It’s been almost 18 months since the onset of the pandemic and today, millions of job seekers continue to look for their places in the workforce. Many face barriers that are keeping them from landing well-paying jobs that provide family-sustaining wages.

To kick off National Workforce Development Month, the Federal Reserve Banks of AtlantaPhiladelphia, and Kansas City, and Fed Communities, along with WorkingNation, invited educational, philanthropic, corporate, and workforce development thought leaders to engage and share solutions around how to help workers move forward in an #InvestInWork Twitter chat.

The participation was robust in the hour-long online conversation on how we can work together to Get America Back to Work. The Q&A format resulted in many observations and suggestions—too many to share here. But we would like to offer examples of some of the tweets to illustrate the range of ideas.

And remember, it’s not too late to jump into the mix by going on Twitter using the hashtag #InvestInWork. We encourage you to do so, so we can keep this important discussion going throughout the month.

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions says getting to workforce equity requires a very deep dive. The National Fund aims for a time when “workers, employers, and communities are thriving and prosperous.”

Removing barriers and achieving fairness in the workforce goes hand-in-hand with eliminating racism, according to the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). The organization advocates for the adult learner.

In order to knock down barriers to employment, David M. Rubenstein Fellow Annelies Goger of Brookings says there needs to be consideration of lived experiences. The mission of the Metropolitan Policy Program is “to deliver research and solutions that help metropolitan leaders build an advanced economy that works for all.”

Collaborative funding efforts among stakeholders can provide critical impact for those that are often left behind, according to World Education Services. The WES Mariam Assefa Fund, the philanthropic effort of WES, invests in inclusive efforts for immigrants and refugees in the U.S., as well as Canada.

Hiring managers need to rethink requirements when bringing in new talent. Opportunity@Work says there are plenty of people who don’t have college degrees that are skilled and capable of filling those positions.

 

Fed Communities echoes Opportunity@Work noting that on-the-job training can help grow and move up workers without traditional credentials.

National Skills Coalition notes juggling life at home can create an obstacle for people trying to gain solid footing in the workforce. NSC states it “fights for a national commitment to inclusive, high-quality skills training.”

Workforce Matters focuses on more inclusive philanthropic efforts in the workforce development space. The organization points out that access is more than upskilling and reskilling.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta says advancement for working families can create a barrier when it “puts a family above the income eligibility threshold for public assistance programs.”

The Center for Workforce Inclusion advocates for the older worker. Rita Santelli, chief marketing officer, tweets that age must be part of the inclusion conversation.

Upskill Houston is an initiative led by employers that’s intended to fortify the talent pipeline. The collective tweets that education is important to the process, as well.

Banks can contribute to workforce efforts by giving back to the community, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice addresses the importance of meeting students’ basic needs, particularly during the continuing pandemic.

Results 4 America utilizes “the power of evidence and data to solve the world’s greatest challenges.” The organization notes those most affected need to be heard in order for programs and initiatives to work.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reiterates that it’s the workers and those trying to get back to a job who are at the core of creating impactful solutions.

As you can see, there are plenty of innovative ideas around getting people back to work.

You can still join in on this chat. Go to Twitter using the hashtag #InvestInWork.

The conversation is critical. Let’s keep it going.