Strategy Development

The Problem

Improving job quality through a government agency is not done with a single program, team or project. Rather, successful initiatives are anchored by a job quality strategy that provides a vision for advancing job quality for the long term. Improving job quality should be a core, agency-wide priority to be successful.

Why This Matters

Before embarking on a job quality initiative, it is important to articulate the purpose, vision, and strategy—the what, why and how. This process involves building consensus, calibrating expectations and defining what success looks like and how it will be measured. A strong job quality strategy will serve as a “North Star” throughout the initiative, keeping efforts and resources focused on the areas of greatest impact, even as specific interventions evolve and change.

The Solution

Develop your agency’s job quality strategy. A good strategy includes:

  • A framework to introduce the high-level focus, make the case for change and communicate to key stakeholders.

  • Minimum standards or criteria that define a quality job for your project to serve as a starting point for goal setting, measurement and policy and practice change.

  • Goals that inform budget, policy and practice change.

The strategy should then be supported by new or expanded policies and practices that promote good and equitable jobs.

While RFA’s Job Quality Framework is a useful guide for this work, it is important to tailor your unique job quality framework to the needs of the local community or jurisdiction.

Ultimately, each component of your job quality strategy should be directly linked to equity. The strategy development process should incorporate the voices of the people you serve and must reflect the unique needs of the population. Engage diverse stakeholders to understand what they see as the most powerful reasons to invest in quality jobs, adjusting strategy and messaging accordingly.

This template will guide you through the strategy development process.

  1. Understand your environment: What is the broader context for your project?

  2. Develop a job quality framework: How will you communicate efforts and make the case for change?

  3. Draft initial job quality standards: What, at a minimum, defines a quality job in your jurisdiction?

  4. Establish a baseline: What percentage of jobs meet those minimum standards in your community? Within your agency and contractors? Within relevant public employment workforce programs?

  5. Build a broad coalition for good jobs and equity: What stakeholders do you need to bring along?

  6. Establish job quality goals: What do you want to achieve through your projects?

  7. Design the measurement infrastructure: How will you track progress?

  8. Develop and implement new or expanded job quality policies and practices: How are you operationalizing the strategy?

  9. Measure and publicly report on your progress: How are you holding yourself and stakeholders accountable?

Recommended actions can help workforce and economic development agencies advance strategies to finance their job quality strategy for the long term.