Significant and ongoing changes in the labor market mean that effective workforce strategies must involve new collaborative structures to engage employers more deeply. In order to improve the effectiveness of the workforce system and to improve outcomes for young people engaging with that system, we must turn to new innovations that more effectively address employer’s concerns. A promising shift is the establishment of employer-informed or led networks, often supported by workforce or employer intermediaries that can be adaptive both to supply and demand-side needs, and that can incorporate employers as partners in the structure.
We gathered on June 6th with six national experts representing several cities and several approaches to developing such networks who shared their wisdom, their candor, and their expertise as they endeavor to create or refine such efforts in their own communities.
The presenters included:
- Alan Momeyer, Chief Human Resource Officer Emeritus, The Loews Corporation (moderator)
- Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO, Philadelphia Youth Network
- David Garza, Executive Director and CEO, Henry Street Settlement
- Alysia Ordway, Employer Engagement Director, Boston Private Industry Council
- Liddy Romero, Founder and Executive Director, WorkLife Partnership
- Robert Sainz, Assistant General Manager at the City of Los Angeles Department of Community Development
These leaders presented a range of considerations for the development and maintenance of employer networks, and how they are learning from their experiences to refine and strengthen their approaches to the work. Though each presenter had a slightly different context for their practice, their perspectives wove a clear through line that effective employer engagement strategies are absolutely essential for the future of our field, and the totality of their perspectives ultimately generated a conversation that was both thought-provoking and inspiring.
In order to best capture the experience, we have put together the following Storify highlighting some of our favorite tweets and posts focusing on the event.