Improving Job Quality and Access
Local workforce system programs don’t just help people get jobs; they sometimes seek to improve working conditions and hiring practices and to connect low-income individuals with good jobs. They can also play a role in economic development to ensure that economically disadvantaged residents have access to job opportunities created by new employers and industry. Local workforce system organizations and programs may
- encourage “high road” employer practices, which include paying higher wages, providing benefits (such as paid vacation and sick leave, health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and retirement), predictable scheduling, safe working conditions, and opportunities to advance through clear career ladders—practices that increase work performance and reduce turnover;
- advocate for changes in policies regarding wages or working conditions, such as higher minimum wages, paid leave, reduced criminal history disclosure requirements, overtime rules, and safe working conditions; or
- pursue community benefit agreements, which are contracts developed by community stakeholders that lay out a set of community benefits that will result from an economic development project (e.g., requirements to hire from certain neighborhoods, communities, or targeted groups that have been neglected by the local labor market).