will work together over the coming year to strengthen and expand the availability of high-quality jobs in our economy. This cohort of Fellows includes leaders with varied perspectives and backgrounds from across the country who will focus on the intersection between workforce development, worker organizing, and advocacy to advance workers’ interests and boost job quality.

From “the Great Resignation” to pandemic upheavals and renewed unionization interest, this is a pivotal moment for collaborative action to confront the job quality crisis in the US. Factors that influence job quality include wages, benefits, opportunities to learn, working conditions that are safe and free from discrimination or harassment, and more. Not all of these factors are easily measured, but data on wages indicates that many jobs are low-quality jobs. Low job quality not only harms workers and their families, but also the US economy, society, and aspirations as a country.

This year’s fellows were selected from an impressive group of applicants to address these challenges directly. The 2022-2023 Job Quality Fellows are:

  • Lindsay Blumer, President and CEO, WRTP | BIG STEP (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Daniel Bustillo, Executive Director, Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP) (New York, NY)
  • Peter Callstrom, President and CEO, San Diego Workforce Partnership (San Diego, CA)
  • Sara Chester, Co-Executive Director, The Industrial Commons (Morganton, NC)
  • Bo Delp, Executive Director, Texas Climate Jobs Project (Austin, TX)
  • Alison Dickson, Senior Instructor, School of Labor and Employment Relations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Chicago, IL)
  • Neidi Dominguez, Executive Director, Unemployed Workers United (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Adrian Esquivel, Deputy Director, Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance (Chicago, IL)
  • Erik Forman, Co-Founder, The Drivers Cooperative (New York, NY)
  • Kimberly Shin, Managing Director, Talent Rewire at FSG (Seattle, WA)
  • Sekou Siby, President and CEO, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (New York, NY)
  • Saket Soni, Executive Director, Resilience Force (Washington, DC)
  • Roxana Tynan, Executive Director, LAANE (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy) (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Della Walker Jr., Director, Newark 2020 | Hire Newark at Newark Alliance (Newark, NJ)

“We are eager to get to work with this accomplished and passionate group of leaders dedicated to tackling the challenges of poor job quality and economic inclusion,” said Maureen Conway, vice president and executive director of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute. “Workforce leaders and labor advocates both want to address the job quality crisis and improve the lives and livelihoods of working people, but these organizations have different strategies, networks, and capabilities, and often operate in ways that are disconnected. By bringing them together we have an unprecedented opportunity to elevate new approaches to foster quality work.”

As characterized by previous Fellows, a quality job is one in which individuals’ work is valued and respected and meaningfully contributes to the goals of the organization. It encompasses having a voice in the workplace and the opportunity to shape one’s work life, as well as having accessible opportunities to learn and grow.

“A free, just, and equitable society requires an economy that delivers quality jobs and inclusive opportunity,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “Leadership development is one of the Aspen Institute’s enduring methods for driving social change, and we are proud that our newest class of Job Quality Fellows are on the frontlines of delivering stronger economic outcomes for people and communities across the country.”

Organized by the Economic Opportunities Program and formed with generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Prudential Financial, Surdna Foundation, and a legacy gift from the Hitachi Foundation, this is the third class of Fellows since the program’s launch in 2017.

For more information about the Fellowship and the 2022 class, visit as.pn/jobquality.

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The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. We recognize that race, gender, and place intersect with and intensify the challenge of economic inequality and we address these dynamics by advancing an inclusive vision of economic justice. For over 25 years, EOP has focused on expanding individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity. Learn more at www.aspeninstitute.org/programs/economic-opportunities-program.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

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