Atlanta one of five regions chosen to host program to help workers find good jobs
By David Pendered
A new program in metro Atlanta aims to help folks without college-grad backgrounds get good jobs. The the effort is part of a national partnership of more than 30 entities that includes the Atlanta Fed, Goodwill of North Georgia, Rework America Alliance, IBM, Google, the National Urban League and the AFL-CIO.
The target audience is comprised of workers who have been viewed as essential during the pandemic, and who don’t earn much money – particularly women and people of color, according to the description by a key sponsor. Rework America Alliance is sponsored by the Markle Foundation, a non-profit that’s worked in the social arena since 1927.
Metro Atlanta is one of five regions in the country where partner agencies intend to help individuals who are unemployed or underemployed find a good job. A good job is defined as well compensated, stable and resilient to automation.
The program aims to go beyond counterparts that intend to teach new skills to folks searching for work. Along with help job seekers, it intends to work with businesses to advance employees who use the alliance’s resources. It also intends to help mentor those in non-profits and government job training programs who help folks advance their job skills, according to an FAQ sheet.
One early initiative of the partnership already is available to job-seekers: a toolkit to build a better resume for workers with skills outside the professional arena.
The resume program is designed specifically to help folks who do not have the educational credentials, or job titles, to get through the online filters employers set in order to cut the number of candidates. The resume program focuses on the skills job seekers do have and helps job seekers present the knowledge, skills and abilities in a form that can help them clear an initial hurdle.
Resume help responds to one of the labor challenges identified in a report cited by Atlanta Fed President/CEO Raphael Bostic in a May 6 presentation. While discussing ways to speed changes intended to enhance economic inclusion, Bostic cited a report that observes:
- “There is a growing consensus that many occupations that often require a bachelor’s degree simply should not do so – especially as the pace of technological change means that the skills and knowledge accrued through a formal education are quickly outmoded in the workplace.”
However, the lack of a college degree is a major barrier to employment for the 70% of U.S. workers who don’t have a degree, according to a description by the Rework America Alliance.
The Atlanta Fed’s involvement marks Bostic’s continued commitment to take specific steps to broaden economic opportunities in the era following the murder of George Floyd. Bostic was an early advocate of broader opportunities and released, in June 2020, a letter that became an influential call for the nation to address the economic legacy of racism.
In Bostic’s May 6 remarks, this is how he described the newly announced program:
- “I’m particularly excited about one of our newest of this type of partnership, which is focused on workforce development.
- “It’s called the Rework America Alliance. Along with the Markle Foundation and a host of corporations, nonprofits, and other organizations, we have set out to harmonize the nation’s sprawling but disjointed workforce development system. The alliance’s purpose reflects the fundamental aim of our economic mobility and resilience agenda more broadly: to minimize the number of people left behind as the economy evolves.
- “Rework America aims to unite nonprofits, government, and private-sector firms in creating ready pathways for workers to upgrade skills and stay employed as automation and other forces disrupt the labor market.”