COVID-19 rattled the U.S. job market profoundly. Millions of Americans lost their jobs during the pandemic, with low-wage work hit exceptionally hard; low-wage workers experienced job loss at a rate about 15 times that of high-wage employment.
Many participants in our past projects – including those from the Convergence Dialogue on Economic Recovery for America’s Workers (2020) and the Convergence Dialogue on Economic Mobility (called Working Up, 2018) – urged us to continue to engage experts in the field to further discuss the economic and financial ripple effects of the pandemic. For many Americans, the pandemic exacerbated the challenges they experienced well before the onset of COVID-19: finding stable, quality jobs and achieving upward economic mobility.
What can we do to help close these employment gaps and improve systems that lead to better jobs?
This month, Convergence will launch its next year-long Dialogue – the Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs – which will convene a diverse group of individuals representing workers, workforce development, policymakers, employers, and post-secondary education providers, to find common ground and advance solutions on behalf of our communities.
Please join us for a launch event on May 24 as we embark on the Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs and begin to discuss two avenues for America’s workers: 1- apprenticeships and 2- associate degrees and technical & certificate programs.
A Tribute to Rob Stein from Convergence Founder Rob Fersh
On May 2, we lost an unsung hero of the effort to create and successfully sustain Convergence. You may not have known or heard of Rob Stein, but there might not even be a Convergence today but for all the help and guidance he provided for almost a quarter century to incubate and build the mature organization we have today.
During the fifth annual National Week of Conversation, Convergence co-hosted an event on ‘Bridging Across Generations’ with Convergence CEO David Eisner; Layla Zaidane of Millennial Action Project; Manu Meel of BridgeUSA; and Marc Freedman of Encore.org, facilitating the conversation. Participants discussed what we can do to help foster greater dialogue between generations, and how bridging the generational divide could lead to a less polarized society.
Convergence Dialogue Leader Russell Krumnow and Participant Emmy Betz Featured on Safe States Podcast
“If there’s any national issue that feels stuck…it’s guns in America.” says Russell Krumnow, Vice President for Programs and Director of the Convergence Dialogue on Guns and Suicide Prevention. Listen as he and Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, participant in the Dialogue, discuss strategies to overcome divides in this Safe States podcast episode.
New Papers from Convergence Dialogue on Reimagining Care for Older Adults
Recently, a group of participants in the Convergence Dialogue on Reimagining Care for Older Adults published two papers related to the ongoing Dialogue. In the “Strategies for Housing Based Supports” paper, participants identified areas where collaboration is possible between agencies and organizations that provide housing and services. The paper suggests strategies that involve federal programs and policies that could reach systems and providers who serve older and disabled adults.
In the “Improving the CMS Rating System for Nursing Homes” paper, participants reimagine the rating system to capture and reflect the quality of life and the lived experience of older adults and adults with disabilities in our nation’s nursing homes.
Convergence Partners with Independent Sector’s Bridging Fellows Program
Convergence is thrilled to be involved in the first-ever Independent Sector Bridging Fellows cohort as a partner and facilitator to share insights on collaborative problem-solving and our proven methodology to bring people together.
Knowledge Test Answer:
Between 25-50% of Americans have completed trade school or certificate programs
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You can help Convergence bridge divides, find solutions for America’s cascading crises, and advance the bridge-building movement against toxic polarization. Invest today in solving problems through collaborative dialogue.