With support from JPMorgan Chase, PolicyLink and the National Fund will identify barriers to good jobs and career advancement for vulnerable populations in ten U.S. cities
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 26, 2019) – Despite years of steady job growth, many U.S. workers are living paycheck to paycheck or not making enough to get by. With support from JPMorgan Chase & Co, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and PolicyLink will study current and future labor market trends and identify strategies to remove barriers, build viable career pathways, and create better opportunities to good jobs and advancement for vulnerable populations.
“Our national network of workforce collaboratives in 25 states know that too many low-wage workers, especially people of color, are not able to access good jobs with a solid career path,” said Fred Dedrick, president and CEO of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. “We need to understand what’s driving these inequities and tackle the causes head-on.”
Working in a total of ten U.S. metropolitan regions, the National Fund will organize local workforce equity working groups. These working groups will advise research and data collection through the National Equity Atlas, a comprehensive data resource that is a partnership between PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity. The research will assemble labor market data to uncover systemic factors contributing to workforce inequities. The working groups will use this data to help identify solutions for closing the equity gap.
The National Fund will partner with PolicyLink in the metro regions of San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, and Seattle. PolicyLink will expand this work in an additional five cities—Columbus, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and Nashville.
“Economic equity starts with ensuring that everyone can access good jobs and career pathways,” said Michael McAfee, president and CEO of PolicyLink. “In just ten years, people of color will be the majority of all young workers. Now is the time for bold approaches to prepare tomorrow’s workforce for the jobs of the future and knock down barriers. PolicyLink is honored to partner with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions to inform and support local leaders taking up this challenge across the country.”
This research and the recommendations will be published in a series of reports focusing on the systems and structures that create barriers to career opportunities. The ten reports will be released on a rolling basis between the fall of 2020 and the fall of 2021.
This work is part of JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills at Work initiative, a five-year, $350 million global investment helping people develop critical skills for in-demand careers through new investments in career mobility, workforce training for the future, and community colleges.
“The National Fund for Workforce Solutions and PolicyLink have been long-standing partners of JPMorgan Chase & Co, and we are excited to be working with these national organizations with deep local connections to ensure that our nation’s workforce systems and training investments benefit those who need it most” said Jennie Sparandara Head of Workforce Initiatives at JPMorgan Chase.
With support from JPMorgan Chase, the National Fund will also establish an innovation fund to spur new ideas that generate more equitable opportunities for low-skill and/or low-wage workers. These investments will support ideas, big or small, that lead to upward economic mobility and can be scaled and replicated to help more people of color benefit from a period of unprecedented economic growth.
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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, community organizations, and its 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 at www.NationalFund.org.
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®.