inclusion

Organizations unveil fresh approaches to address workforce challenges

In a year that has seen the economy drop off a cliff, unemployment skyrocket and racial discrimination shock the consciousness of a nation, one might think all hope is lost. But there are those who are working to take this moment in time and re-emerge on the other side a stronger, more inclusive nation. As many workers face the prospect of a job that may never return, Americans in a more comfortable position who have been able to shift their work to remote locations have applauded the work of those left on the front lines during the current pandemic. And a realization that the economy wasn’t always working for all, and the American dream was becoming more of a nightmare for large segments of the population, is coalescing into action for better jobs and greater inclusion.

This week, an alliance of workforce partners has begun to release a suite of tools designed to help those who have worked to build their skills through experience, but lack a four-year degree. A recent report reveals how those who have worked to build their skill set have nonetheless experienced stagnant or downward wage trajectories. Turning that tide to a more positive outcome is the driving force behind many in the workforce development field. In this story we look at the efforts of Opportunity@Work and the Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, both of which are part of Markle’s initiative known as Rework America Alliance.

$16 trillion economic cost of racial discrimination for last 20 years; manufacturing organizations focusing on workforce equity

Against the backdrop of a recent report from Citigroup Global Perspectives & Solutions that tags the cost of failing to address the racial gaps between Blacks and whites in the U.S. economy over the last 20 years at $16 trillion, the Industry and Inclusion initiative — a joint effort by the Urban Manufacturing Alliance and the Century Foundation — is working towards making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) the centerpiece of workforce development strategy. Highlighting best practices for supporting people of color in accessing and building wealth through opportunities in manufacturing, the initiative offers a framework for all workforce development organizations to accelerate their efforts in closing racial equity gaps.

Inclusive innovation ecosystem prize competition launched

The Lab-to-Market (L2M) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Science and Technology Enterprise is launching a $325,000 prize competition to highlight successful examples of innovation ecosystems, particularly existing resources that support underserved communities or remarkable responses to the pandemic environment. There are three categories for applicants with an informational webinar

Where are the women? An examination of women's participation in the SBIR/STTR program

A recent report by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) found that participation rates in the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs by women-owned small businesses (WOSB) has essentially remained flat since 2011. Although participation rates vary by awarding agency, the report highlights several barriers faced by women entrepreneurs. Despite the gloomy findings, the report features promising practices from entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) that may “right the ship” in supporting women entrepreneurs through the SBIR/STTR program.

COVID-19 magnifying economic inequality

COVID-19 is not just wreaking havoc across the national and global economies but is specifically causing that damage in a way that widens the existing fault lines between the “haves” and “have-nots.” Further, as countries and companies contemplate the possibility of managing operations alongside the new coronavirus, rather than an entirely “post-COVID” society, there is little reason to believe the worsening economic inequality will mend without specific intervention. The problem will not be easy to solve.

Biotech industry diversity examined

The biotechnology industry has made progress in increasing representation, especially in pre-revenue, smaller and private companies, however, diversity and inclusion programming is still in the nascent stages at most companies responding to a survey by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

TEAMing-UP to increase diversity in physics and astronomy

During 2018 and 2019, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) National Task Force to Elevate African American Representation in Undergraduate Physics & Astronomy (TEAM-UP), examined the persistent underrepresentation of African Americans in physics and astronomy in the U.S. as measured by bachelor’s degrees in these fields.

Women-owned businesses on the rise, but still lag in revenue, employee totals

The number of women-owned business has increased significantly in recent years, but more needs to be done to level the playing field to increase the revenue and employee counts of these businesses, according to two recent studies. More venture capital is needed, as well as mentoring, training and opportunities for women of color.

Focus on inclusive ecosystems to build entrepreneurship and growth

A new report from the Kansas City Federal Reserve and Opportunity HUB (OHUB) reveals the importance of building an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem. Authored by Dell Gines of the Kansas City Federal Reserve and Rodney Sampson, chairman and chief executive officer of Opportunity Hub, the report examines how entrepreneurship ecosystem building has lacked an emphasis on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Degree requirements dropped as equity sought in workplace

At a time when higher education degrees are both under scrutiny and lauded, one county government in Colorado is experimenting with an initiative that has eliminated degree requirements for more than 80 positions. It wasn’t the value of the degree that prompted the move, but the question of equity and wanting to achieve a more inclusive workforce. While such moves are rare, similar efforts may blaze the way to new workforce requirements and advancements and help inclusion.

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