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Tue 24

May 24, 2022 @ 12:00 pm1:00 pm EDT

Dialogue Launch: Building Pathways to Better Jobs

Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

Location: Online

Join us as we launch our Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs.

About this event
The COVID-19 pandemic produced widespread economic collapse, exposing and exacerbating many pre-existing challenges and barriers that low- and moderate-income workers face to achieve financial security and upward mobility.

In April 2020, unemployment rates peaked nationally at 14.8 percent. While overall reported trends indicate that unemployment caused by the pandemic is decreasing with a national reported U-3 unemployment rate of 4.1 percent (unemployed people actively seeking a job) in April 2022, this number does not paint a complete picture of the economic distress that some groups are experiencing. As of April 2022, the U-6 unemployment rate was 7.9 percent (discouraged, underemployed, and unemployed workers), and we continued to see disparate impacts in Black (7.3 percent) and Latino (4.9 percent) worker populations compared to White (3.6 percent) workers.

Furthermore, between February and March 2020, 11 million women lost their jobs compared to 9 million men and an additional 2.65 million women left the workforce due to caretaking demands or inability to find accommodating employment. Alarmingly, over two years later, the women’s workforce participation rate has not recovered and in fact has decreased even further, with an additional 275,000 women leaving the workforce in January 2022, placing the women’s workforce participation rate at 57 percent, a record low since 1988.

In response, Convergence is convening the Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs, which seeks to address why millions of job seekers – low- to moderate-income earners who are currently employed, under-employed, or long-term unemployed – are unable to access and navigate resources, tools, and opportunities to move into new, improved, and stable avenues of employment.

The Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs brings together a diverse and influential group of stakeholders representing workers, workforce trainers, policymakers, employers, and post-secondary education providers of all types. This collaborative problem-solving Dialogue is aimed at building trust and identifying and exploring areas of common ground to foster innovations that balance worker needs with those of employers.

Through this Dialogue, our goal is to find ways to better connect workers with appropriate opportunities to build their skills and qualifications, and to navigate the on- and off-ramps that will build economic mobility and financial security for their future. This work will build on two previous Convergence efforts in the area of economic mobility and security: Convergence Dialogue on Economic Mobility (also known as Working Up, 2018) and our project on Economic Recovery for America’s Workers (2020).

Join us for this virtual discussion featuring cross-sector experts on economic mobility and job training to publicly announce the launch of this Dialogue. The conversation will be moderated by Anita Chandramohan, Director, Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs.

We will be joined by Dr. Stephen Goldsmith, Derek Bok Professor of the Practice of Urban Policy and the Director of the Data-Smart Cities Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; Dr. Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua, Professor of Engineering  Program Director, Smart Manufacturing Technology Program, Ohlone College, Fremont, California and; Anson Green, Economic Opportunity, CSR, Tyson Foods.

Now, more than ever, we need to come together across political, ideological, sectoral, and other divides to advance short-, medium-, and long-term solutions on behalf of America’s workers and businesses and to safeguard against future detrimental and destabilizing events. We hope you’ll join our discussion.