In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, a time to reflect on the past with an eye to the future, the profiles in this announcement focus on enhancing workforce-related outcomes for our diverse communities. These resources examine employment trends of young men of color, discuss workforce initiatives with potential to increase employment opportunities for such underutilized populations, and provide recommendations to help minority-owned businesses succeed. 

Jobs and Race: Addressing Race and Cultural Competence in the Jobs Initiative. 2017. In this report, the author describes the implementation of an initiative designed to improve how public and private workforce systems address racial inequities in the labor market and serve job seekers living in low-income neighborhoods in Denver, Colorado; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. Louis, Missouri; and Seattle, Washington, from 1995 to 2005.

Overall, the authors summarize three key factors contributing to the initiative’s success, including a commitment to racial equity, processes and strategies to address inequalities, and a site-driven framework.


Employment Pathways for Boys and Young Men of Color: Solutions and Strategies That Can Make a Difference. 2016. This brief describes employment trends of young males in the workforce by age and ethnicity, and factors contributing to disconnection from employment for young men of color. “Employment trends over the last 15 years reveal a steady decline of youth in the workforce and boys and young men of color have been greatly impacted.” The brief closes with promising strategies and policies to improve employment outcomes for young men of color. For example, it suggests that “programs that focus on [building work skills] to bolster the employability of young men of color…contribute to longevity in their roles.”


The Racial Wealth Gap: Narrowing the Racial Wealth Gap through Business Ownership. 2015. This report examines research on business ownership and its connection to wealth creation for minority populations. It cites that “Latino and African-American owned firms face lower rates of business growth and survival, posing a challenge for wealth creation.” To help address this challenge, the authors offer various recommendations for funders seeking to improve access to effective business ownership among these populations. One recommendation suggests that funders “invest in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and mission-based lenders that provide capital to firms and worker-owned cooperatives owned by African Americans and Latinos.”