Virtual Event



Charting a Resilient Future for US Workers: Solutions to Navigate an Uncertain Economy

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 02:00 pm - 04:30 pm

Tuesday, October 18, through Thursday, October 20, 2022
2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT

At a Glance 

  • three afternoons of solutions-focused virtual programming
  • keynotes by thought leaders in business, policy, and advocacy  
  • research insights from workforce and labor experts  

About the Conference  

Amid seismic economic shifts, workers and families have experienced highs and lows. The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a once-in-a-lifetime economic shock, followed by a robust government response to stabilize the economy. Nearly three years later, a tight labor market has led to historic wage growth and better jobs—particularly for workers earning low wages. Inflation, however, has undermined these gains, and policies to control prices could lead to higher unemployment. Longer-term trends such as income inequality, automation, climate change, and demographic shifts pose uncertainty for the present and future of work.  

And yet, with transformation comes opportunity. We invite you to join WorkRise and its partners for a virtual conference to explore the challenge and promise of the current moment, innovative policies and practices aimed at improving job quality and economic mobility, and creative, cross-sector solutions that are turning risk into resilience so that workers, businesses, and communities can thrive. Each day will be anchored around a specific theme, and leaders and doers from our stakeholder networks, including workers, employers, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and advocates, will share actionable insights and solutions to navigate the road ahead. Workers will also share reflections on their experiences with economic uncertainty and their hopes about the future. 

Who Should Attend?  

This conference is relevant to employers and business leaders, talent professionals, service and training providers, worker advocates, program administrators, policymakers, and all changemakers working to support economic mobility in the labor force. Members of the news media covering workforce, labor markets, and the economy will find new ideas and important context to shape coverage of these topics. We invite attendees to apply lessons from the event to their own work in advancing workers’ economic mobility through policy, practice, and partnerships.  



October 18: The Challenge and Promise of the Current Moment

Day 1 will unpack the unique economic challenges and opportunities facing US workers, including inflation, continued risks posed by the pandemic, and the threat of a recession.

  • Keynote Panel: What’s happening now and what’s ahead for workers? 
  • Research-to-Action Insights: Applying evidence to support resilience
  • Worker Voices: Essential work in an unusual job market

October 19: Innovative Practices to Shape the Future of Work  

Day 2 will highlight current approaches and emerging and innovative practices that expand workers’ access to skill building and quality jobs.

  • Keynote Panel: Employer practices for a diverse and dynamic workforce
  • Research-to-Action Insights: Innovation for hiring, skilling, and job quality
  • Worker Voices: Quality jobs and new pathways for talent

October 20: Turning Threats into Opportunity

Day 3 will examine trends and forces that will affect workers far beyond the present moment. How can policymakers and employers harness the drivers of economic disruption to expand opportunity?

  • Keynote Panel: Public and private investment for a resilient future
  • Research-to-Action Insights: What should we ask and do now to prepare for the years ahead?
  • Worker Voices: How do we feel about the future?

Keynote Speakers:

  • Jean Accius, Senior Vice President, Global Thought Leadership, AARP 
  • Raphael Bostic, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Andre Dickens, Mayor, City of Atlanta
  • Maria Flynn, President and CEO, Jobs for the Future
  • Todd Greene, Executive Director, WorkRise, and Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
  • Don Howard, President and CEO, The James Irvine Foundation
  • Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink
  • Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
  • Sarah Rosen Wartell, President, Urban Institute

Featured Speakers:

  • Alexander Wickman Bartik, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Kristen Broady, Senior Economist and Economic Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Kimberly Brown, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Elizabeth Cheung, Senior Program Officer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Kristen Harknett, Professor, Social Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco
  • Michelle Holder, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Washington Center for Equitable Growth
  • Elisabeth Jacobs, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
  • Erin L. Kelly, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Work and Organization Studies, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Julian D. Miller, Director, Reuben V. Anderson Center for Justice, Tougaloo College
  • Sarah Miller, Principal Adviser for Community and Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Jake Rosenfeld, Professor of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Kimberly Shin, Managing Director, FSG Talent Rewire
  • Shayne Spaulding, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
  • Carl E. Van Horn, Director, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
  • Tracy Wareing-Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Public Human Services Association

Additional speakers to be announced.

WorkRise is proud to cohost this event with following partners:

  • AARP
  • Business Roundtable
  • Families and Workers Fund
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Jobs for the Future
  • Rework America Alliance, a Markle Initiative