Creating Good Jobs: Perspectives from Small Employers

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 03:00 pm - 04:30 pm

The health and economic crises resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic evoked a long-overdue conversation on the precarious nature of work in the United States. A subsequent tight labor market has shifted the balance of power toward workers, whose demands for better pay and benefits have galvanized policymakers and philanthropy to focus their attention on ways to define and measure job quality and strategies to invest in human capital.

But how do employers—especially small employers—think about job quality? According to census data, more than half of the nation’s 134 million workers are in firms with fewer than 100 employees. Not only are small employers therefore an important source of jobs, people with low incomes are disproportionately employed by small businesses, and these workers are more likely to be Black or Latino/a.

Understanding the unique drivers and constraints small businesses face in improving job quality is necessary to expand access to good jobs. Join Reimagine Main Street, Common Future, and WorkRise for a convening of small business owners, lenders, philanthropy leaders, and other experts to discuss how small employers can be supported in their efforts to invest in their workforce. In addition, we will share findings from a new survey of more than 1,200 diverse small employers that probes their views on the current labor market and approaches to good jobs.



Opening KeynoteDon Graves Jr., Deputy Secretary, US Department of Commerce

  • Rhett Buttle, Founder and Principal, Public Private Strategies
  • Don Baylor, Managing Director, Co-head of Community Impact, Lafayette Square
  • Kim Brown, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tiara Flynn, CEO, Sunmu Marketing 
  • Rodney Foxworth, Chief Executive Officer, Common Future
  • Todd Greene, Executive Director, WorkRise, and Urban Institute Fellow 
  • Dr. Erika Gonzalez, CEO and President, South Texas Allergy & Asthma Medical Professionals (STAAMP) 
  • Jorge González-Hermoso, Research Associate, Urban Institute
  • Tammy Halevy, Executive Director, Reimagine Main Street
  • Ida Rademacher, Vice President and Executive Director, Financial Security Program, The Aspen Institute 
  • Amy Saxton, Vice President of Program Development, The James Irvine Foundation 

Additional speakers to be announced.


Support for this event is provided by the funders of WorkRise. For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to urban.org/fundingprinciples.
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