As part of a three-year Race Forward project on racial equity in workforce development, Beyond Training and the “Skills Gap” – Research and Recommendations for Racially Equitable Communications in Workforce Development provides a broad picture for the field’s leaders and professionals of how the workers they serve — particularly workers of color — are framed in the media coverage of jobs in two expanding, higher wage industries — technology and health care. The report also provides the workforce development field with practical tips for racially equitable communications to broaden the collective responsibility for employment and other economic outcomes in our communities.
Research Question: To what extent are workers — particularly workers of color — framed in individualist vs. systemic ways in workforce development-related coverage of technology and health care jobs in mainstream media?
Practice Question: How can the field of workforce development better incorporate, and even center racial equity in communications?
The technology and healthcare sectors are at a crossroads: they can ignore or insufficiently address the realities of systemic racism and thereby reinforce the inequities of the status quo; or they can consciously choose to explicitly address race and become the drivers of equitable and inclusive change. The following recommendations provide a pathway for workforce development strategies in these sectors to move from being passively part of the problem to actively part of the solution — racially equitable and inclusive workforces prepared to meet the critical needs and challenges of our ever-changing and complex society.