How Local Partners Can Rebuild the Workforce Equitably

Posted by Strada Education Network on March 8, 2022

Even before the pandemic, employers struggled to find the skilled labor they needed to fill jobs. And many workers found themselves in jobs they found unsatisfying for any number of reasons: an unclear career path, inadequate pay, or a lack of meaningful purpose in the work.

By the end of 2021, there were 10.9 million job openings in the United States. That’s more than a million more job openings than people looking for work.

Michele Chang, deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Economic Development Administration — a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce — joined Strada Impact President Ruth V. Watkins on a recent episode of Strada’s podcast, “Lessons Earned,” to discuss the Good Jobs Challenge, an ambitious federal initiative to fund workforce training programs throughout the country.

The program funds holistic regional workforce systems built around strong partnerships that lead to well-paying jobs. It prioritizes equity and includes investments in wraparound services that ease barriers for those workers hardest hit by the pandemic, including women and people of color.

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