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Onboarding Young Workers in a Post-Pandemic World

May 4, 2022

Labor shortages are widespread, workers are expecting higher starting wages, and after employers hire and train a new employee the risk that they will jump ship for a better paying job is probably the highest it has ever been. The cost of hiring the wrong candidate has never been higher. How can employers do a better job at hiring and retention? We talked with workforce development professionals –people who help employers find workers and young adults find jobs– to document what employers can do to make good hires, ones that last. In this report we focus on what they see as working and what tends to fail when onboarding new young employees. Our goal is to help employers examine their hiring and onboarding practices, increase the speed at which new hires become productive team members, and reduce the high financial and emotional cost of turnover from failed hires.In this environment of short-staffing and difficulty finding new employees, some firms are raising wages, offering more full-time positions, redesigning jobs to include better benefits, and offering signing bonuses. These are important, but so are more subtle aspects of onboarding, especially those having to do with developing mutual respect and trust between the employer and the new hire. Both employers and employees need hiring to be done right. In this study we share ten lessons to help employers hire right. The workforce specialists learned these lessons observing the typical mistakes employers make, sometimes over and over again. 

Racial Equity and Policy Toolkit

January 31, 2022

This toolkit will serve as a guide for the Washington State Labor Council's legislative program as they continue to build power for all working people and integrate racial equity into all that they do.

Resilience amid Uncertainty: The on-going impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on nonprofits in Washington State

December 14, 2021

This report represents the second phase of on-going research to understand how nonprofits in Washington State have responded to the twin public health crises of systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic. The first report focused on the initial phases of the pandemic from March to July 2020 and revealed that many nonprofits faced precarious financial and operational conditions precipitated by an increased demand for services and dwindling revenue sources. Our second phase sought to understand how nonprofits fared in the subsequent period, specifically to investigate (a) how nonprofits, especially organizations led by and serving communities of color, which bore the greatest burden of the twin pandemics, have been able to navigate, (b) the types of support that organizations have been able to access, what that support has allowed them to do (i.e. the needs it covered), the sufficiency of that support to meet organizational needs, and any challenges experienced in receiving support, and (c) the financial and operational outlook for the future of nonprofits in Washington State.We interviewed 37 nonprofit leaders located across Washington State from March to August 2021. Our sample included many of our 2020 survey respondents as well as nonprofits serving communities of color and rural communities. Our interviews revealed that nonprofits responded to the twin pandemics with resilience, compassion, and initiative. 

Gun Violence in Washington State by the Numbers

December 13, 2021

Gun violence is a public health crisis impacting every corner of the state. Though every Washingtonian is impacted by the gun violence epidemic, we are not impacted equally. These numbers help illustrate the crisis in our communities.

The Power and Problem of Criminal Justice Data: A Twenty-State Review

June 30, 2021

Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.

Asian Immigrant Experiences with Racism, Immigration-Related Fears, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 18, 2021

Asian immigrants have faced multiple challenges in the past year. There has been a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, driven, in part, by inflammatory rhetoric related to the coronavirus pandemic, which has spurred the federal government to make a recent statement condemning and denouncing acts of racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian American communities and to enact the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. At the same time, immigrants living in the U.S. have experienced a range of increased health and financial risks associated with COVID-19. These risks and barriers may have been compounded by immigration policy changes made by the Trump administration that increased fears among immigrant families and made some more reluctant to access programs and services, including health coverage and health care. Although the Biden administration has since reversed many of these policies, they may continue to have lingering effects among families.Limited data are available to understand how immigrants have been affected by the pandemic, and there are particularly little data available to understand the experiences of Asian immigrants even though they are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the U.S. and are projected to become the nation's largest immigrant group over the next 35 years. To help fill these gaps in information, this analysis provides insight into recent experiences with racism and discrimination, immigration-related fears, and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among Asian immigrant patients at four community health centers.The findings are based on a KFF survey with a convenience sample of 1,086 Asian American patients at four community health centers. Respondents were largely low-income and 80% were born outside the United States. The survey was conducted between February 15 and April 12, 2021. 

Centering Black Families and Justice-Focused Educators During Pandemic Remote Learning (Spring-Fall 2020)

February 1, 2021

The purpose of this report is to share aspects of the experiences and priorities of Black families — including their culturally affirming practices — and of educators to enable Seattle Public Schools to improve instruction, support, and equity for students and families during remote learning (and beyond). 

Local Impacts of a Global Crisis: How Washington state nonprofits are responding to COVID-19

November 2, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has caused deep and widespread strain across sectors and individuals since taking hold in early 2020. Despite this adversity, nonprofits—especially those comprising the modern social safety net—have continued to serve their communities during this tumultuous time (Kulish, 2020). This report seeks to understand (a) the major challenges facing nonprofits in Washington state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, (b) the strategies that nonprofits are using to mitigate the effects of the crisis, (c) how nonprofits are experiencing changes in funder relationships as a result of the crisis, (d) the degree to which nonprofits in the state have accessed assistance under the CARES Act, and (e) the most pressing needs nonprofits have as they face the ongoing uncertainty and hardship presented by COVID-19.

Misdemeanor Enforcement Trends Across Seven U.S. Jurisdictions

October 1, 2020

This paper, which is a product of DCJ's Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice ("the Research Network"), examines long-term trends in lower-level enforcement across seven U.S. jurisdictions:  Durham, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY;  New York City, NY; Prince George's County; MD; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO. It draws both on reports that were produced through partnerships between local researchers and criminal justice agency partners as well as updated data the Research Network has published through an interactive online dashboard. The paper analyzed cross-jurisdictional trends in enforcement, including misdemeanor arrest rates broadly, by demographics (race/age/sex), and by charge.

The Case for Investing in King County’s Black-Led Organizations

August 17, 2020

Black residents in King County have faced immeasurable layers of harm, due to systemic racism, redlining, underemployment, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the implementation of systematic barriers, which have prevented Blacks from accessing traditional pathways to wealth and economic security in the region. In alignment with its commitment to advancing racial equity and in support of Black residents, Seattle Foundation invested in learning how to better support the work of Black-led organizations (BLOs) through a partnership with Byrd Barr Place and Cardea. The project team worked to explore the strengths, challenges, and opportunities for alignment across BLOs.The intent of this report is to enhance funders' understanding of local BLOs, so they can provide tailored philanthropic support that meets the needs of BLOs and so BLOs in the King County region can better understand each other's work.

Black Funding Denied: Community Foundation Support for Black Communities

August 1, 2020

In light of the national uprising sparked by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and building on other recent tragic movement moments going back to the 2014 murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri), NCRP is analyzing grantmaking by community foundations across the country to find out exactly how much they are – or are not – investing in Black communities.We started by looking at the latest available grantmaking data (2016-2018) of 25 community foundations (CFs) – from Los Angeles to New Orleans to New York City to St. Paul. These foundations represent a cross section of some of the country's largest community foundations as well as foundations in communities where NCRP has Black-led nonprofit allies.

The Great Service Divide: Occupational Segregation, Inequality, and the Promise of a Living Wage in the Seattle Restaurant Industry

July 1, 2020

With 40 percent of the Washington restaurant workforce composed of workers of color, restaurant professions could provide real pathways to living-wage professions for Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous workers.3 However, the current structure of the industry denies living-wage opportunities to a large percentage of this diverse workforce. In order to determine the role of passive or implicit, and active discrimination in hiring practices in Seattle's restaurant industry, the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United has partnered with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights to examine restaurant hiring practices and the experiences of workers of color. Utilizing census data to analyze segregation patterns within the industry, matched pair audit tests of job seekers, and interviews and focus groups with restaurant workers, we examined patterns of discrimination in the industry in order to craft proposals to support and encourage the adoption of racial equity practices by employers and the industry at large.