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A quality job is the foundation for financial stability and economic mobility. Labor markets, however, are changing. Many of the largest growing occupations, such as healthcare, retail sales, food service and laborers, require only a high school diploma or less. In addition to lower wages, these jobs often have irregular hours, limited benefits and limited advancement opportunities. The following resources explore new polices and strategies to make these jobs better for both workers and their employers.

The Kansas City Fed hosted the following three-part webinar series on strategies to promote and improve quality jobs for lower-wage workers from the perspectives of employers, workers and the research community. The series was hosted in partnership with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, and the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

In today’s tightening labor market, companies across the country are adopting new business practices to create good jobs to attract, retain and grow their talent.  

This webinar explores how the changing labor market is affecting two manufacturing companies and the strategies they use to design higher quality jobs, improve working conditions and strengthen operations. The role of technology in enhancing job quality and expanding employment is discussed along with a menu of practices used by employers across industry sectors proven to increase their competitive advantage and help them to become an ‘employer of choice’.

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How can workers, especially in lower-wage frontline jobs, contribute to improving their jobs in ways that benefit them, their families and their employers?

This webinar presents ways that workers are making their voices heard on a range of policy and practice issues. New technologies and organizing tools are explored that address many common concerns in new ways such as improving scheduling, expanding leave policies and increasing worker rights knowledge. 

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Why aren't there more good jobs?  What factors facilitate-or hinder- the creation of high-quality jobs?

This webinar answers these questions and includes an overview of recent research on job quality – and of debates about "high-road" vs. "low-road" employment practices. Factors that affect job quality in two industries, long-term care and retail, that each employ large numbers of low-paid workers in the U.S. are explored.

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Building Ladders and Raising the Floor: Improving Employment and Economic Opportunities for Frontline Workers

Leading practitioners are highlighted in these video segments from the Kansas City Fed’s forum, in partnership with the Aspen Institute's Economic Opportunities Program, on improving job quality for lower-wage workers. 

Improving Job Quality for Lower-Wage Workers: An interview with Steven Dawson

Steven Dawson discusses opportunities for improving job quality and economic opportunities for lower-wage workers grounded in his current work as a Visiting Fellow at The Pinkerton Foundation and consultant with workforce development practitioners and funders.

Improving the Quality of Jobs through the Public Workforce System

Scott Anglemyer, executive director of Workforce Partnership, discusses opportunities for the public workforce system to meet the changing needs of employers and workers.

Listening to Caregivers

Adrienne Smith, president and CEO of the New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition, discusses challenges and opportunities for improving outcomes for direct caregivers, their patients and their employers. 

Employer and Lower-Wage Employee Perspectives on Training and Advancement

Mark Popovich and Jenny Benz discuss the value and a role for both the employee and employer in developing and enhancing the skill sets of lower-wage workers.

Improving Employment Outcomes for Lower-Wage Workers

Workforce development leaders explore strategies for improving job quality and other emerging issues in the 10th District.