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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. 

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). 

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.

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.

Putting "Impact" at the Center of Impact Investing: A Case Study of How Green Canopy Designed its Impact Thesis

March 7, 2018

This case study documents the journey of one organization, Green Canopy Homes – and its financingarm, Green Canopy Capital – toward more systematically thinking about, measuring, and managing itsimpact. While developing the impact thesis for its resource-efficient homes, Green Canopy applied atheory of change tool, an approach common within the social sector, to systematically map the causalpathways between its strategies and intended impact. Its rationale for adopting this approach wassimple: use it to maximize impact, and understand and minimize possible harm. The tool also effectivelypositioned Green Canopy to measure and communicate about its social and environmental performance,and to make client-centric adaptations to its business.The case study provides an illuminating example of how investors can adapt theory of change toserve their impact management needs. By demonstrating the relevance and transferability of this toolfor articulating, measuring, and managing impact, the hope is that this case study can contribute tostrengthening other investors' approaches, in turn contributing to building the evidence base for the"impact" of impact investments.

Case Study: King County Rapid Re-Housing for Families Pilot

March 28, 2017

From 2013-15 in King County, Washington, the Rapid Re-Housing for Families pilot evaluated the effectiveness of enhancing rapid re-housing programming with employment navigators. This case study provides an overview of the pilot and its results. 

Connecting Young Adults to Skills and Jobs

January 1, 2017

The full report, Connecting Young Adults to Skills and Jobs: Lessons from the National Fund's Sectoral Strategies, provides in-depth analysis on the effectiveness of sectoral strategies in connecting young adults to employment and documents a range of local efforts from across the National Fund network.

How Boston and Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts: Funding for Cultural Nonprofits in Boston and 10 Other Metropolitan Centers

January 21, 2016

A new study commissioned by the Boston Foundation on how Boston and comparable cities support the arts shows that only New York City has higher per capita contributed revenue for the art than Boston, among major American cities.The study, titled "How Boston and Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts: Funding for Cultural Nonprofits in Boston and 10 Other Metropolitan Cities," also examined Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Portland Oregon, San Francisco, and Seattle. "How Boston" is a follow-up of sorts to a 2003 Boston Foundation report titled, "Funding for Cultural Organizations in Boston and Nine Other Metropolitan Areas."Key findings of this study, regarding Boston, include the fact that Boston's arts market is quite densely populated. While Greater Boston is the nation's 10th largest metro area and ranks ninth for total Gross Domestic Product, its non-profit arts market, which consists of more than 1,500 organizations, is comparable to that of New York and San Francisco, and consistently surpasses large cities such as Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia, in terms of the number of organizations and their per capita expenses.

Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness

July 11, 2015

A new 20-year study shows a link between children's social skills in kindergarten and their well-being in early adulthood.Researchers from Pennsylvania State and Duke Universities analyzed what happened to nearly 800 kindergarteners from four locations after their teachers measured their social competency skills in 1991. The children were evaluated on a range of social behaviors, such as whether they resolve peer problems, listen to others, share materials, cooperate, and are helpful. Each student then received a composite score representing his or her overall level of positive social skills/behavior, on a scale from ("not at all") to 4 ("very well"). The research team monitored these students and the positive and negative milestones each obtained until they turned 25.Using a variety of data sources, including official records; reports from parents; and self-reporting by the participants, researchers recorded whether the students obtained high school diplomas, college degrees, and full-time jobs. They also kept track of whether students developed a criminal record or substance abuse problems, among other negative outcomes.

Creating Pathways to Employment: The Role of Industry Partnerships in Preparing Low-Income Youth and Young Adults for Careers in High-Demand Industries

June 1, 2015

This report considers the best practices and the lessons learned from the National Fund's Youth/Industry Partnership Initiative (YIPI) which promoted investment in and engagement of young adult workers in Boston, MA; Hartford, CT; Seattle, WA; Mobile, AL; San Francisco, CA; and Des Moines, IA. This report looks across the entire YIPI project to isolate the most important information learned about successful recruitment, engagement, and placement of young adults.

Extending Reach with Technology: Seattle Opera's Multipronged Experiment to Deepen Relationships and Reach New Audiences

March 10, 2015

This case study describes the Seattle Opera's four-year-long effort to test which kinds of technology channels work well in audience engagement. Its experiments with technology included a simulcast of Madama Butterfly at an 8,300-capacity sports arena, interactive kiosks in the opera house lobby and online videos that took viewers behind the scenes of the opera's signature production of Wagner's Ring cycle. Every season employed at least some winning engagement tools, driven in large part by the company's efforts to gather information before determining what applications to use. Although the majority of the tools were most effective at enhancing the experience of patrons who already had a deep connection with the company, the simulcast, in project's fourth year, also brought in opera newcomers. One important lesson from the work was that effective strategies required the involvement not just of the marketing department, but of the entire organization, including its union representatives.