An Equity Imperative: How the Workforce System Can Advance Workplace Health and Safety During and After the Pandemic

September 10, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified September 11, 2020

This publication by Amanda Newman and The Aspen Institute summarizes 11 interviews with workforce development leaders and highlights key ideas for workforce professionals and funders concerned about workplace health and safety during the pandemic. They stress how every worker deserves a job with healthy and safe working conditions, but COVID-19 has shown this is not the reality for far too many workers.

Workforce Development professionals can provide training and have coaching conversations with clients to inform them about the risks of the virus, their options, and their rights and protections on the job. They can also center workers in the job referral process, prioritize employers for services based on their job quality, and partner with local labor and advocacy organizations.

The brief then discusses what funders can do to support the workforce development field in strengthening workplace health and safety – both during and after the pandemic. Key ideas include providing funding to increase organizational and staff capacity, and develop performance measures that promote job quality and equity.

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