For too many Americans, their hard work does not provide them with family-sustaining wages, benefits, safety, or hours that allow them to take care of both their work and home responsibilities. Workers from underserved communities are more likely to face such challenges. If we want our middle class to thrive and grow, a focus on connecting people to good jobs, and not just any job, is a necessity.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Quality Academy, designed and operated in partnership with Jobs For the Future (JFF) and other national partners, presents a unique opportunity to help the workforce system focus on enhancing good jobs and opportunities for workers. This may be achieved via new types of partnerships that support industry sectors that are challenged in the area of job quality. The Academy seeks to provide teams with the knowledge and expertise to build the principles of a good job into their policies and programs.
As discussed in Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 07-22, Increasing Employer and Workforce System Customer Access to Good Jobs, good jobs are the foundation of an equitable economy that lifts workers and families and makes businesses more competitive. Improving the quality of job opportunities and increasing economic self-sufficiency calls for job seekers to be able to secure good jobs with family-sustaining wages and advancement opportunities.
Quality jobs help workers to achieve economic stability and mobility, while prioritizing diversity and worker voice. To this end, the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor have jointly identified eight key principles of a good job, as outlined in TEGL 07-22. Those principles include:
- Equitable recruitment and hiring
- Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) as a key employer priority
- Empowerment and representation
- Job security and working conditions
- Organizational culture
- Skills and career advancement
2023 Cohort Teams
We are pleased to announce the 2023 cohort of teams from across the country that will be participating in the Job Quality Academy.
Team Lead: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Colorado
Core Team Members: Colorado Workforce Development Council, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment-Office of the Future of Work, Weifield Contracting, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 111
Team Lead: DC Workforce Investment Council, Washington DC
Core Team Members: Office of the Deputy Mayor of Education- Washington DC, DC Department of Employment Services, DCHA Program Services Company, Inc (DC Hospital Association Affiliate), 1199 SEIU Training and Employment Fund
Team Lead: EmployIndy, Indiana
Core Team Members: UA Local 440, B&W Plumbing & Heating Co., Inc., IEC-Indy
Team Lead: Governor’s Workforce Board of Rhode Island, Rhode Island
Core Team Members: RI Department of Labor and Training, RI Department of Labor and Training, Fuerza Laboral, White Electric/CUPS Cooperative
Team Lead: Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board, Kentucky
Core Team Members: KentuckianaWorks, Kentucky State Building and Construction Trades Council, Metals Innovation Initiative, BlueOval SK
Team Lead: MassHire Boston, Massachusetts
Core Team Members: MassHire Metro North Workforce Board, BEST Hospitality Training Corp. International Institute of New England, Center for Working Families
Team Lead: Michigan Works! Southwest
Core Team Members: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research – PULSE
Team Lead: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota
Core Team Members: Blandin Foundation, Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards, CareerForce, Minnesota AFL-CIO
Team Lead: Mississippi Valley Workforce Development Board, Iowa
Core Team Members: Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Federation of Labor: AFL-CIO, Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board, Grow Clinton
Team Lead: Northern Indiana Workforce Investment Board
Core Team Members: The Beacon, Steel Warehouse, Senior1Care, Laborers International Union of North America, Local #645
Team Lead: Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Oregon
Core Team Members: Worksystems Inc., Workforce Southwest Washington, AFL-CIO, Portland General Electric
Team Lead: Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, Pennsylvania
Core Team Members: Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Keystone Development Partnership, Bureau of Workforce Development Administration, Bureau of Workforce Partnership & Operations
Team Lead: Pittsburgh Partner4Work, Pennsylvania
Core Team Members: SEIU Healthcare, Center for Healthcare Solutions, Dynamic Workforce Solutions/PA CareerLink, Pittsburgh Public Schools
Team Lead: Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia
Core Team Members: Cobb Works-WorkSource Cobb, Carrollton High School, Atlanta Ironworkers JAC, First Step Staffing
Team Lead: Workforce Snohomish, Washington
Core Team Members: MLK County Labor Council, Washington State Employment Security Department, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Washington State Department of Commerce
Team Lead: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin
Core Team Members: Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, South Central Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO), Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, WI Department of Workforce Development
- June 28 through 30, 2023: Summit I
- June through September, 2023: Independent team planning period
- September, 2023: Summit II (exact dates TBA)
- October through December, 2023: Implementation period
Connect with Ben Sommer with any questions about the Job Quality Academy.
Designed to specifically help communities take immediate action on the guidance provided to the workforce system in TEGL 07-22, as well as the U.S. Department of Labor’s Good Jobs Initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor is launching its inaugural Job Quality Academy in partnership with JFF. This opportunity invites teams representing states, tribes, and local workforce development boards and partners to develop strategies and action plans to address inequities through a focus on improving employment opportunities and job quality across industry sectors, communities, and stakeholders. Teams will identify and test job quality practices and forms of partnerships within their communities, with an eye toward increasing economic mobility and access.
The Job Quality Academy is a professional development and strategic planning experience. By the end of the Academy, participants will:
- Have a greater understanding of job quality principles
- Know how to incorporate job quality into their policies and programs
- Be prepared to take immediate actions and next steps on where to begin for the most impact
Applicants can identify a specific sector they wish to focus on, whether that’s in-demand and growing sectors such as direct care or childcare, transportation, hospitality, manufacturing, broadband, or others.
Beginning in spring of 2023, the Academy will include two 3-day in-person summits in Washington, DC. These summits will focus on helping teams define job quality within their communities; embed good jobs principles into policies, partnerships, and programs; develop localized frameworks for use by partners, including employers; and develop methods and tools for assessing progress.
Between summits, the work will continue with teams from participants’ local communities. Teams will apply and test strategies that fit their communities during this time, and have access to coaching, as well as opportunities to brainstorm with each other about what works, what doesn’t, and what matters most when implementing job quality theories in practice.
- Intensive professional development for four to five months on cutting-edge job quality practices tailored to a workforce audience.
- One-on-one technical assistance and coaching from national subject matter experts to support strategic planning around job quality.
- Community engagement with like-minded, leading-edge organizations committed to creating good jobs in their communities.
- Support in developing strategic plans focusing on job quality.
- Travel expenses to DC paid for five team members for both Academy summits.