U.S. Secretaries of Commerce, Labor launch Job Quality Toolkit

The Toolkit identifies tactics for small-and-medium sized businesses to improve job quality and partner with workers to retain a high-performing workforce

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce launched the Job Quality Toolkit, which provides strategies and actions to help small-and-medium-sized organizations recruit and retain a high-performing workforce. The Toolkit also includes eight case studies of organizations that have committed to increasing the quality of the jobs they offer.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo unveiled the Toolkit at a roundtable with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and business, labor, and non-profit leaders. Secretary Raimondo led a discussion on improving job quality, partnership strategies with business leaders to deploy the Toolkit, and metrics of success.

“Good jobs are a cornerstone of President Biden’s economic agenda,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Job quality is not just about the job; it is a combination of key drivers that are important to each worker’s overall employment experience. Small-and-medium-sized employers are at the heart of our economy, and those that create high-quality jobs have a clear competitive advantage.”

“Through the Good Jobs Initiative, we are committed to building on the President’s historic recovery by working collaboratively to improve job quality and job equity for America’s workers,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “I’m grateful to Secretary Gina Raimondo for her partnership in putting this vision into action through the Job Quality Toolkit and continuing this vital conversation through today’s roundtable.”

The Toolkit builds on the “Good Jobs Principles” that the Departments of Commerce and Labor published in June and was informed by the input of several job quality experts over the past year.  The Toolkit offers numerous strategies for all employers to consider through a cycle of dialogue with their workforce, action and measurement.

Rooted in the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework, the Toolkit’s strategies are organized around eight drivers, or essential elements, of a good job:  Recruitment & Hiring, Benefits, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility (DEIA), Empowerment & Representation, Job Security & Working Conditions, Organizational Culture, Pay and Skills & Career Advancement. Along with the Toolkit, the Department of Commerce is also releasing case studies that highlight concrete examples of how a focus on job quality benefits workers and business. Each case study explains how companies have worked to improve the quality of the jobs they offer by focusing on one or more drivers.

“We applaud the Departments of Commerce and Labor for producing this Toolkit, and for working directly with small- and medium-sized businesses in our Business Leaders United network to ensure the toolkit speaks to their needs,” said Andy Van Kleunen, CEO of the National Skills Coalition. “We look forward to seeing how Biden administration initiatives like Commerce’s recently announced Good Jobs Challenge grants will invest in such partnerships and thereby support the adoption of the Toolkit’s job quality practices across a range of U.S. companies.”

“As a union leader representing hundreds of thousands of workers in the hospitality industry, I know what a collective bargaining agreement can do to improve job quality,” said D. Taylor, International President of United Here.“When labor and management come together, both workers and businesses benefit. That’s why I applaud this Administration for speaking with one voice, empowering workers to organize and negotiate their own terms, and encouraging partnerships between businesses, labor and other stakeholders to improve job quality.”

The principles also provide a framework for creating good jobs and a more accessible workforce through federal government partnerships and investments. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, federal agencies have incentivized equity and good jobs in more than $50 billion of competitive grant funding to date.

View the Job Quality Toolkit here.

View the Job Quality Case Studies here.

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