Workforce Development

Catalyzing 21st Century Solutions to Expand Skill Development and Job Quality

Despite the economic gains achieved and the 13.4 million private jobs added since the Great Recession, many low-income Americans continue to struggle with accessing quality jobs and career advancement opportunities. In 2016, the Workforce Development Working Group will convene attendees from government, business, foundations, and nonprofits to develop cross-sector strategies that improve the conditions of low-wage work and equip workers with the skills needed to ascend today’s emerging career ladders.

2016 Subtopics

Career Pathways for High-Barrier Populations

A critical challenge in workforce development is addressing the unique needs of the long-term unemployed, formerly incarcerated, and Opportunity Youth. Attendees will develop tailored solutions and strategies to improve employment outcomes for people facing the greatest barriers to work.

Employer Engagement

Engaging employers is critical to helping workers gain the most desirable skills. Attendees will develop innovative strategies and partnerships that align training and education with employer talent needs, with the goal of bridging skills gaps and creating pathways to family-supporting careers.

Technology and Workforce Development

Cost remains a major barrier to achieving workforce impacts at scale. Attendees will determine how to leverage technology to provide effective online education and training at a dramatically lower cost, create a holistic approach to workforce outcomes, and help individuals secure quality employment.

Alternative Learning Models and Credentials

Apprenticeships and postsecondary credentials offer opportunities to acquire the skills needed to succeed in high-demand careers, and provide employers with a pipeline of skilled workers. Attendees will create cross-sector approaches that will increase access to apprenticeship opportunities, competency-based education, and credentials.

Innovative Commitments

Bridging Military and Civilian Medical Education

Commitment by: Medical Education and Training Campus (METC)
Commitment Partners: Team Rubicon; Colorado Community College System; Country Music Television; National Network of Healthcare Programs in Two Year Colleges; La Salle University; Pennsylvania State University; Renaissance Health Network; Achieving the Dream, Inc.; National Council for Workforce Education; State University of New York; City University of New York (CUNY)

In 2015, the METC, in consultation with the Ft. Sam Houston Education Service Office, committed to double the number of METC educational partnerships to 86 partnerships. The goal of this increase is to expand the number and diversity of career field and credentialing opportunities, as well as increase awareness of these programs among service members and veterans. The Commitment to Action aims to empower service members and veterans to attain educational degrees faster and cheaper and enter the civilian workforce with credentials and licensures based on their military education, training, and service.

Fair Care Pledge: Improving Jobs for Domestic Workers

Commitment by:, Inc.; National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
In 2015, and the NDWA committed to raise the job quality of domestic care workers by implementing the Fair Care Pledge, which requires employers of housecleaners, nannies, and home attendants who take the Pledge to commit to three job quality standards: fair pay, paid time off, and clear expectations.

Re-Engaging Adults Back into the Educational System

Commitment by: Cengage Learning
Commitment Partners: Smart Horizons Career Online Education; Kinexus; McDonald’s Corporation; Taco Bell Corp.; Brown Mackie College; Project Hope Alliance; SER National; Computer Systems Institute; Los Angeles Public Library

In 2013, Cengage Learning and ed2go—through Career Online High School—committed to partner with the Smart Horizons Career Online Education school district, employers in retail and food service, workforce agencies, nonprofit operators, academic institutions, and public entities to provide assistance with high school completion to 200 employees and/or prospective employees. To date, $1.1 million in scholarship commitments have been granted to serve 1,200 incumbent employees, adults, and disengaged youth.

Small Business Work Pathways for Opportunity Youth

Commitment by: Small Business Majority Foundation
Commitment Partners: The Rockefeller Foundation; Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Department of Labor; Rose Community Foundation; Blue Leopard Capital; Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber; Intertech Plastics, Inc.; Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance; Goodbee & Associates; Youth Policy Institute; Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board; Springfield Job Corps

In 2014, the Small Business Majority Foundation and its partners committed to study the issue of youth employment and engage small business owners in the effort to increase pathways for the country’s under-employed youth. To date, 160 commitments have been made by small businesses, exceeding the initial target. Small Business Majority Foundation will conduct focus groups with small business owners and use its outreach efforts to find 100 small businesses able to offer memberships, internships, and innovative hiring and training programs.

Featured Past Participants

American Association of Community Colleges
Burning Glass, Inc.
Farmers Insurance Group
Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
Jobs for the Future
The Joyce Foundation
McDonald’s Corporation
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Labor
Viacom, Inc.