We believe that employers play a critical role in the pursuit of our goal: a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically.
Our initiatives (Better Careers, Fair Work, Just Prosperity, and Priority Communities) support nonprofits working with or focused on employers, as do other Irvine grants that spur collaboration with and among employers to benefit workers.
We also directly engage groups of 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 working Californians, grantees, and regional leaders to inform work. In the summer of 2019, we also listened to 73 employers at six roundtables in the 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 business bottom lines.
We heard some consistent themes that we share in a summary report, as well as reflections in a blog post.