The Pittsburgh-based insurer grants the funding through its Local Workforce Initiative, created to recognize organizations demonstrating an impact in areas with minority, disabled, veteran or displaced worker populations, according to a news release.
"We know that there are often barriers that prohibit individuals from obtaining employment, and to create a vibrant and healthy community, individuals need access to sustainable employment," Dan Onorato, Highmark executive vice president of chief external affairs and communications officer, said in a statement. "Through this program, communities where we do business will have the necessary funding to address this pressing issue."
Midstate programs receiving funding are:
From Fast Food to Fine Dining: A Career Path or Dead End?
As workforce development professionals look to connect people to training and jobs, they have often overlooked industries considered "low-skill, low-wage," such as the restaurant sector. Yet, there are good jobs in restaurants, with living wages and decent benefits, although admittedly these are not the majority. Importantly, however, employment in this industry is growing - food services establishments added over 530,000 jobs in the past year.
On March 7th, the Aspen Institute's Workforce Strategies Initiative hosted an event, From Fast Food to Fine Dining: A Discussion on Work in the Restaurant Industry, which explored the challenges faced by restaurant workers, and low-wage workers in general, as well as ideas for how jobs and opportunities in the sector could be improved. The event, was the first in a series of discussions AspenWSI is hosting this year in a series titled, Reinventing Low-Wage Work: Ideas That Can Work for Employees, Employers and the Economy. Wednesday's discussion featured Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Saru Jayaraman, Executive Director of ROC-United, Helen Neuborne, Director of Quality Employment at the Ford Foundation, John Schmitt, Senior Economist of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Andy Shallal, owner of Busboys and Poets and restaurateur. The discussion was moderated by Peter Edelman, Professor of Law at Georgetown University.
What do you think?