Leveraging Workers’ Skills for an Inclusive Economy: Tools, Resources, and Evidence

Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:00 pm - 01:30 pm


As the US economy reopens, many Americans are reassessing their priorities and relationships to work. Workers are realizing their potential and seeking better wages and opportunities, particularly those who held low-wage jobs before the pandemic. Many workers, however, may not have resources to pursue additional education and training on their own. At the same time, some employers are shifting to inclusive hiring practices that focus on jobseekers’ skills and competencies rather than degrees and credentials, which can screen out qualified candidates.

Join WorkRise and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia to explore evidence-based tools and resources designed to create pathways for economic mobility and opportunity for workers historically excluded from good jobs. Researchers and practitioners from WorkRise’s partner institutions will consider how these tools and resources support workers’ efforts to leverage their existing skills and past work experience to signal their value in the labor market and employers’ growing interest in skills-based hiring. We will highlight insights that enable workforce intermediaries and decisionmakers to facilitate occupational transitions and stronger matches between local talent and demand. We will also identify gaps in knowledge about effective interventions for promoting mobility in the labor market.

Introductory remarks:

  • Todd Greene, Executive Director, WorkRise, and Institute Fellow, Urban Institute


  • Papia Debroy, Senior Vice President of Insights, Opportunity@Work
  • Julie Elberfeld, Senior Advisor and Interim Chief Technology Officer, Opportunity@Work
  • Marcela Escobari, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution
  • Debbie Hughes, Interim Director, Rework America Alliance, Markle Foundation
  • John Schlatter, Assistant Manager of Adult Education, Center of Workforce Innovations 
  • Keith Wardrip, Community Development Research Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • Ashley Putnam, Director, Economic Growth and Mobility Project, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (moderator)



Tools for workers, career coaches, and worker-serving organizations 

Tools for employers 

Tools for local and regional economic and workforce development leaders and agencies 



Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia


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.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email events@urban.org if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.