Grantees will assist local employers in changing their business practices to improve hiring, retention and engagement of frontline workers
Washington, DC (July 19, 2018) – The National Fund for Workforce Solutions has announced that it is awarding grants to five cities to advance job quality strategies in multiple industries. The grants will enable local employers to incorporate new skill development strategies and/or business practices that will improve their competitiveness and result in better jobs for workers. The selected cities were chosen from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ network of more than 30 communities to lead this innovative program. Selected communities will develop and share successful approaches to improving the quality of frontline positions.
The National Fund’s Job Quality Initiative is focused on expanding the number of good jobs for American workers by promoting business practices and community investments that support workers and businesses. National Fund collaboratives will partner with companies to implement new hiring and training strategies that will enhance productivity and growth while improving key conditions for workers such as learning new skills, higher wages, better benefits, improved supervision, incentive bonuses, and opportunities for advancement.
“From our work with thousands of employers, we understand that a ‘good job’ is key for workers, companies and communities to succeed,” said Fred Dedrick, President and CEO of the National Fund. “By effectively hiring, training, engaging and empowering entry-level staff, companies create a competitive advantage. That is why our local partners are working directly with businesses to help them understand what ‘makes a good job’ and how to institute practices that sustain them.”
A total of five cities were the most recent recipients selected to participate in the National Fund’s Job Quality initiative. The National Fund is now funding 10 communities across the country to participate in its Job Quality Initiative. Each collaborative will be developing strategies tailored to their labor market, workforce system, employer partners and unique challenges. Programs in each city will begin on July 1.
Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative is using customer demand and aligned workforce skills building to create a “race to the top.” Through its partnership with Civic Works, a Baltimore-based nonprofit, activities related to this grant are focused on the green construction sector. In building a “Good Business Works Network” in Baltimore, BWFC and its local partners also are engaged in the promotion and development of quality jobs in the retail and restaurant sectors.
Chicagoland Workforce Funders Collaborative, in partnership with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), is addressing job quality issues by working directly with small and mid-sized manufacturing companies to change their business cultures and practices in ways that help both workers and firms.
Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance is working with the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/Building Industry Group Skilled Trades Employment Program (WRTP/BIG STEP) to address the challenges and opportunities for employers and job seekers in the construction industry. With a concerningly high rate of canceling/dropping out of construction-related apprenticeship programs, WFA and WRTP/BIG STEP will work with contractors in the region to develop strategies and tactics that create better skills and better jobs in the construction industry.
Work Train Collaborative, Syracuse is working with two healthcare systems to pursue job quality as a means of improving care and reducing turnover. Through their innovative Health Train program, Work Train is hoping to establish a talent pipeline, and challenge employers to revise hiring criteria that barred many from the workforce.
Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas is building on strong relationships with local advanced manufacturing employers, through the PACES project, to elevate living-wage jobs with cross training and financial literacy tools for frontline employers and supervisor training for managers.
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About National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a national network promoting economic opportunity and prosperous communities through investment and innovation. Based in Washington D.C., the National Fund partners with philanthropy, employers, workers, public and private community organizations, and more than 30 regional collaboratives to invest in skills, improve systems, and generate good jobs. The National Fund supports civic and business leaders in promoting evidence-based practices and policies that build shared prosperity. Learn more about the National Fund and its local partners at www.NationalFund.org.