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Insights from Our Members

In our newest guest post, Robin Kramer of The Smidt Foundation discusses findings from two studies the Foundation commissioned through its Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Initiative: A JFF landscape of high school trades education in all 50 states, and nationwide opinion research from NORC at University of Chicago on attitudes about the trades from voters, parents and students.

"Why are we not prioritizing skilled trades education? Employers report a critical shortage of qualified workers. Students want to learn these skills, and their parents support them doing so. Voters across the spectrum are willing to pay for an increased investment in trades education and say they will support candidates who make it a priority. This is a rare moment of opportunity for alignment among educators, industry, policymakers, parents, and students to fulfill the promise that trades education offers.  Let’s make the most of it."

Read the Blog Post

Funder-to-Funder Email List Replaces Mobilize.io

Workforce Matters has retired our Mobilize.io social networking platform and replaced it with a traditional email discussion list managed by groups.io. The new list is open to all qualified Workforce Development grantmakers and provides a convenient platform for sharing announcements, exchanging information about new publications and research, and soliciting feedback or ideas from peers. Daily summary and digest options are available to help keep the volume of messages manageable.

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on our calendars

National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) Lunch & Learn

Dec 4 12:00 pm ET | Institute on Disability / UCED at the University of New Hampshire, Kessler Foundation | Online

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Past Lessons for Future Practice: Community Colleges and the Economic Recovery

Dec 8 2:00 pm ET | New America | Online

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Leveraging Data for Equity in a COVID-19 Economy: Next-Generation Labor Market Information

Dec 9  3:00 pm ET | JFF | Online

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Employer Power and Employee Skills: Understanding Workforce Training Programs in the Context of Labor Market Power

Dec 10 1:00 pm ET | Roosevelt Institute / WorkRise | Online

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Managing with Fairness: The Role of People Analytics

Dec 10 5:00 pm ET | Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT Sloan | Online

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Moving Beyond Gratitude: Opportunities to Improve Essential Work

Dec 15 2:00 pm ET | Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program | Online

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A National Reckoning on Race

Dec 17 2:00 pm ET | Economic Opportunity Funders

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new information + resources

2021 Federal Workforce Policy Preview

Curious about how emerging federal policy proposals and budget priorities might shape the context for your work in 2021 and beyond? With a new Congress and presidential term beginning in January 2021, many research, analysis, and advocacy organizations are beginning to roll out their 2021 recommendations. For your quick reference and comparison, we’re compiling them on our website as new publications come across our desks.

Check Out Our Federal Workforce Policy Preview

Please contact us if you’re aware of additional resources.


Seven Workforce Questions that Are Top of Mind During COVID-19: A Resource for Small Businesses

Nov 2020 | Aspen Institute | Jenny Weissbourd, Vivian Vázquez, and Ranita Jain

This tool addresses seven key questions small business owners have faced this year, including around safety, equity, customers, mental health, transportation, caregiving, and financial stability. Each question provides practical guidance, real-world examples, and helpful resources.

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42 Million Parents Whose Households Didn’t Move to Teleworking May Face Difficult Trade-Offs: Families Can Face Challenges in Finding Safe, Affordable Child Care

Nov 2020 | Urban Institute | Gina Adams

42 million American parents—including the vast majority of those with low incomes—have not had an adult in their household move to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. These parents can face challenging trade-offs between earning a living to support their family, protecting their family from COVID-19, and ensuring their children have the care and education they need to thrive.

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Workplace Basics: The Competencies Employers Want

Nov 2020 | Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce | Anthony P. Carnevale, Megan L. Fasules, and Kathryn Peltier Campbell

This new report explores how 120 knowledge areas, skills, and abilities are demanded across the workforce and within specific occupations.

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The Dual Crisis: How the COVID-19 Recession Deepens Racial and Economic Inequality Among Communities of Color

Nov 2020 | CLASP | Adewale Maye, Asha Banerjee, and Cameron Johnson

This new report analyzes Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment data from April through September 2020 and uncovers the stark disproportionate impact the of the COVID-19 recession on key communities including Black, Latinx, and Asian workers, women workers, youth aged 16-24, workers earning low wages, part-time/self-employed workers, public sector workers, and more. The brief also includes an analysis of rising household and food insecurity and the concerning trends in job gains and losses in the economy.

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