Building a Stronger Workforce Ecosystem for All
Despite tremendous uncertainty, this year has offered new opportunities. Economic recovery programs are underway across the country and efforts surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion continue to grow, both in frequency and stature. Workforce development is playing a critical role in shaping the future of our communities, now more than ever before. This September, EmployIndy is celebrating Workforce Development Month by recognizing the strides our workforce ecosystem has made during unprecedented times.
These strides, however, were not accomplished without navigating the obstacles of the past eighteen months; the COVID-19 global health crisis and ensuing economic recession; entire industry shutdowns, and thousands of business closures. Our healthcare system was pushed to the brink, losing hundreds of thousands of lives as millions more still suffer the collective and individual trauma of this pandemic. The systemic disparities of both our economy and society were laid bare, exposing the structural inequities of our communities.
The opportunity to address the barriers plaguing our workforce, however, has never been more present.
And we took it.
Learning from the choices made during the Great Recession, the economic recovery has been driven by investing in workers and good jobs. There has been a tremendous investment in workers and workforce development from the federal government, with more legislation pending.
Communities have more accessible resources to help a diverse array of workers gain the skills they need to launch sustainable careers. Job seekers can be discerning about the jobs they take. Employers are improving the quality of their jobs through higher wages, increased benefits, more equitable hiring practices, and other job quality elements that attract workers. Our workforce is in the midst of the good jobs recovery we need.
But we, as workforce developers, cannot stop here. We need to keep our foot on the gas to accelerate this recovery and rebuild a workforce ecosystem that benefits all people. There is still a lot of work to be done to address structural inequities within the world of work and our society. Investing in good jobs cannot be a one-time gimmick to bring in workers; employers need to stay committed to investing in their workforce.
This Workforce Development Month we acknowledge that we are on the right path, but there is still a long way to go to get to an equitable, inclusive, and thriving economy for all.
Stay up to date with the latest developments during Workforce Development Month by following #WkDevMonth2021 on social media.
For more resources on workforce development and additional content on Workforce Development Month, check out EmployIndy partner National Fund for Workforce Solutions.