By Chris Warland, Associate Director for Field Building, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
In order to operationalize our team’s belief that everyone who wants to work should have a job, we need to ensure that everyone who seeks employment services receives meaningful assistance.
But that doesn’t always happen.
All too often the people who are most in need of help in finding and keeping a job are the ones least likely to get that help. Instead, employment service providers may be unwilling or ill-equipped to serve jobseekers deemed “not ready” for work or “not motivated” to participate in programming. Or programs may have rules, policies, schedules, structures, or eligibility requirements that make it more difficult for jobseekers who face more barriers to access and remain in programming. For those of us committed to providing employment opportunities to every jobseeker, it is essential to identify and address all the ways in which people can be excluded from employment services.
By Melissa Young, Director, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity & Chris Warland, Associate Director for Field Building, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
Transitional jobs and subsidized employment interventions do a great job of helping people who would not otherwise be working to earn income and gain work experience. However, these interventions have not been shown to affect long-term workforce attachment. This is likely because participants typically face structural barriers and systemic exclusion from labor markets and economic opportunity that can’t be adequately remedied by a time-limited programmatic response.
In order to leverage what subsidized employment does well (get people working) and achieve what it does not (boost long-term labor force participation), we need to consider extending the scope and duration of available subsidized employment, including indefinite and permanent subsidized work opportunities. As we work toward our goal of a nationwide, federally-funded subsidized employment initiative, it is time to reconsider our assumptions about the goals and outcomes of subsidized employment, and offer jobseekers opportunities to work as long as it takes to achieve success.
By Melissa Young, Director, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity and Chris Warland, Associate Director for Field Building, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
At Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, our policy goals and program recommendations are based on research, evidence, and data—but they are also driven by values rooted in human rights and the dignity of all people. These are the values that have guided our work in the employment field since our inception. This Labor Day, we are reflecting on our commitments and looking forward to help establish these values and principles throughout the nation for the benefit of every person who wants to work.
By Chris Warland, Associate Director of Field Building, Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
As Domestic Violence Awareness Month draws to a close, it’s important to focus some attention on one of the frequently overlooked consequences of domestic violence: disconnection from work. For many survivors of domestic violence, earned income is critical for becoming financially independent and escaping abusers. Perhaps for this reason, survivors’ attempts to access education, training, or employment are often met with sabotage by their abusers.
Employment is Part of the Solution: Reflections on the 2015 National Conference on Ending Homelessness
By Chris Warland, Associate Director of Field Building, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
We believe that every person deserves the opportunity to succeed in work and support themselves and their families—and we’re always excited to share this message. Last month, as a part of our work under National Initiatives’ new National Center on Employment & Homelessness (NCEH), we traveled to Washington, D.C., to present, moderate, network, and learn alongside thousands of stakeholders at the 2015 National Conference on Ending Homelessness hosted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH). When NAEH asked us to share our employment-related takeaways on their blog, we couldn’t wait. Here’s what we learned—and where we think the field needs to go.