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Equitable Access to Quality Climate Infrastructure Jobs: A Framework for Collaborative Action

May 6, 2024

Recent federal laws, including the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), focus on updating and improving the nation's infrastructure while taking steps to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Included in these federal infrastructure investments are goals around creating quality jobs and ensuring that benefits accrue to populations that have been historically marginalized. Largely missing from enacted legislation were specific funding and requirements for developing the workforce for emerging climate infrastructure jobs.This report provides a framework for understanding what is needed at the local and regional level to advance effective implementation of workforce development in conjunction with current and future climate and infrastructure investments. Efforts are in early stages, but there are many promising practices from which to learn. To build an understanding of these practices, we interviewed individuals from national and regional nonprofit organizations, local governments, industry associations, and intermediaries. Informed by our interviews, feedback sessions, and research, our framework identifies three essential principles, a set of core actors, and five key strategies that workforce and sustainability organizations can use to advance equitable green career pathways. The report provides recommendations for federal, state, and local governments, philanthropies, employers, and unions to build collaborative capacity supporting the equitable implementation of climate infrastructure investments.

Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce: A Compensation and Benefits Survey of Nonprofits in New England and Adjoining Communities

May 6, 2024

The "2023 Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce Report" provides a detailed look at the current state of compensation within the nonprofit sector. It covers a wide range of data collected from over 200 nonprofit organizations, focusing on various job roles and pay scales. This year's report includes critical insights into compensation disparities, changes in compensation benchmarks, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nonprofit operations.

Messaging Guide: Making the Case for Learning & Employment Records with Employers

April 23, 2024

Over the last year, UpSkill America has held dozens of conversations and interviews with employers on the topic of Skills First approaches and specifically, employers' awareness, understanding, and challenges with Learning and Employment Records (LERs). While there is still much to learn about the impacts of these tools, and an ever-increasing pace of change in the skills-based movement, we share this guide to support the field's efforts to better engage employers in the design, development, and deployment of LERs.A messaging guide can be a powerful tool to ensure your communications are consistent, clear, and targeted. This guide is designed to:Empower the stakeholders, including government, academic, and technical leaders who are developing and advocating for LER solutions, to communicate clearly and consistently about their tools and the value of these innovations.Enable more effective engagement of employers in LER pilots and expansion projects, particularly relating to skills-based hiring and talent management.Support employer involvement in discussions about LERs, the design and development of these tools, and integration with existing policies, practices, and processes.

How to Meet the Moment in the Green Economic Transition: Breaking Down Barriers for Marginalized Communities & Growing the Green Workforce

March 25, 2024

Communities most impacted by the climate crisis are least likely to be integrated into solutions, but the growing green economy has the power to change that. As billions of dollars are invested towards a more sustainable future, BIPOC and system-impacted individuals should have access to lucrative green jobs that narrow the racial wealth gap and build more promising futures.These individuals face disproportionate barriers to entering the green workforce, including a lack of awareness, insufficient training, and discriminatory cultural practices. To combat this, a holistic approach is needed to diversify the green economy:Start early - provide STEM and clean energy education for young students living in low-income and underrepresented communities.Increase access to training opportunities - offer on-the-job training and apprenticeships to upskill diverse talent and increase financial aid for pursuing certifications and advanced degrees.Get innovative with recruiting - employers should meet BIPOC and system-impacted talent where they are, using strategies like skills-first hiring, fair chance hiring, and internal training to increase accessibility.Collaborate across sectors - public-private partnerships can pool funding and resources for training programs, and establish diverse workforce standards for government-funded projects.Prioritize workforce development - grant proposals should target investment in disadvantaged communities by funding climate projects that create jobs and promote local economic development.Creating economic inclusion as the green economy grows will require intentional effort from job seekers, government entities, and employers. Increasing awareness about new green job opportunities, providing targeted outreach and education to underrepresented communities, and building inclusive, innovative workforce pathways will transform the green workforce to serve those most impacted by climate change.

Feeding inequality: The hidden costs of Brazil's meat industry monopoly

March 24, 2024

This report critically examines the Brazilian meat industry, focusing on JBS, the world's largest food company, based mostly on processed meat products. The central theme revolves around the stark contrast between JBS's exponential growth, fuelled by government policies and financial institutions, and escalating social inequalities in Brazil.Key takeaways:The global meat industry has witnessed a meteoric rise since the 1960s with production increasing 402%. JBS is the world's biggest meat processor with annual revenue of US $77 billion, contributing 2.1% to Brazil's GDP and 2.7% of its employment. Its slogan is "We feed the world with the best". In the last 20 years, US $6 billion has flowed to JBS in public finance through the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). BNDES holds a 20.8% stake in JBS. Foreign investors hold 11%.Over a hundred thousand workers at JBS earn around US $393 monthly, a third of what is estimated as a living wage in Brazil. Each of the five top JBS executives take home the equivalent of US $420,000 every month. The majority of the 400+ shareholders who attend the company's annual meetings are against the executives' high wages, but these wages continue to increase. Brazil ranks as the most unequal country in the world in terms of wealth inequality. Indicators of poverty and hunger have increased in 11 of 12 Brazilian cities where JBS is heavily involved (2013-2023). 

Worker Well-Being Is Community Well-Being: Why the Human Service Workforce Needs a Living Wage

March 22, 2024

Insufficient reimbursement rates and inadequate state contracts impact the health and human services sector at every level. Previous Illinois Partners for Human Service research provides insight into how workforce stability is impacted by deficient funding, but a critical piece has been missing in the discourse. "Worker Well-Being is Community Well-Being: Why the Human Services Workforce Needs a Living Wage" fills that void by presenting new data through a lens rooted in the broader social and fiscal issues that shape our economy and is framed by the voices and experiences of people working on the frontline of services.  

Unleashing Worker Power: Building Good Jobs Beyond the Traditional Workforce System

March 11, 2024

The Good Jobs Collaborative (GJC) is an evolving collaboration focused on transforming the nation's workforce development system to advance economic justice, racial and gender equity, workers' needs, and worker voice and power. Over the past year, we have identified and learned from projects where workers are improving jobs through organizing, policy work, workforce training, job restructuring, and more. We feature three of these cases here: the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), a national labor-management organization; the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, an organization of more than 65,000 restaurant worker members; and the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH), an organization of more than 1,000 service and hospitality workers.We hope that these cases will inspire interest, innovation, and concrete policy action to build a workforce development system that centers workers, tears down inequity in our labor markets, and raises the quality of jobs for all. 

Fact Sheet | Climate Jobs (2024)

March 4, 2024

U.S. efforts to confront the climate crisis have propelled a demand for jobs that will help the country mitigate and adapt to climate change. These climate jobs have been steadily on the rise in the United States. The energy sector as a whole has regained 71% of the jobs lost due to the pandemic in 2020. With a 3.9% growth rate, clean energy job creation outpaced overall job growth in 2022. In total, there were more than 4.2 million climate jobs in 2022.

Pennies on the Dollar: The Use of Subminimum Wage for Disabled Workers across the United States

February 14, 2024

This report examines, state by state, the policies that drive the use or eliminationof subminimum wage, as well as the programs each state provides to morecomprehensively support individuals with disabilities as they seek meaningfulemployment and fair wages. Analyzing and comparing policies across all statesallows for a national perspective on the drive to eliminate the subminimum wage.It also highlights other employment-related policies used to support individualswith disabilities. We hope our report not only provides an opportunity forstakeholders to dive into their own state's policies and practices but helps mapout best practices. Whether it is Maine or Mississippi, Oregon or Iowa, ouranalysis offers evidence of sweeping and often surprising progress. States aroundthe country, blue and red, rural and urban, are making significant headway inlasting ways, leading to an improved quality of life and competitive integratedemployment for disabled workers in the United States.

Forging a Sustainable Future for California’s Direct Care Workforce: A Primer for Philanthropy, Worker & Consumer Advocates

February 1, 2024

The crisis facing the paid direct care workforce is evident: a rapidly aging population, a critical workforce shortage, poverty-level wages, and poor job quality – all disproportionately impacting immigrants and women of color. California has committed to addressing this crisis and creating a sustainable future for direct care workers. This primer is intended to create a deeper understanding of the direct care workforce and the systems, structures, and policies that impact their wages, benefits, job quality, and workforce development opportunities. Divided into four parts, this primer includes background on the direct care workforce, an overview of public funding for long-term services and supports, potential levers for increasing wages, and the current landscape for building direct care worker career pathways.Consumer advocates possess in-depth knowledge of funding for long-term services and supports, while worker advocates are well-versed on strategies for increasing job quality. Philanthropic organizations generally focus on either direct care consumers or workers. This primer aims to bridge the gap between these areas of expertise. We hope that it will serve as a tool to support collaborative action among advocates, philanthropy, and government to create an equitable future of care for direct care workers and the families who rely on their support.

Climate risk impacts on employment opportunities for youth in Pakistan

January 28, 2024

Pakistan faces a high level of disaster risk due to its exposure to a variety of natural and climate-related hazards including earthquakes, floods, landslides, storms and extreme temperatures (WBG & ADB, 2021). Research pertaining to the impact of these hazards on youths' access and participation in the labour market is limited. This study aims to understand how climate-related risks and hazards are reshaping traditional avenues of job entry and employment, particularly for young people in Pakistan. Based on the findings, recommendations are made on how social protection programmes could support the youth of Pakistan to navigate the changing nature of the labour market. Social protection interventions can help individuals to cope with the risks they face over their lifetime, such as unemployment or disability. One element of this support is improving employment and livelihood outcomes (McCord, 2018).This brief is aimed at policymakers, academia, international/non-governmental organizations (I/NGOs) and civil society groups, who can use these messages to develop and implement youth-focused programmes to address climate hazards; enhance research and evidencebuilding on the differentiated needs of youth groups; and eventually improve services to adapt to the youth-specific covariate risks posed by climate-related hazards.

Lessons From the Field: Implementing Mental Health Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) & Recommendations for Future Success

January 26, 2024

NAMI-NYC partnered with fourteen organizations to learn about the impactful work they are doing through their disability/mental health ERGs to create a culture promoting good mental health and emotional wellness in the workplace. The goal was to bridge the gap between theory and practice to identify real-world applications of how ERGs are developed, what they focus on, and how they make an impact. To do so, we developed a survey based on a literature review of ERG best practices and workplace mental health programs. The survey was 45 qualitative and quantitative questions about governance, collaboration, and programming.This report presents the data learned from the survey and recommendations to support employees, leadership, Human Resources (HR), Diversity Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), and Wellness teams starting or enhancing disability/mental health ERGs. It provides strategies to set up a successful governance structure, leverage cross-department collaboration, and create meaningful programs to reduce stigma and promote good mental health among employees.