National Fund for Workforce Solutions has captured learning from the Advancing Workforce Equity project in a new guide for community stakeholders
Washington, DC, June 9, 2021 — Today the National Fund for Workforce Solutions releases a new guide to help communities advance workforce equity to support a thriving local economy.
Our workforce is growing more diverse, with the working-age population becoming majority people of color by 2039. Racial inequities in income already cost the U.S. economy about $2.3 trillion per year. Communities across the United States increasingly recognize the need to embrace an equity-focused approach to local and regional development, but often lack a clear strategy to move forward. This guide is designed to help communities work from intention and planning to data gathering and analysis to strategy development.
“These are complex problems that involve multiple interconnected systems,” said Michelle Wilson, director of learning and evaluation at the National Fund and lead author of the guide. “This guide helps cultivate a systems thinking mindset as you explore your region’s equity data, uncover problems, and develop strategies.”
Advancing Workforce Equity: A Guide for Stakeholders is aimed at a broad range of local actors, such as workforce development practitioners, community-based organizations, economic developers, and local government representatives.
The guide is informed by the National Fund’s equity work over the past two years. In partnership with PolicyLink, the National Fund led five cities through a process to build data-informed workforce equity strategies. The initial results of that process are captured in five regional workforce equity reports.
“We learned a lot from this process and wanted to share it broadly,” said Wilson. “We know that every community is different and this guide is intentionally broad in scope. There is no one way to do this work, but we can’t afford not to do it.”
Advancing Workforce Equity: A Guide for Stakeholders was developed by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and is a product of the Advancing Workforce Equity project, which was conducted in partnership with PolicyLink, USC Equity Research Institute, and Burning Glass Technologies, with support from JPMorgan Chase.