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Bridging Language and Work: Solutions to Invest in Immigrant and Refugee Talent

February 8, 2022

Finding, retaining, and developing talent is a top priority for business leaders today. Refugees represent an incredible pool of talent that can fill worker shortages and enhance diversity. Yet, many employers overlook refugee candidates due to perceptions that workers cannot succeed in a role if they have limited proficiency in the local language. Bridging Language and Work: Solutions to Invest in Immigrant and Refugee Talent outlines how companies can implement solutions to overcome language barriers to help local language learners – including refugees – get into jobs faster as they work towards proficiency. The guide provides key information for employers, including:A framework for companies on the ways in which they can invest in local language learners beyond expanding access to language trainingSpecific solutions that can be implemented across the talent management cycle to help local language learners succeedThe business benefits of hiring refugees and other local language learnersA list of resources that companies can tap into to support local language learnersThis guide is a collaboration between the Tent Partnership for Refugees and JFF (Jobs for the Future), a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the U.S. workforce and education systems. This guide was developed as part of JFF's Corporate Action Platform, which helps uncover and share talent solutions that enable companies to address both business and social needs.

Healthcare Workforce Transformation: Preparing the Workforce for a Healthy Rhode Island

May 11, 2017

Rhode Island is changing the way it delivers and pays for healthcare. In Rhode Island, healthcare doesn't stop at the doctor's office or the hospital bed—It extends to where people live, work, play, and learn. It rewards quality outcomes rather than quantity—the number of patient visits. This approach to care is data-driven and evidence-based—tracking patient populations to identify risks and measure results. To achieve its goals, Rhode Island has mounted a number of initiatives to change healthcare payment policies and service delivery.None of these changes in healthcare are possible without a transformed workforce—with the right workers, with the right skills and tools, in the right place at the right time. To determine what this workforce looks like and how to prepare for it, the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the State Innovation Model Test Grant, convened a cross-section of stakeholders from the state's healthcare providers, education and training organizations, and policymakers in health and workforce. This group—the Rhode Island Healthcare Workforce Transformation Committee—gathered to establish workforce priorities and weigh potential strategies. Topics analyzed included primary care, behavioral health practice and integration, social determinants of health, health information technology, oral health, chronic disease, and home and community-based care. This report, prepared by Jobs for the Future (JFF), provides background research to support Rhode Island's development of a healthcare workforce transformation strategy. To determine workforce needs in a changing healthcare environment, this study asks not just how many new workers are needed in particular occupations, but how to renew the skills of the existing workforce to assume new and evolving healthcare roles in new settings.

Exploring the Green Infrastructure Workforce: Jobs for the Future

March 28, 2017

How many people work in green infrastructure? What are the jobs? What level of compensation do they offer? What are the educational requirements? How much potential is there for job creation as green infrastructure investments increase? How is the green infrastructure workforce within the six U.S. cities examined for this report similar to—or different than—that in the nation as a whole?This issue brief attempts to answer these and other questions about current and emerging workforce trends related to the rise in green infrastructure activities. It summarizes the results of research conducted by Jobs for the Future (JFF) as part of NatureWORKS, a national initiative to understand the jobs, careers, skills, credentials, and potential of the U.S. green infrastructure workforce. The study was funded by the U.S. Forest Service's National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program as recommended by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, NUCFAC.The research focused on occupations involved in the direct installation, maintenance, and inspection (IMI) of the green infrastructure (GI) and their first-line supervisors. This report describes the GI-IMI involvement of occupations whose work includes green infrastructure activities. It also discusses the emerging movement to certify green infrastructure workers in the stormwater management field as a way to both raise the quality of GI work and promote green infrastructure implementation, thereby expanding the workforce.

CareerSTAT Guide to Investing in Frontline Workers

January 13, 2017

The CareerSTAT Guide to Investing in Frontline Health Care Workers provides health care employers with strategies and a framework for investing in the skills and careers of frontline worker to increase business impact and provide workers with opportunities for advancement and growth. The Guide explains why health care employers invest in their frontline workforce and offers metrics to make the business case for investment

State of the Healthcare Workforce in Massachusetts: Challenges, Opportunities, and Federal Funding

January 5, 2017

This report is the third in a series designed to highlight potential ways for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to work more effectively with the federal government. The first report in this series, Maximizing Federal Support and Opportunity for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, examined a number of opportunities by which Massachusetts might work with the federal government to receive additional federal funding, more effectively utilize existing funding, or improve efficiencies in various state-federal partnerships. This report focuses solely on the healthcare workforce, which holds many opportunities in Massachusetts, particularly for low-income workers. The report provides an overview of the state of the healthcare workforce, explains strategies for moving more youth and adults through health career pathways, and explores federal funding sources for workforce training.

Building Career Ladders in the Age of the Affordable Care Act

December 1, 2015

This report documents the steps taken by an urban teaching hospital to develop its frontline workforce and achieve the goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Responding to a host of challenges, including the ACA's "triple aim" -- better patient experience, lower costs of care, and improved health for populations -- Jersey City Medical Center/Barnabas Health (JCMC) has invested in the skills and career development of its employees to build a robust talent development effort targeting frontline workers, including patient transporters, receptionists, and housekeepers. This report uses the experience of Jersey City Medical Center to document how one health care employer is implementing frontline workforce development, and how workforce investment can advance business objectives and organizational mission in the post- ACA environment. The research is guided by these questions: 1. What frontline workforce development activities have been implemented at JCMC? Why were these chosen? How were they implemented? What are the outcomes? 2. Which activities that JCMC has undertaken to transform care affect frontline workers? 3. Why invest in the frontline health care workforce? What is the case for doing so, according to the chief executive, and the clinical, human resources, and workforce leaders? 4. Which impacts of workforce development are most relevant to the organization's mission and business objectives?

Tapping New Pools of Talent: Preparing Opportunity Youth to Help Fill the Skills Gap

August 1, 2015

More than 6 million young people in the United States are out of school, out of work, and, often it seems, out of luck. That's 17 percent of Americans between the ages of 16 and 24. This population includes dropouts and high school graduates, former foster children and juveniles in court custody; youth caring for siblings and teens cycling in and out of low-wage jobs. Once known as "disconnected," they are increasingly called "opportunity youth." Despite growing up in difficult circumstances--they represent a large opportunity for investing in our nations workforce and our future. This brief focuses on strategies for strengthening education and employment pathways that prepare opportunity youth for jobs that can lead to productive careers. It is part of a series from JFF's conference Bridging the Gap: Postsecondary Pathways for Underprepared Learners

Connecting the Dots: A Case Study of Transforming Care and the Frontline Workforce at UnityPoint Health-Des Moines

July 1, 2015

A growing number of health care employers have made substantial investments in the skill and career growth of their frontline staff -- many of whom spend the most time with patients, taking vital signs, bringing meals, changing linens, and registering them into or out of the hospital or clinic. Iowa's UnityPoint Health, a leader in developing frontline workers, is committed in transforming the way it delivers care. UnityPoint Health's Des Moines hospitals and clinics are showing that it is possible to connect the dots between developing a skilled workforce and delivering better care. While this process is far from finished, UPH offers valuable lessons in aligning talent development with business objectives in the age of the Affordable Care Act. This is a case study of UnityPoint Health and its effort to transform care, develop frontline workers, and fully align these objectives in its Des Moines hospitals and outpatient clinics.

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.

Closing The Skills Gap: Preparing New Yorkers for High-Growth, High-Demand, Middle-Skill Jobs

October 30, 2014

This report highlights the challenges contributing to New York's skills gap, as well as the many opportunities to move more New Yorkers into well-paying jobs. The report findings show that there are over 1,000,000 middle-skill jobs in New York and 44,000 current openings. These are well-paying jobs with the potential for career growth, and they offer struggling families the real prospect of economic security. The report offers a framework for a systemic approach to scaling the education and training necessary to move more New Yorkers into these jobs and meet the demand for workers in these high-growth, middle-skill occupations. Detailed recommendations are also provided for building pathways systems for two of the highest-growth sectors: healthcare and technology.

In and Beyond Schools: Putting More Youth on the Path to Success with Integrated Support

April 11, 2014

As it becomes increasingly clear that a rich set of skills beyond academic knowledge is needed to thrive in college and career, schools must create the learning environments that help youth develop the range of knowledge, skills, and mindsets that research links to postsecondary success. In 2010-2011, 83,469 California youth left school without a high school diploma. Just 65 percent of 2008 California high school graduates enrolled in a postsecondary program shortly after high school. Only 63 percent of those attending four-year colleges completed a degree within six years, and 31 percent of those attending two-year colleges graduated within three years.These patterns are not specific to California. Across the nation, a young person's socioeconomic background correlates highly with academic outcomes. The pattern is particularly troubling because an individual's level of education has a direct correlation with future earnings and other measures of life quality. Schools are struggling to help more youth develop the increasingly complex body of knowledge, skills, and mindsets they need to succeed in college, careers, and civic life. In and Beyond Schools argues that building these skills and knowledge requires an integrated approach to youth development, one that leverages the expertise of schools and community resources beyond schools. As schools develop richer learning environments that nurture a broader range of psychosocial skills, this work can be enabled and accelerated through community partnerships that help schools build and complement their own strengths. Public and nonprofit organizations and agencies that work with young people beyond the school day often have experience developing many of the qualities and skills that research associates with college and career success. However, their expertise and resources are underutilized in the absence of sufficient incentives, structures, and policies to systematically align their work with public schools.

Implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Impacts on the Frontlines of Caregiving

March 11, 2014

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions and its implementation partner, Jobs for the Future, have conducted research examining the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the frontline health care workforce as part of CareerSTAT, an initiative to document and endorse the business case for investments in the frontline hospital workers based on health care leader recommendations. This report includes reviews of current literature and data sources, as well as interviews with executives and practitioners in hospitals, primary care clinics, and long-term care institutions. This report is intended to assist health care leaders, policymakers, and practitioners in gaining a greater understanding of the workforce implications of the ACA in general, and in particular, for frontline workers.