Learning, Community, and Connection: What to Expect at SHIFT

SHIFT The Future of Workforce is just a few weeks away, and we’re excited to bring people together for the chance to learn from some of the field’s best and brightest.

With the national spotlight on workers and the workforce like never before, we have a unique opportunity to push our field forward. This moment calls for new action, bold ideas, and forward-thinking that will move us ever closer to an equitable economy for everyone. We need to SHIFT.

I am delighted to share our plenaries, where we will all come together to explore a few important topics that have been especially relevant to our network.

  • Who’s Got Which Job? Digging Into the Drivers of Occupational Segregation. Race and gender segregation by job category is a reality in America’s workforce. Anne Price, President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, will host a conversation about the key drivers of occupational segregation. Together we will explore the narratives, policies, and resource decisions that hold occupational segregation in place and reflect on our power to shift those drivers.
  • Trauma and Resilience: How we are Shifting our Workplaces. How does toxic stress and trauma impact an individual’s career trajectory and the success of businesses? What can we do to create practices or policies that build resiliency? During this plenary, we will explore the answers to these questions with a range of experts and others that are actively addressing trauma in the context of work.
  • Turning Up the Volume on Worker Voice. Whether it is the waves of union organizing or the Great Resignation, workers are looking to have a greater voice in their workplace. Worker voice is a critical part of equitable and inclusive worker success strategies, it is a whole-of-workplace approach in which frontline employees influence their workplace and their experience at work. We will explore labor management organizations, worker-led technology, worker cooperatives and worker ownership as models that center worker voice.
  • Caring for the Caregivers: Healthcare Workforce Development in Challenging Times. Learn how healthcare leaders are navigating the tension of addressing urgent staffing needs in context of the COVID-19 pandemic and sustained trauma while maintaining a commitment to long-term strategies to improve racial equity and job quality.

As we think about the challenges facing us and the work ahead, we have identified four main themes to carry us through this year’s convening: job quality, centering workers, changing systems and narratives, and data and evaluation as tools for advancing racial equity. Get a taste of what each of these themes will cover and learn about some of the incredible workshop sessions we will be offering at SHIFT.

With job quality, we will be talking about hiring, engagement, and advancement and retention practices. One session we’re excited about is Designing a Human-Centered Workplace, where we will take a dive through the methodology for effective partnerships with employers to transform workplace practices.

Centering workers will explore worker voice, worker power, and equitable training and supports. In Centering Immigrant Workers’ Voices and Power in Workforce Programs, experts and practitioners will share how practices are being designed, implemented, and evaluated in partnerships with immigrant workers across a variety of business sectors.

Changing systems and narratives will get into how we can change local systems and different policy approaches available. Participants in Shifting the Narrative: Elements of Communicating to Move Public Imagination Toward Change will work to deconstruct prevailing social narratives and identify interventions that will help guide their communications work.

Finally, data and evaluation as tools for advancing equity will give us a chance to share impact stories, job quality outcome maps, and evaluation methods. Attendees can learn how to focus on incremental and intentional change that accelerates results in the real world in Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycles: A Shift from Learning to Action.

Time is running out to register, and I hope you’ll sign up today.  See you in September!


Amanda Cage

-- President and CEO, National Fund for Workforce Solutions