Philanthropy & Workforce Development
In less than a year, one of the biggest challenges has flipped from high unemployment to a worker shortage. In July, the national figure for job openings stood at 9.2 million, the hightest on record. Recent surveys for the unemployed show people have concerns that extend beyond the pandemic: health-related worries; a desire to work virtually; childcare issues; limited transportation; and the impact of increased unemployment stipends and stimulus payments. A lack of available and appropriately trained employees is affecting every sector right now.
So what does recovery look like? How does philanthropy play a role in workforce development and worker shortages? How can philanthropy address the concerns of the unemployed — the health-related fears, access to childcare, and a lack of other resources? This newest outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is a multi-faceted challenge that will ripple throughout our region.
Building off the Philanthropy Summit from fall 2019, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks will host an educational series for our donors and funders to discuss the reasons for the worker shortage, along with tangible ways that grantmaking and charitable giving can create solutions. These monthly sessions, scheduled for August–November 2021, will focus on:
A high-level overview of challenges and opportunities in the region, with a look at ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families and why some individuals are unable to reenter the workforce.
A panel of local nonprofits working with targeted populations address this question: What are the gaps and challenges that under-resourced individuals face when reentering the workforce?
A panel of employers and local agencies discuss the challenges of hiring and retaining employees, as well as available workforce training resources.
A facilitated discussion on the issue of workforce development in the region with a focus on ways funders and philanthropists can help the community.
Contact Caitlin Golike, director of donor services, for more information.