The high road for workers implies moving the nation to higher levels of skills workers) and a greater reward for work. It is an agenda of qualified workers for quality jobs and COWS has long focused on systems to secure that connection. In Wisconsin and beyond, COWS serves as a go-to source on the structure of the economy and how low-wage/no-benefit jobs contribute to inequality as well as an advisor on how to build high road workforce development systems that improve jobs, make skills more accessible for workers, and increase equity.
Equity in Apprenticeship
Equity in Apprenticeship highlights programs that use apprenticeship to extend occupational opportunity to historically marginalized groups, especially people of color and women.
Key recommendations from the report include:
- Equity should be built into all aspects of apprenticeship program design.
- Race, ethnicity, and gender are assets for meeting industry demand.
- Apprenticeship should be attentive to job quality, and wages for apprenticeship should be able to support a family.
Dive into the full report.
Issues in Care Work
Currently, COWS is contributing to the Wisconsin’s early care and education planning by updating data on Wisconsin’s childcare workforce. While childcare workers face low-wages and have few benefits, childcare remains too expensive for many families. COVID-19 has had dramatic impact on the sector. This work builds on COWS national work on care work, job quality, and wage issues in the care sector, including work on minimum wages in the care sector, ideas on care work strategies and scale of investment required, as well as previous research on the Wisconsin child care workforce.
High Road Training Partnerships
Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership
COWS continues its work with WRTP | Big Step, a worker training organization that COWS helped to found nearly 30 years ago. Currently, we are working with WRTP on a program evaluation to demonstrate the impact of investing in workers in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
Building on our work with WRTP, COWS serves as a technical advisor to policy makers and program leaders. Recent work includes consulting on the structure of the High Road Training Partnership of the State of California which is a $10million investment in partnerships that build equity, climate resilience, and job quality in the state. We have also worked as an advisor to WERC in Los Angeles and the Health Care Advancement Program, a national network of health care labor/management training funds.
Our publications focused on working people continue to be critical to our work. From regular report series to specialized reports about education, apprenticeship, and more, our writing in this area centers race and gender equity.
This report focuses on how Wisconsin can secure strong economic opportunity for working families by investing in public higher education, with a particular focus on racial equity.