New three-year grant from Prudential Financial will help communities and employers redesign local jobs to build a more inclusive economy
July 22, 2020 (Washington, DC) – The coronavirus pandemic has shown that too many workers in America are one missed paycheck away from financial devastation. As the nation responds to and recovers from the coronavirus, redesigning the economy around good jobs must be a priority. The National Fund for Workforce Solutions will expand its job quality portfolio to invest in the financial resiliency of frontline workers.
With a new $2 million grant from Prudential Financial, the National Fund will expand its already robust job quality portfolio to include more communities coming together to build an inclusive economy on the foundation of good jobs. The National Fund will work with employers and workers using a proven, flexible model for redesigning frontline jobs to make them better. The National Fund will also lead employers through essential, but challenging conversations around racial equity and inclusion in the workplace. Taking a holistic approach to job redesign, employers and workers alike can thrive.
“The pandemic has presented a unique opportunity to redesign a more inclusive economy,” said Janice Urbanik, director of innovation and strategy at the National Fund. “In the wake of the Great Recession, we focused too much on just training and placing workers into whatever jobs were available – most of which didn’t offer the stability workers needed. We must focus on building economy-boosting jobs where workers, employers, and communities can thrive.”
In line with their belief that financial security should be within the reach of everyone, Prudential is focused on equipping underserved communities with the support needed to put them on a path to social and economic prosperity.
“The disparities the pandemic has brought to light further demonstrate the need for quality jobs for all,” said Sarah Keh, Vice President of Social Responsibility & Partnerships at Prudential Financial. “As we work to build back from COVID-19 more equitably, our partnership with The National Fund will reimagine jobs to be more inclusive and give workers the skills of the future, putting them on the path to financial security.”
The National Fund will leverage research and best practices developed over the past five years working across its national network of workforce funder collaboratives. Currently, the National Fund network works actively and closely with over 85 employers in over a dozen communities to change business practices and make jobs better. Under this grant, the National Fund will encourage engaged employers to meet minimum job quality standards that provide workers with financial mobility and an opportunity to grow in their careers. These include practices such as paying family-sustaining wages, offering paid sick leave or financial wellness programming, and a commitment to equity and inclusion in the workplace.
About National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions invests in a dynamic national network of 30+ communities taking a demand-driven, evidence-based approach to workforce development. At the local level, the National Fund’s partner organizations contribute resources, test ideas, collect data, and improve public policies and business practices that help all workers succeed and employers have the talent they need to compete. Learn more at www.NationalFund.org.
Prudential was founded on the belief that financial security should be within reach for everyone. A strong sense of social responsibility has remained embedded in the company, guiding our efforts to help people now and in future generations achieve peace of mind and a more secure future. Prudential’s commitment to doing business the right way, strengthening communities and providing an inclusive work environment is reflected in its inclusion in awards such as the 2019 Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies and 2019 Fortune Change the World lists. In 2020, it also became one of the first institutional investors to grow and manage a $1 billion AUM impact investing portfolio.