Quality Jobs Initiative

Creating an Equitable Economic Recovery

The Quality Jobs initiative is a commitment to designing and developing a regional approach with workers, employers, job seekers, community-based organizations, economic developers, and local municipalities to define, support and promote quality jobs.

We have launched this regional effort and are building a public/private coalition to advance an equitable economic recovery. Through this Initiative, we hope to increase job quality by supporting strategies to provide self-sufficiency wages, workplace safety, worker engagement, comprehensive benefit programs, predictable scheduling and hours, accessible hiring and onboarding, and training and advancement opportunities. We hope you will join us!

Quality Jobs Council

In mid-2021, WSW and its Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative (CWWC) partners, Clackamas Workforce Partnership and Worksystems convened 19 cross-sectoral participants representing businesses, workers, labor, service providers, and government agencies located in the Portland-Southwest Washington Metropolitan area to develop and adopt a regional approach to creating quality jobs. The purpose of the Council was to (1) define a quality job for the region, (2) provide guidance on standards employers can adopt, (3) identify resources to help employers implement in accordance with their workplace needs, and (4) develop a roadmap/framework of actions and implementation steps.

The Quality Jobs Framework was developed in close collaboration with the Council and informed by: (1) a multipronged research approach which included a review of existing regional case studies; (2) a nationwide scan of best practices; and (3) a series of interviews with relevant organizations and leaders throughout the region to identify core components of a quality job.

What is a Quality Job?

In July 2022, the Quality Jobs Framework a blueprint of actionable, detailed strategies for companies to improve their jobs and work conditions, was released.

The Framework has been adopted by each the CWWC’s boards via Board Resolutions.

Quality Jobs Standards include Self-Sufficiency Wages, Safe Working Conditions and Worker Engagement, Predictable Hours, Comprehensive Benefits, Accessible hiring and Onboarding Practices and Training and Advancement Opportunities

Quality Jobs Guides

The guides provide businesses and partner organizations across Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties with tools and strategies to implement and track Quality Jobs strategies.

The guides include in-depth information on Quality Jobs Standards, practical guidance on implementing strategies, a fillable worksheet to help guide businesses, and additional resources to help your business improve job quality to recruit and retain talent.

Recommendations for Next Steps

The Framework offers strategies for organizations seeking practical guidance on how to improve job quality in the region.

As next steps, organizations can do the following:

1. Share the Framework with organizational leadership.
2. Review the recommendations and develop a plan for incorporating the relevant recommendations of the Framework within their organizations.
3. Keep the Workforce Development Boards and Council apprised of progress.

For assistance implementing your strategy, reach out to the workforce boards at:

• Workforce Southwest Washington (Clark, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum counties, Washington) – Darcy Hoffman (she/her/hers), Director of Business Services, 360.608.4949 | Email Darcy

• Clackamas Workforce Partners (Clackamas County, Oregon) – Amy Oakley, Senior Business Services Manager, 503.657.6770 | Email Amy

• Worksystems (Multnomah and Washington counties, Oregon) – Kelly Haines, Business Services Manager, 503.478.7331 | Email Kelly

Quality Job Council Participants

Quality Job Council participants included individuals representing diverse workers, labor, government and private industry:

Accel Plastics | Clackamas County | Ebon Oluchi, Worker Representative | Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) | Isis Harris, Worker Representative | Legacy Health | NAACP, Vancouver Branch | O’Neill Construction Group | Oregon AFL-CIO | Oregon City Chamber of Commerce | Oregon Metro | Partners in Diversity | Port of Portland | Prosper Portland | SEIU UHW-West & Education Fund | Saara Hirsi, Worker Representative | Urban League of Portland | Walgreens | Woodcraft Industries

The Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative (CWWC) is a partnership that delivers a unified approach to serve industry, support economic development and guide public workforce investments in the Portland-Southwest Washington area. Members are Clackamas Workforce Partnership, Workforce Southwest Washington and Worksystems. The three organizations have been collaborating for approximately 12 years and their partnership has brought nearly $61 million of funding for workforce development into the Portland-Southwest Washington metro area.

The Quality Jobs Initiative follows these guiding principles:

  • Prioritize advancing workforce equity.
  • Alignment with workforce programs and target customer supply.
  • Elevate partners/companies.
  • Provide a blueprint for companies who want to make improvements for their workforce.
  • Include all companies who express commitment to provide quality jobs.
  • Data driven – wage standards based on self-sufficiency standard and/or other best practices.

Success Stories

Marketing EQ

Marketing EQ builds their talent with web technology internship

Banfield Pet Hospital provides Quality Jobs

Diversity Resource Groups elevate voices and solve community problems

Koelsch Communities

Improving Healthcare Outcomes & Employee Success Through Funding and Sourcing of Workforce Training Programs

Foster Farms: “A culture that nobody wants to walk away from”

“A company culture nobody wants to walk away from”

Manufacturing worker

Learning from Others

As we and our partners in the Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative explore what Quality Jobs could look like in our region, we are inspired by the work of cities and businesses across the country that are defining quality jobs and making them a reality.

In Baltimore, Good Business Works is partnering with employers to promote respectful and inclusive workplaces. In San Diego, the Workforce Partnership is working with job seekers to determine what a quality job means to them. They are partnering with businesses and advocating at the legislature to make more quality jobs available. In Louisville, businesses like Norton Healthcare and Universal Woods are leading the creation of jobs by investing in the long-term success of their employees.

In each of these cities, workforce boards, jobs seekers, and businesses are working together to define job quality. They are inspiring companies to succeed by investing in their employees and helping workers thrive.

Quality Job Updates

In mid-2021, we formed a 22-person quality jobs council of companies from our high-growth, high-demand sectors (construction, healthcare, manufacturing and technology); community-based organizations that serve the people we want to positively impact; labor representatives; job seekers and employees.

The council has held five meetings and will meet monthly through January 2022. Its task is to define the quality jobs criteria around wages, benefits and work environment for the Southwest Washington-Portland metro area and develop the framework to implement strategies for businesses, workforce boards, local government, service providers, labor/civil rights nonprofits, labor and workers. The council is also gathering best practices and other resources for the report that will be developed once the council dissolves in January. That final report will be a blueprint for the workforce boards and our industry partners to improve our own job quality.

Quality Jobs Council Timeline
Quality Jobs summary of meetings

Quality Job Blogs

Workforce Soutwest Washington logo
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