Healthcare and information technology (IT) are two of the fastest growing sectors in the United States and provide numerous high-paying career options around the country. However, most of these living-wage careers are only available to individuals who have advanced degrees and other costly credentials, which are real barriers to many people of color in low-income communities. Providing access into healthcare and IT careers will become an increasingly critical role for workforce development agencies as these sectors continue to take over more of the labor market.
Drawing from academic research, interviews with workers of color and key experts in the field, and results from a 2016 Race Forward survey of 70 workforce development organizations nationwide, Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equity in Healthcare and IT identifies barriers to achieving equitable employment outcomes for workers of color in the workforce development field, and outlines solutions to increase racial equity through a systemic, race-explicit, and outcome-oriented approach.
The report identifies major internal and external barriers to greater adoption of race-explicit strategies for equity in the workforce development field, including racial bias and discrimination, limited tracking of racial disparities and outcomes, and a lack of services to support low-income workers of color.