Earlier this year, we launched a major effort to continue exploring how flexible work can be quality work. The effort builds from a pilot project we supported alongside the City of Long Beach, California’s workforce development board, Pacific Gateway Workforce Partnership, and Beyond Jobs, that utilized targeted outreach and a tech platform to connect childcare workers who needed flexibility with families in need of their services.
From this first pilot, we knew from workers that the platform benefited them, and realized there was an opportunity to take the lessons from Long Beach to additional locations and industries. We also saw a need to demonstrate how cities and counties could serve non-standard workers by facilitating opportunities for flexible work that are also quality work.
In recent months, we’ve doubled down on our work in Long Beach, expanding into new industries, while seeking additional cities to deepen our understanding of how local workforce development programs can be adapted to support non-standard workers. We are pleased to announce several learning partners from across the country for this next phase of the effort. The progress we’ve made creates many new opportunities to provide workers who want and need flexibility with the opportunity to access that work and receive necessary support, protections, and benefits. We’re seeking additional funds to help meet the need and promise of this effort.
More about our learning partners and the topics we’re exploring with each of them:
Our partners at Worksystems, Inc., (a nonprofit improving workforce quality in the City of Portland, Multnomah and Washington Counties) is exploring ways to better organize non-standard work in the Portland Metro Region. The Workers Lab is helping measure demand for the platform and related support for non-standard workers, by systematically engaging key buyers and users of flexible work.
Louisville and Southern Indiana
Our partners at KentuckianaWorks (Louisville regional workforce development board) and Southern Indiana Works (regional workforce development organization) are looking for ways the private sector can offer quality flexible work to attract new workers and retain others. We’re helping them think through options for the platform to provide personalized work hours while ensuring the workers maintain employment status.
Our partners at East Bay Economic Development Alliance (Oakland’s regional economic development organization) and Oakland Thrives (collective impact backbone organization) are excited to bring this effort to Oakland to provide income and career development opportunities for parents, as well as potentially facilitate the creation of hundreds of paid opportunities for family navigators, reading and math tutors, community health workers, food distributors, and other roles that promote thriving neighborhoods.
In Chicago, we are working with New America Chicago, a nonpartisan policy innovation lab committed to finding practical solutions to community challenges, particularly those related to economic inequity. New America Chicago is helping us identify local community leaders, thought leaders, and policymakers for a potential pilot in the area, as well as beginning to help us think through the policy overlay to this project.
Long Beach, California
We are excited to continue and expand our partnership in Long Beach. The next phase of work with Pacific Gateway (Long Beach’s workforce development board) will allow more city departments, as well as the tourism and home care industries to utilize the platform.
As we continue to add more learning partners to this list, we welcome your input. If you’re interested in bringing this unique platform to your city, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to our talented advisors on this effort, including Xavier de Souza Briggs (Brookings Metro), Derek Ozkal (Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation), Elizabeth Reynoso (Public Sector Innovation, Living Cities), Nick Schultz (Pacific Gateway Workforce Development Board and Economic Development for the City of Long Beach, CA), Kris Stadelman (Peerwayz and NOVA Workforce Investment Board), Shelly Steward (Future of Work Initiative, The Aspen Institute), and Haeyoung Yoon (National Domestic Workers Alliance).