How an (In)Effective Implementation Team Leads to an (In)Effective & (In)Equitable Worker Advisory Board
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CitationRodriguez, Jocelyn. 2021. How an (In)Effective Implementation Team Leads to an (In)Effective & (In)Equitable Worker Advisory Board. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
AbstractEven before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, 5 million young adults in the United States were disconnected from stable career pathways while 7.6 million jobs went unfilled (Ross and Bateman, 2018). Today, 44 million Americans lack the skills, networks and credentials needed to earn a living wage and to support themselves and their families (Weise et al., 2019). The federal job-training and “workforce development” system is not nearly big, bold and transformative enough to meet the interlocking challenges and systemic racism we face across society. A gaping Black-White wealth gap has left people of color disproportionately exposed to the current crisis (Hanks, Solomon, & Weller, 2018); low-wage jobs are disproportionately held by women and people of color (Ross & Bateman, 2019); unemployment, underemployment, and poverty have disproportionately affected communities of color (Ajilore, 2020; Nunn, Parsons, & Shambaugh, 2019; Elliott, 2016). Moreover, systemic racism in hiring practices has been well documented. Lastly, an unfolding COVID-19 recession continues to demonstrate the worsening of racial and economic inequities in our country (Rosalsky, 2020).
New Profit is trying to be a part of the solution. New Profit’s ecosystem-building approach looks to engage social entrepreneurs, policymakers, philanthropists, and other national and local stakeholders to transform how philanthropy and government (the largest funder of social services) think about collectively pursuing social change and allocating resources. The $6 million Future of Work Grand Challenge, an initiative within New Profit, looks to achieve systemic change to prepare 12 million Americans from underinvested-in communities for workforce success by 2025 (New Profit website: Future of Work Landing Page, 2021).
As a Doctoral Resident, I was charged with leading an implementation team responsible for designing and launching a Worker Advisory Board that would elevate and integrate worker voice throughout the Future of Work Grand Challenge. My work confirmed my theory of action: a shared purpose, combined with a sound structure for effective team engagement and a supportive context for working together—one of mutual trust and psychological safety that effectively bridges differences in order to work through adaptive challenges—were the necessary elements for launching a high-impact Worker Advisory Board.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37370270
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