ERIC Number: ED480002
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
The Employer's Voice: Frontline Workers and Workforce Development.
Jobs for the Future, Boston, MA.
Seventeen small and mid-sized employers from Annie E. Casey Foundation Jobs Initiative sites addressed the challenges of recruiting, retaining, and promoting frontline workers. Employers shared collaboration experiences with Jobs Initiatives sites to develop effective, efficient strategies to prepare and support low-income residents. Firms relied on frontline employees to ensure they thrived; all required literacy and job readiness far beyond what frontline workforce generally possess. Employers reported low work attendance and recognized these causes of retention problems: transportation, day care, and the relationship between wages and eligibility for public benefits. Many employers experienced problems recruiting workers with higher levels of skill and would have advanced frontline workers, but many workers lacked skills. Tuition reimbursement remained unused due to upfront costs, child care, transportation, and study time. Solutions to improve retention were a workshop on positive attendance, mentor/buddy system for foreign workers, and collaboration with Jobs Initiative intermediaries to develop work-readiness components. With collaboration of Jobs Initiative intermediaries, firm-based programs addressed advancement through improvements in tuition reimbursement policies, release time, reverse referral, internal career ladders, and reinvigorated apprenticeship programs. The Keynote Address (Steve Gunderson) described a workforce crisis consisting of the serious and widening gap between skills employers need to compete in the global economy and skills of the workforce. (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Apprenticeships, Cooperative Programs, Coordination, Employer Attitudes, Employer Employee Relationship, Employment Potential, Employment Services, Entry Workers, Job Skills, Labor Force Development, Labor Turnover, Low Income Groups, Mentors, Nonprofessional Personnel, Personnel Selection, Promotion (Occupational), Reentry Workers, Social Services, Training Allowances
For full text (requires registration): http://www.jff.org/jff/PDFDocuments/EmployersVoice.pdf.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Jobs for the Future, Boston, MA.
Note: Results of a conference of Annie E. Casey Foundation Jobs Initiative sites (Washington, DC, March 13-14, 2003).