Last year, Congress designated September as National Workforce Development Month to celebrate investments in the U.S. workforce that lead to increased economic opportunities. At the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, we are highlighting the workforce system improvements made in more than 30 partner communities that we serve. Workforce development impacts everyone, which is why at The National Fund, we work with all levels of the workforce ecosystem, from leaders in business, education, philanthropy, and most importantly, workers.
This is a unique labor market. Workers are at a premium and employers are scrambling for skilled staff. National unemployment numbers are low, but wages are stubbornly stagnant. These circumstances require employers, job seekers, and policymakers to rethink their approach. It’s no longer about attracting as many industries into their region as possible and then training up the local workforce to place in those industries. Now it’s about attracting new companies that offer good jobs, on-the-job training and clear career pathways, and help their region offer workers stable housing, childcare, and transportation to create livable communities with economic mobility.
To address these challenges, both employers and employees must know what a quality job looks like. The National Fund’s Job Design Framework gives employers a flexible menu to create good jobs — and engage workers in the process. By working with our local collaboratives and more than 2,500 participating employers, our message is quite simple: a good job is a competitive advantage.
We are seeing continual improvements in the communities where we work. By implementing new workforce development strategies, workers are benefiting from improved wages, steady hours, and opportunities for career advancement that were previously inaccessible. Employers of all sizes and in all sectors that provide quality jobs are able to attract, train, and retain and advance skilled staff, leading to a more engaged workforce, improved operations, and a better bottom line. More importantly, communities thrive when investing in all levels of their workforce. This September, the National Fund encourages you to learn more about the dynamic communities that are building a more inclusive workforce and creating economic mobility for more people.