National Fund SHIFT Conference Emphasizes Racial Equity and Systems Change

As MWA’s Associate Director, I attended this year’s National Fund for Workforce Solutions Conference. The theme was SHIFT: The Future of Workforce. One of the best parts of the conference, in addition to seeing colleagues in person from all over the country, was reconnecting with why we all work in the field of workforce development. For me, it is the impact that workforce development has on individuals’ lives and the unique opportunity we have in this field to work with employers to improve job quality and economic outcomes for all. 

In this blog post, the National Fund highlights the #SHIFTWorkforce twitter conversation that took place during the conference and 10 key themes that emerged:

  1. Occupational segregation is unnatural and pervasive.
  2. Disaggregated data rules.
  3. Racial equity and inclusion must be central to all of our workforce efforts.
  4. The words we use and narratives we uphold have consequences.
  5. We all need to think about how we are working with native nations and communities.
  6. Trauma is a workplace issue.
  7. Taking job quality seriously is imperative for workers and businesses.
  8. The future of workforce involves reimagining systems.
  9. We can’t forget about workers while doing workforce development.
  10. We go farther when we go together. The National Fund’s workforce community is everything.  

Amanda Cage, President and CEO of the National Fund, reflects on her experience and takeaways from the conference here. I plan to return to these themes to remind myself of my “why” and to energize my work as we enter a new legislative session in Massachusetts. 

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