Policy & Advocacy

Our Policy

Promoting economic mobility, focusing on those most impacted by systemic racism, through education and advocacy for a more equitable workforce system where racial income gaps have been eliminated and everyone has access to family sustaining wages and quality jobs.


The TE policy agenda seeks to address persistent inequity and structural barriers that prevent job seekers from effectively participating in our labor market. We will do that through advocating for administrative and legislative policies that prepare unemployed and underemployed adults for projected job openings in NEO growth sectors; working to remove barriers to employment for individuals with criminal records and ensure that other systems are aligned to prevent individuals from losing out on career opportunities; supporting policies that ensure individuals, regardless of their zip code, have access to jobs with family sustaining wages; ensuring that as individuals obtain employment that they are on a path to career and advancement; as well as working to align and scale best practices through targeted investments and leveraged funding.

1. Address root causes of racial disparities throughout the workforce system

Action: Advocate for the removal of systemic racism barriers impacting access to work and career advancement 

  • Promote pro-active data-informed strategies to remove racial barriers associated with workforce initiatives 
  • Collaborate or support organizations leading action projects specifically focusing on racial equity 

2. Build more accessible on ramps and improve job quality, particularly at the front line/essential job categories

Action: Promote policies and advocacy efforts that value works supports as well as career advancement opportunities  

  • Advocate for increased funding of evidence-based practices and tools that build more on ramps and quality job opportunities  
  • De-bunk myths associated with “any job is a good job” for working families and educate about the characteristics associated with quality jobs  

3. Create more long-term reentry opportunities for individuals with criminal justice experience

Action: Decrease the number of barriers that hinder individuals with previous involvement with the criminal justice system to obtain employment with livable wages and career paths 

  • Work to minimize barriers to pardons, expungements, licensure, excessive fees/fines, and other collateral sanctions impeding community and workforce reentry to avoid future recidivism and employment disruptions. 

4. Acknowledge and address the social determinants of work

Action: Remove barriers to support and resources that increase engagement, retention, and advancement in the workforce. 

  • Remove barriers that hinder working families from accessing support for overall wellness (I.e., medical access, mental health supports, child and adult care supports, etc.) 
  • Addressing benefit cliffs that create barriers and/or disincentivize long-term career advancement (I.e., better alignment with career advancements and access to employment benefits) 

Generation Work in Northeast Ohio

In Cuyahoga County, 1 out of every 7 people is an opportunity youth - a young person who isn't connected to work or school.  These young people are more likely to experience health problems, encounter the criminal justice system, lose significant earnings over their lifetime and are disproportionately people of color.  Bringing a racial equity and inclusion lens to employer engagement and training, positive youth development, and youth education, Generation Work is aligning workforce systems and leadership to provide better outcomes for Cuyahoga County's young people.