The Workforce Development Racial Equity Readiness Assessment is designed as a guide for workforce development organizations and practitioners to evaluate their programs, operations, and culture in order to identify strength areas and growth opportunities. Practitioners can use this toolkit to familiarize themselves with various practices and policies that support institutional racial equity, evaluate their current efforts, and plan action steps.
Racial inequity is a critical barrier and outcome in the field of workforce development, as practitioners strive to provide quality and effective service for workers. In contrast to popular thought, racial bias is not simply an issue of individual animus, but instead a pattern that manifests in the policies, practices and everyday operations of institutions. These patterns of racial inequity often occur without the intention or awareness of the staff and leadership. The impacts and negative outcomes on customers of color can be severe, leading to lower service access, training quality and job placement. Ultimately, this means workforce development organizations that fail to address racial inequity within their institution fall short of their mission and vision.
Fortunately, there are practical solutions to make tangible and impactful gains within the workforce development field. Taking decades of racial justice research, training and consulting experience into account, our Race Forward Research team has developed the following readiness assessment criteria to provide a landscape of possible solutions for organizations to lean further into their racial equity practice.