Workforce Wrap Up: Disability Issues on the Agendas, Flexible Workforces and More

Workforce development is at the heart of Goodwill’s mission, so we work closely with government agencies, community partners and employers to stay abreast of issues affecting the workforce climate in Central and Coastal Virginia. From the increase in remote working to workplace disability practices, here’s the latest Workforce Wrap Up.

Bringing workforce disability practices to light

Did you know? About 15 percent of the global population has some form of disability. Furthermore, people with disabilities are about 50 percent more likely to experience poverty and 50 percent less likely to get a job. 

To drive tangible, industry-wide change to accommodate the disabled population, billionaire businessman Richard Branson has backed a new campaign that encourages businesses to commit to putting disability issues on their agendas. Yahoo reports that the campaign is called Valuable 500 and was launched at the World Economic Forum by Irish disability campaigner Caroline Casey.

The unknown benefit to a high-pressure labor market

The Wall Street Journal reports that new research by four veteran Federal Reserve economists has found that an economy where the unemployment rate falls below estimates of its long-run level can generate multiplied benefits for groups like disadvantaged workers, like minorities, women and those with less education.

New jobs in a high-pressure economy tend to be better paid and more productive and steady, and the study found that it is even more so true for those marginalized groups. 

Looking local: Population growth in RVA, now what?

In 18 years, Richmond has added 30,000 people to its population, thanks to new businesses, renewed infrastructure investments, the revitalization of vacant buildings and neighborhoods and improved mass transit systems (plus a killer restaurant and music scene). But because it doesn’t seem to be slowing down, where do we go from here? Michael Williams at the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Where are all the workers coming from?

With an unemployment rate so low, economists have suspected that hiring would slow as the pool of potential candidates shrinks. But the Associated Press reports that’s not the case – many more people have decided to look for work, and companies have responded by beefing up internal training and lowering job qualifications in the hopes to capture some of the individuals emerging from the sidelines. 

The future of work is hard to see

And that’s because by 2028, according to the “Future Workforce Report” by Upwork, 73% of all teams will have remote workers — people on a company’s payroll, but not physically in the office. Small Biz Trends has some tips for how small businesses can best prepare for the shift. Key word? Flexibility.

Goodwill “flexes” its workforce

At Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, we embraced this future several years ago. All staff members have designations as to whether their role is “resident” – mostly in the same location daily – or “flex” – recognizing that they can work wherever is best based on their schedules. Our mobile workforce has the tools to keep us connected and productive (with kudos to our IT team). In the true spirit of “thrift,” we need less square footage for administration so that we can dedicate more space to our Community Employment Centers and social enterprises that support our mission.