The James Irvine Foundation believes that employers play a critical role in the pursuit of our singular goal: a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically.
Grantmaking remains our primary focus, including major initiatives like Better Careers and Fair Work, but we also directly engage with employers committed to equitable opportunities in the recruiting, hiring, and advancement of entry-level workers.
An increasing number of employers understand that investing in entry-level workers – including those often overlooked because of race, gender, experience, and other reasons – is the right thing to do and can grow their bottom lines. Helping these organizations take their approaches to scale and promoting them to peers could benefit tens of thousands of California workers who seek new skills and higher wages.
The Irvine Foundation has listened to California workers, grantees, and regional leaders to inform our support of low-wage workers. In the summer of 2019, we also listened to employers (87 individuals from 73 employers) at six roundtables across the state: Bay Area, Fresno, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Silicon Valley.
We appreciated learning the opportunities and challenges that employers experience in recruiting, hiring, and advancing entry-level workers – and that many view the success of workers as good for individuals and their bottom lines.
We heard some consistent themes that we share in a summary report, as well as reflections in a blog post.
We encourage employers interested in advancing front-line workers to learn more from our roundtables and to reach out about their own experiences (through the form below).