To better understand the challenges and hopes of working Californians, we partnered with 14 local nonprofits to speak directly with more than 400 residents across the state who shared their experiences and solutions that could make a difference in their lives. Watch an overview of the Community Listening Sessions and what they mean for our work:
Our focus is to support efforts to give low-income Californians the power to advance economically —and to have their voices heard by those making decisions in and for their community. The insights and stories shared by working Californians informs our strategic focus and our future grantmaking.
Visit California Voices to find out what we learned in our Listening Sessions and to hear directly from several participants about their ambitions, dreams, challenges, and fears.
Community Listening Session Participant, Fresno
To better understand the experiences of California workers, we partnered with the Public Religion Research Institute to survey more than 3,300 Californians, including more than 1,000 workers struggling with poverty. The findings provide a unique snapshot of California’s workforce and how worker views compare. Click here to explore insights from the report and learn more on our blog.
In 2019, Irvine commissioned a survey of Asian-American and Pacific Islander workers in California. Research and politicians often group AAPI Californians together, even though they represent a diversity of countries and speak more than a dozen languages. In the absence community-specific data, grouping multiple populations often masks experiences and perspectives. This survey offers detailed data for nine AAPI communities: Chinese, Filipino, South Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Cambodian, Hmong, and Pacific Islanders. To learn more about how each population is faring at work and in achieving the California Dream, please read more from the report and our blog post on the findings. Read more about our efforts here.
2018 California Workers Report, Public Religion Research Institute
At the end of 2017, we announced our Better Careers initiative to support efforts that connect low-income Californians to good, middle-skill jobs with family-sustaining wages and advancement opportunities. To inform our approach to this seven-year initiative, we spent the year prior to the launch listening to and learning from the field. Our blog post details the insights we captured from this journey that highlight how we arrived at our initiative goals.
This effort engaged grantees, employers, thought leaders, and other California stakeholders in a series of interactive convenings and conversations to understand their perspectives, prioritize needs, and inform Irvine’s strategy.
Convening participants identified areas with the most (and least) potential for impact to increase economic opportunity. Their input is synthesized below.
Participant, San Diego Convening
In 2016, Irvine began a shift to a new strategy focused on a singular goal of creating a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically.
As we focus our grantmaking efforts on this vision, we are culminating our previous program-based work. We have made final grants in those areas, and as each comes to a close we reflect on the goals and outcomes and share what we learned along the way.