We strive to create an accessible and effective workforce system to advance equity for individuals and to promote the community and economic development goals of Southwest Washington.
As we seek to promote equity within our regional systems, our team has taken the following actions:
- Conducted an analysis of race and ethnicity data across the workforce system. While the data showed Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other People of Color (BIPOC) had similar outcomes (i.e., gaining employment, training, etc.) to the rest of the population, we found fewer BIPOC people enrolled in workforce programs compared to their percentage of the population.
- To address this, we are focusing on identifying equitable ways to invest our workforce dollars and including specific goals in our contracts with service providers to include outreach and engagement with diverse communities to increase enrollments.
- As we seek to change and improve the workforce system, we acknowledge that non-dominant communities have suffered trauma. In recognition of this, we are implementing quarterly trainings for the staff of our current grantees and service providers focused on racial equity and trauma-informed care. The first training will be in September 2021.