December 2022 Newsletter
We walked into the year ready to reimagine work and doubled down on partnerships to create a Bay Area that works for everyone. We grew our small but mighty team in the spring, welcoming Brianna Rogers as our Associative Initiative Officer. We then debuted the State of Bay Area Workers data tool. This tool built on the 2021 Advancing Workforce Equity in the Bay Area report, providing insightful context for labor statistics. With it, community leaders, organizers, policymakers, funders, and others can create informed strategies, policies, and practices that improve the lives of Bay Area workers. This real-time data tool also helped tell the whole story of workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In partnership with a powerful coalition of worker organizations, we took the common threads of those stories and launched the Bay Area Essential Workers Agenda in May. The agenda outlined a four-pillar platform for achieving true economic recovery and has been endorsed by 26 organizations. In making the agenda, 1,400 workers from a dozen industries shared what the pandemic cost them. Stories like theirs were presented to the nation in the Buzzfeed video series “Normal ain’t Normal,” co-produced by Rosario Dawson. Though this heart-wrenching, thought-inducing series follows fictional Oaklandites through the brokenness of the new normal, it’s not far from the actual reality many Bay Area families face.
Helping people navigate the stress of the pandemic is hard, and hearing their frustrations as they hit roadblock after roadblock is even harder. Client-facing workers at job training and placement programs need more support and better pay to do their best work. So in the fall, we partnered with the Irvine Foundation to launch a $2 million statewide project to improving job quality for frontline workforce providers (make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to receive the early January 2023 RFP to partner with us on this project).
What we are doing to serve the community works. Our wins in the Bay Area are replicable, scalable, and corroborated. We need to tell the world that this reimagined future is possible. So, we presented our successes at The Center for Transformative Action, SHIFT the Future of Workforce, and Workforce Matters Further Together Conference.
The future of the Bay Area is one where everyone has access to quality, empowered jobs that allow them to benefit from and shape the region’s growing economy. It is possible for everyone to live full lives with security, dignity, and agency in our work, home, and communities. We know this because we are doing it.
Join us in 2023. Let’s ReWork the Bay together.
Rob, Kayla, & Brianna