New Career Pathways Are Here to Stay in Post-COVID Era
The American economy, despite what you’ve heard, is on the mend and it’s a good thing because the creation of millions of jobs is coming right along with that boost across the nation. During his early March State of the Union address, President Joe Biden underscored his message with highlights about the economy creating over … Continued
The American economy, despite what you’ve heard, is on the mend and it’s a good thing because the creation of millions of jobs is coming right along with that boost across the nation.
During his early March State of the Union address, President Joe Biden underscored his message with highlights about the economy creating over 6.5 million new jobs just last year, especially in the throes of the pandemic.
“[That is] more jobs created in one year than ever before in the history of America,” Biden said during the address, adding that the economy grew at a rate of 5.7 percent last year. “The strongest growth in nearly 40 years, the first step in bringing fundamental change to an economy that hasn’t worked for the working people of this nation for too long.”
“This pandemic has been an unprecedented shock to the labor market and has created a need for new jobs and new skills very quickly,” said Julia Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter, an online employment marketplace in Santa Monica, Calif., in a report for SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. “Here we have a public health disaster that’s created a wide range of roles needed to contain the disease and increase the confidence of American consumers. So, they are very important jobs. Many are related to other jobs, with a lot of transferable skills.”
During the pandemic, businesses had to ramp up their efforts to identify ways to retain productive employees, particularly during the “Great Resignation of 2021” which experienced thousands of employees leaving the workforce to seek better working conditions, compensation and opportunities.
Also, as corporations set up for remote working, they created culture work – having outside consultants perform a culture audit, work on team dynamics and identify ways to shift the corporate culture toward a more collegial environment. These efforts often included weaving equity, inclusion and diversity (EID) into the DNA of the corporate culture – a trend that accelerated because of the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, in this new workplace, reimagined and actualized, companies and corporations are taking a second look at their business model to make sure that employees are treated, well, how they deserve.
That means for Black workers looking into what matters for them in a new light, and not just offering lip service. For Black employees, many have felt relief in working from home, especially Black women who have experienced their fair share of microaggressions within the workplace, the Washington Post reports.
“It’s critical for business leaders to understand that large-scale shifts are changing how people work and how business gets done,” said Brian Kropp, distinguished vice president, Gartner, in an article about Future of Work Trends Post-COVID-19. “Leaders who respond effectively to these HR trends can ensure their organizations stand out from competitors.”
However, with these new dynamics came new opportunities and strategies for success in today’s business environment. “People were asking themselves, ‘Do I actually belong here? And if I look at equity, inclusion, and diversity, do we have a culture where people of color feel like they belong here?’” said Reggie Butler, founder, and CEO of Performance Paradigm, an executive education, human capital consultancy.
Is there a middle ground between the Great Resignation, the economic spikes with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the future of work?
Locally, answers are being made by promoting economic development opportunities that have a vested interest in the city, ensuring a bolstering economy, and bringing more jobs online for the people of Detroit — even years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those massive responsibilities are being shouldered by Detroit At Work, and as the City of Detroit’s staffing agency, the organization keeps the wheels turning as it continues to find engaging ways to connect people with jobs, provide opportunities and training to Detroiters and so much more.
“I am most looking forward to working with employers who want to locate in Detroit, developers who want to build in Detroit, and civic and business leaders who want to step forward and have a greater impact in Detroit,” Sherard-Freeman told the Michigan Chronicle previously. “I am looking forward to lining up all those possibilities into a future that Detroiters can’t even imagine.
“Before COVID, 44 percent of families were struggling — those families [are] more than likely headed by women and people of color and those who are struggling the most [are] without a high school diploma,” Sherard-Freeman said of those statistics. “In Detroit, a couple of technologies impacted the recovery and types of work that are available, and quite frankly it is going to drive not just the work that gets done but who gets to do the work.”
Recently, the City of Detroit’s summer work experience program for Detroit youth officially kicked off as Mayor Mike Duggan was joined by employers, philanthropic organizations and youth to officially launch the application period for Grow Detroit’s Young Talent 2022 (GDYT).
“In 2021 we provided our 50,000th summer work experience through Grow Detroit’s Young Talent,” said Mayor Duggan. “That is a simply remarkable achievement, particularly given the fact that over the last two years we have had to operate with the safety of participants during COVID at the forefront of our minds. Detroit is one of the very few cities nationally that has been able to do this during the pandemic, and I want to particularly recognize our partners for their commitment to providing opportunities for the city’s future leaders under such challenging circumstances.”
Detroit City Council Member at Large Mary Waters echoed the mayor’s thanks to partners and stressed how Detroit youth have now come to rely on GDYT being there for them every summer.
“There has been so much uncertainty in the world for the past two years, but even with a global health crisis still looming, GDYT has provided Detroit’s youth with safe, enriching personal and professional development,” said Waters. “Our young folk are intellectually gifted and have the skill sets to make meaningful contributions in any profession. What has been missing are opportunities to actually enter the workplace young enough to be exposed to workplace expectations. This program cultivates a strong work ethic and emotional intelligence needed for navigating the world of work.”
“The youth of today are our leaders of tomorrow, and we are committed to providing meaningful enrichment experiences through our tremendous partnership with GDYT,” said Jayme Powell, the Rocket Community Fund’s director of education and employment. “We are proud to continue our support of GDYT so that young Detroiters have equitable access to educational and economic opportunities that empower them to work toward their bright futures.”
Staff Writer Alan Hughes contributed to this report.