Business Recovery and Growth
To ensure our region’s businesses have access to the skilled workers they need to recover and grow, WSW and its Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative partners have launched a Quality Jobs Initiative and are working closely with business, community, and education partners to define what high-quality work means for our region and how we can come together to support a high-quality job for everyone.
As our business team forms its Quality Jobs strategy, they are engaging with businesses on a variety of issues, among them:
- Hiring strategies to increase opportunities for non-dominant populations. Analyzing job descriptions to remove job requirements that could potentially and inadvertently exclude candidates. For example, requiring higher education degrees when not truly necessary to perform essential work functions, decreasing or removing years of experience requirements). And using language to market positions, rather than listing requirements.
- The overall readiness to welcome, support and retain non-dominant populations in the workplace and what resources companies might find helpful.
- Seeking ways to support apprenticeships, especially those for entry-level candidates that include support around developing a professional network and professional/soft skills.
- Exploring a pilot partnership with a healthcare organization to create a pathway for current CNA’s, especially women, immigrants and people of color.
- Gaining insights from the next generation of workers by gathering feedback from local college students on what job quality means to them and incorporating that into our strategies.
In our own organization, we have updated our employee handbook and are reviewing policies, practices and procedures. We will be contacting Women and Minority Owned Firms in our region to learn more about how we can support them and ensuring they are on our distribution lists to receive future requests for proposals and notices of workforce development grants and other opportunities.