We are pleased to bring you the latest edition of the Economic Opportunities Program’s newsletter! Learn how the Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) and its initiatives are driving change and helping low- and moderate-income Americans connect to and thrive in a changing economy.
Exploring inequality and opportunities for inclusion
How can we improve the quality of jobs for America’s farmworkers? At our Working in America event, “I Am Not a Tractor: A Book Talk and Discussion on Worker-Driven Social Responsibility,” panelists described how Florida farmworkers are driving a corporate social responsibility strategy that is resulting in improved working conditions. They also discussed the potential of worker-driven social responsibility strategies to improve conditions for more workers in agriculture and other industries. Watch the full video online and read a blog recap of the event.
At our Working in America event, “Drivers of Opportunity: How Will Latinos Shape the Future of the American Dream?” panelists discussed how the success of the US economy will become increasingly tied to the economic success of Latino Americans as this population group continues to grow. They offered insights into policies, practices, and strategies to improve job quality, increase skills and access to high-quality jobs, and expand Latino business ownership. They also discussed barriers that affect Latino workers’ ability to secure economic stability and mobility for themselves, their families, and communities. Watch the full video online and read a blog recap of the event.
Increasing access to quality jobs
Learn more about the work of EOP’s Job Quality Fellows. New multimedia profiles of our 2017-18 Job Quality Fellows describe their approaches to improve job quality in their communities.The Fellows recently released a statement of purpose describing their shared vision for a more inclusive and equitable future. Look for more profiles and updates on our Fellows’ work in the coming months
EOP hosted a Reimagine Retail webinar, “Insights on engaging with retail employers: A Conversation with Carrie Gleason.” Reimagine Retail aims to explore ways to enhance job quality and improve mobility for workers in retail. In this discussion, Carrie Gleason of the Center for Popular Democracy shares insights on how she approaches conversations with retail company representatives to learn about workplace practices that affect worker stability and mobility and companies’ ability to retain a skilled workforce. Carrie also discusses findings from CPD’s survey of more than 1,000 retail workers and managers about their perceptions of challenges and opportunities in the sector.
Finally, EOP is pleased to be working with 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 serve as evaluation partner for this innovative initiative, which announced its first investment in California’s Central Valley Fund last month.
Tweet now: EOP is increasing access to quality jobs, from the #AspenJobQuality Fellowship (as.pn/jobquality) to Reimagine Retail (as.pn/reimagineretail) to its role in the new @QualityJobsFund (qualityjobsfund.org).
Advancing new strategies and promising ideas
In recent months, we have seen three signs that the upskilling movement is gaining momentum among businesses, investors, and frontline workers.To document these exciting developments, UpSkill America director Jaime Fall updated the UpSkilling Playbook for Employers to include more reasons to care about upskilling and more examples of successful upskilling programs.
How can we create a more dynamic and inclusive economy? In “Creating Effective Policies to Support Entrepreneurship,” FIELD director Joyce Klein offers her insights on how we can create more effective policies to support entrepreneurs who have long faced barriers to starting and growing businesses: women and people of color.
FIELD convened the Microfinance Impact Collaborative in Dallas to discuss capitalization and liquidity strategies for high-volume microlenders. Joyce Klein also spoke at the CDFI Coalition Institute about entrepreneurship, financial platforms, lending, and other strategies and opportunities to address the racial wealth gap.
What else should you expect from the Economic Opportunities Program and its initiatives in the coming months? WSI, FIELD, and UpSkill America each shared their ideas, priorities, and planned work for this year. Learn more.
Tweet now: EOP is advancing new strategies & promising ideas. Read @AspenMicro’s Joyce Klein on helping entrepreneurs, @UpSkillAmerica’s @Jaimen8r on #upskilling in 2018, & new materials in our UpSkilling Playbook.
Upcoming for the Economic Opportunities Program
On March 8, the Aspen Institute will host the 2018 Summit on Inequality and Opportunity at Arena Stage. This all-day event will convene 400+ policymakers, civic leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and practitioners from all over the country for a day of ideas, problem-solving, and values-based exchange. It will also feature a panel discussion on job quality strategies with three of EOP’s 2017-2018 Job Quality Fellows.
From the Aspen Institute blog
Join the conversation
Follow the Economic Opportunities Program initiatives on social media to join the conversation!
“Good jobs are good for companies – reducing turnover, increasing profitability – as well as for their employees, and for their communities.” -Betsy Biemann, @CEIMaine #AspenJobQuality https://t.co/VzhaJOO6v6 pic.twitter.com/giO1RtOHx5
— Workforce Strategies (@AspenWorkforce) January 26, 2018
— FIELD at Aspen (@AspenMicro) January 12, 2018
— UpSkill America (@upskillamerica) February 15, 2018
— Workforce Strategies (@AspenWorkforce) January 18, 2018
The Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) advances promising strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in a changing economy. Over its 25 years of work, EOP has focused on expanding individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, to start businesses, and to build assets and economic stability. For more information, visit aspeninstitute.org/eop.
EOP has several initiatives, including the Workforce Strategies Initiative, FIELD, UpSkill America, and Good Companies/Good Jobs. Learn more about these initiatives by visiting their respective websites: aspeninstitute.org/wsi, aspeninstitute.org/field, aspeninsitute.org/gcgj, and aspeninstitute.org/upskill.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, CO; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit aspeninstitute.org.
Thank you to our many partners and funders for supporting our efforts.
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Tweet EOP is increasing access to quality jobs, from the #AspenJobQuality Fellowship (as.pn/jobquality) to Reimagine Retail (as.pn/reimagineretail) to its role in the new @QualityJobsFund (qualityjobsfund.org).
Tweet EOP is advancing new strategies & promising ideas. Read @AspenMicro’s Joyce Klein on helping entrepreneurs, @UpSkillAmerica’s @Jaimen8r on #upskilling in 2018, & new materials in our UpSkilling Playbook.
Tweet It’s been a busy start to 2018. Learn how the @AspenInstitute Economic Opportunities Program (@AspenWorkforce, @AspenMicro, @UpSkillAmerica) is driving change and helping low- and moderate-income Americans connect to and thrive in a changing economy.