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Together, We Can Be #ANationThatWorks

By Tara Maguire, Workforce Research & Policy Fellow, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
2016-08-24 - Nation That Works Poster_Minimal Text

What’s it going to take to end chronic unemployment and poverty for all Americans? What’s it going to take to make us #ANationThatWorks for everyone? On October 25 through 27 in Chicago, we invite you tackle these tough questions at our national conference, A Nation That Works: What’s It Going to Take? There, you’ll encounter a wide range of content lifting up solutions to end chronic unemployment, supporting the adoption of best and promising employment practices for the people who need them most, and advancing policy solutions and systems change for addressing chronic unemployment and poverty. We’ll also highlight efforts in Chicago and across the country to improve job quality for low-wage workers. Excited? We are! Read on to learn more about what to expect at #ANationThatWorks.

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Baltimore’s Connections Project Applies a Racial Equity Lens to Economic Opportunity for Homeless Jobseekers

By: Kyle Pierce, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

father and daughters

To wrap up our Connections Project blog series, the National Initiatives team chatted with Hannah Roberts, who coordinates Baltimore’s Journey to Jobs project. Looking at homelessness through a racial equity lens, Journey to Jobs aims to increase economic opportunity for homeless jobseekers by tackling two barriers to employment that disproportionally impact people of color: criminal records and child support payments.  In our conversation, Hannah shares how she’s working with Baltimore’s Connections Project team to develop savvy partnerships, gather data, and shape system-wide collaboration to expand employment and economic opportunity for Baltimore’s homeless jobseekers.

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Seattle/King County’s Connections Project is Already Seeing the Benefits of Connecting Housing and Employment

By Leiha Edmonds, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Matoso_20100719_1845

For our first Connections Project post of the New Year, we’re pleased to introduce Seattle/King County’s Home & Work. As part of our blog series highlighting our National Center on Employment and Homelessness’ Connections Project, this month we’re talking with Home & Work’s Nick Codd, Associate Director of Building Changes, about seeing exciting results when it comes to connecting employment and housing. From employment navigators to expanding flexible funding to address homelessness, we discuss what’s in store for their Connections Project in 2016.

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Transitional Jobs Programs Need to Prioritize Job Quality

By Chris Warland, Associate Director for Field Building, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Photo via San Jacinto College.

Photo via San Jacinto College.

Job quality for entry-level workers in the US is pretty dismal. The minimum wage is historically very low when adjusted for inflation, wage theft and other violations of wage and hour laws are commonplace, and employers often limit workers to part-time status or misclassify them as independent contractors in order to avoid offering benefits or paying overtime. New scheduling software allows employers to assign workers for short, unpredictable shifts in a way that maximizes profit but makes it difficult to plan transportation, arrange for childcare, or work more than one job (which is often necessary when you’re limited to part-time work).

We know that just getting a job is often not enough to allow an individual or family to escape poverty in America. There are millions of “working poor” Americans for whom the promise of hard work as a means to stability and security has not materialized. Over sixty-five percent of households living in poverty contain at least one working adult.

If transitional jobs programs succeed only in moving job seekers from chronic unemployment into low-wage, low-quality jobs, we have failed. We are merely adding to the numbers of the “working poor”—and we can do better.

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