Invalid Assumptions about Constraints: Nonprofit boards, executives and funding partners have outdated or disproven assumptions about workforce investment constraints, such as:

  • “We don’t have enough money to raise wages.”

  • “Our funders want to see low overhead.”

  • “We can’t change anything with the bargaining unit.”

Designing high-quality jobs is part of our service strategy and we need to clearly ask for what we need to attract and retain diverse skilled professionals.

We aren’t alone. There is a growing coalition of government, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders who care about paying the full costs of social services, to improve job quality for frontline workforce professionals.

Out of Scope: The agency does not have direct control over contracting requirements, reimbursement rates or staff wages. HR policies and/or procurement are handled by another department (at the state/county/city)—the agency can set goals, but it lacks the power to achieve many of them.

“Let’s start by focusing on what we can do, including (list specific things in the agency's locus of control). And let’s remember that if our job quality initiative takes off, it could have a ripple effect across our government and community.”

We can also look to leaders in the field setting new standards. Check out this New York Times article about Harvard University’s policy of compensating contractors with the same pay and benefits as employees.