WASHINGTON – With the U.S. workforce profoundly altered by the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, America’s counties are leading the way in preparing for the future of work. That’s according to a new report, Planning for the Future of Work Amid a Global Pandemic, released today by the National Association of Counties (NACo). The report details local government concerns and innovative approaches to workforce adaptation for the future.
The report finds that, with workforce priorities disrupted by the pandemic, counties face major barriers to planning for the future of work, including broadband infrastructure and revenue losses. Also of note, the top concern of county leaders is the ability of small businesses to survive.
“Despite significant challenges, counties are fostering a robust, productive workforce that is responsive to the unique needs of our communities,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “We are facilitating connections between the needs of local employers and the skills of the local workforce.”
Counties across the country are implementing innovative strategies to serve residents and ensure a strong future of work.
- Onondaga County, N.Y. addressed the employment barrier posed by lack of transportation through a partnership with the ridesharing company Lyft. The county paid for Lyft rides for people who received job placements at locations not served by city or county bus routes.
- DeKalb County, Ga. is connecting workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 to training in high-demand occupations such as information technology, health care, business technology and advanced manufacturing.
The urgency of planning for the future of work coupled with new resources from the American Rescue Plan have created an opportunity for counties to prioritize recovery needs through efficient resource allocations. The report found the key needs for a successful economic recovery and a strong future of work include:
- Platforms for cross-county idea-sharing
- Information on promising practices for engaging local Workforce Development Boards and other partnerships
- Resources and partnerships for enhancing broadband access and bridging the digital divide
- Support and programs for retraining workers
- Resources specifically directed toward low-income residents and residents of color
- Information about funding opportunities for the future of work and economic recovery planning
The report includes research and case studies from a diverse sampling of counties: Montgomery County, Pa.; DeKalb County, Ga.; Hall County, Neb.; Pitkin County, Colo.; Phillips County, Ark.; Benton County, Ore.; San Miguel County, Colo.; Harlan County, Ky.; Onondaga County, N.Y.; Henrico County, Va.; Erie County, Pa.; and Pierce County, Wash.
Read the full report here. Planning for the Future of Work Amid a Global Pandemic, was supported by Walmart.Standard