A skilled workforce, good jobs, and investing in equitable outcomes

A conversation with Amanda Cage, National Fund for Workforce Solutions

In this episode of Work in Progress, my guest is Amanda Cage, the president and CEO of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.

The nonprofit is a national network of innovators and implementers in workforce development, says Cage, with a shared goal of collaborating with workers, employers, and communities to advance a skilled workforce, promote good jobs, and invest in equitable outcomes.

The National Fund and its partners co-create opportunities and solutions that allow workers to thrive. “This includes training, upskilling, and workforce learning (such as apprenticeship), but also other interventions that promote worker engagement, satisfaction, and well-being.”

Cage explains, “Essentially, these communities have come together and on some level have agreed to our four integrated solutions framework, where we focus on activating employers to make jobs better, equipping workers for success, changing systems, and co-investment.”

Practically speaking, these collaboratives are built around industry partnerships in which employers work together to solve some of the problems that they were collectively having, usually around talent recruitment or retention.

Cage says, “We have industry partnerships in manufacturing, in construction, healthcare, IT, and a number of other industries. And when we started working with employers in those industry partnerships, we realized there are some common elements around job quality and making sure that workers had access to what we consider to be a quality job.”

“As part of that, we created a framework of what that quality job looks like, a definition. So we work with employers now to really think about their internal jobs, how those jobs are designed and how we can make them a quality job through a variety of elements.”

According to the nonprofit, they “catalyze investments in a competitive workforce where people are empowered to learn, train, grow, advance, and achieve their potential.”

Listen to the podcast here, or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

Read the transcript for this episode of Work in Progress here.

Episode 177: Amanda Cage, president & CEO, National Fund for Workforce Solutions
Host: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch, Melissa Panzer, and Ramona Schindelheim
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.

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