New racial equity learning group to work towards advancing policies that address racial equity in workforce development system

By Michael Richardson, September 02, 2021

National Skills Coalition is pleased to announce the states that have been selected to participate in our 2021-2022 Racial Equity Learning Group: California, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio.

NSC’s Racial Equity Learning Group will consist of 5 Skills State Policy Advocacy Network (SkillSPAN) coalitions and 5 Business Leaders United (BLU) state affiliates leads committed to advancing state specific policy frameworks using a racial equity lens. Participants will engage in learning community sessions and individualized coaching to learn how to apply a racial equity lens to their respective work and advance state policies that promote racial equity. By the conclusion of the learning group, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to apply a racial equity lens to workforce development policy and build equitable skills policy frameworks.
  • Walk away with a clear understanding of why advancing transformational policies and practices in workforce development cannot happen without a racial equity lens or focus.
  • Understand within their respective states what barriers were created that inhibit and what structures need to be dismantled to achieve racial equity in workforce development policy.
  • Understand what coalition partners are necessary to advance racial equity and how to build racially inclusive coalitions more effectively.

Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, Native, and certain Asian American workers face significant racial inequities in educational attainment, employment, and income. These disparities are a direct result of structurally racist policies. NSC believes that it requires significant intentionality to dismantle the policies that allow racial inequities to persist. As a result, NSC has released resources such as the The Roadmap for Racial Equity and Skills for an Inclusive Economic Recovery to help its networks advance racial equity.

The Racial Equity Learning Group will build upon this work and provide the SkillSPAN coalitions and BLU state affiliates with the knowledge, tools, and supports to advocate for policies that advance racial equity in the workforce development system.

The selected five SkillSPAN leads are:

  1. North Carolina Justice Center
  2. SkillWorks, Massachusetts
  3. Ohio Workforce Coalition
  4. California EDGE Coalition
  5. NYATEP, New York

The selected five BLU leads are:

  1. Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina
  2. Greater Boston Chamber, Massachusetts
  3. Dayton Chamber of Commerce, Ohio
  4. UNITE-LA, California
  5. Indy Chamber, Indiana

The Racial Equity Learning Group will run from September 2021 – December 2022. If you are interested in learning more about the Learning Group or NSC’s work on racial equity in the states, please contact Senior State Network Manager, Michael Richardson.