Strengthening Workplaces

by | Jan 11, 2023

A resiliency road map from the Where Are the Workers analysis

By Bishara Addison, Director of Job Preparation, and Reanna Karousis, Director of Communications & EngagementOne in three Northeast Ohio workers is new to their job. Generation Z workers were twice as likely to have quit their job in 2021. And one in five adults across the region, whether they consider themselves employed, unemployed, or retired, have participated in contract or gig work since the pandemic began.

These findings and more, plus what they imply for Northeast Ohio employers seeking to remain competitive, are now available in the Strengthening Workplaces dashboard recently published at Visitors to the Strengthening Workplaces dashboards can explore and share findings about the composition of today’s workforce in Northeast Ohio, the factors drawing workers in (or keeping them out) of jobs, and information on potential strategies employers can consider for better understanding their own workers, leveraging systemic efforts to address barriers to employment, and evolving to accommodate the wants and needs of today’s workers. Data snapshots are segmented by demographic information including generation, gender, race, household composition, income and industry to help further illustrate opportunities and challenges.


Beginning in late 2021 and throughout 2022, we at the Fund for Our Economic Future and our initiative partners at Conxus NEO, PolicyBridge, the Summit-Medina Workforce Area Council of Governments and Team NEO have been deeply immersed in the analysis of the evolving workforce in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve hosted numerous presentations and talks across the region, published highlights and commentary from our surveys and crowdsourced questions from employers and workforce leaders.

From “What Matters” to
“What Works”

The launch of Strengthening Workplaces as we move into 2023 marks a deliberate and important transition baked into the way we work at the Fund for Our Economic Future: Taking what we learned in our efforts to understand what matters to explore and implement what works—in this instance, for expanding equitable and inclusive opportunity for Northeast Ohio’s workers and would-be workers while improving the resiliency and sustainability of the businesses and employers that drive our region’s overall economic well-being. Thus, Strengthening Workplaces.

What’s ahead for Strengthening Workplaces? We’re tapping the expertise of our civic network—represented by our 35+ members, our workforce partners and grantees, and employers and subscribers previously tapped into the Where Are the Workers analysis—to bring greater awareness to these findings and implications, assess the landscape of emerging practices in “job quality” and leveraging our pooled funding to test ideas and develop solutions most suited for Northeast Ohio’s workforce and business environment.

The portfolio of initiatives and efforts in development under the Strengthening Workplaces banner directly align with our vision at the Fund, a growing Northeast Ohio economy creating good jobs and rising incomes for everyone, regardless of race or place. Embedded in this is a deliberate effort to dismantle systemic racism that holds back the region; additionally, the Where Are the Workers analysis exposed the disproportionate negative impacts of the pandemic on particular segments of workers, such as Gen Z workers and women, and key industries—Strengthening Workplaces will encompass strategies to mitigate these effects and restore opportunity and economic stability where people and businesses were most impacted.

Ever focused on the horizon, we’re excited to launch Strengthening Workplaces and move into the next phase of our efforts to make workforce systems work better for people, the driving force behind our region’s productivity and prosperity. We hope you’ll stay tuned to this work as it unfolds.Subscribe for Updates to Strengthening Workplaces

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Read About Where Are the Workers