Future of Work

Providing clear, equitable, and durable pathways to economic security in high-demand industries reflective of the risk of automation.

Objective 1: Support Seattle students in becoming career and college ready

Why is this important?
Between 2016 and 2021, Washington state is expected to experience 740,000 job openings. The majority of these jobs will require that workers have a postsecondary credential (a degree, apprenticeship, or certificate). The Washington Roundtable estimates that only 31% of WA high school students earn a postsecondary credential by age 26, and have a goal to increase this percentage to 70% by 2030. In order to achieve this goal, they estimate that 95% of high school graduates must enroll in postsecondary education by 2030. The City of Seattle is working towards reducing barriers to higher education through its Seattle Promise program, which provides Seattle Public School seniors with two years of free tuition at Seattle Community Colleges, beginning fall 2019. By supporting students to enroll in higher education, we hope to fill Seattle's growing number of jobs with local talent. 

Outcome: 95% of Seattle high school graduates enroll in postsecondary education by 2030

How are we measuring this outcome?
The data used to measure this objective comes from the Washington State Education Research and Data Center (ERDC). ERDCs "High School Feedback Reports" include the proportion of high school graduates (from public high schools) that are enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year public or private college. It also reports the postsecondary education enrollment patterns of high school graduates by demographic characteristics, including race. The racial categories used by ERDC include White, Hispanic, Black, Asian, Native American, and two or more races. All of ERDCs enrollment estimates are reported as ranges that vary in preciseness based on the number of high school graduates in each school. Fewer graduates results in a wider range estimate. To calculate the average enrollment rates for all SPS graduates and for each racial group, these ranges were first averaged by school, then used to calculate an overall average for all Seattle Public Schools. 

What progress are we making?

The City of Seattle's Family and Education Levy (FEL) has been providing investments to Seattle Public high schools that serve a large number of high-risk youth. Called "Innovation schools," the high schools that have received investments since 2012 are Cleveland High School, Franklin High School, Ingraham High School, Interagency Programs, and West Seattle High School. Innovation schools are expected to deploy strategies in academic, case management, and college and career readiness investment areas. 
The City is working towards reducing barriers to higher education through the Seattle Promise program, which provides Seattle Public School seniors with two years of free tuition at Seattle Community Colleges, beginning fall 2019. The City of Seattle is committed to preparing students for college and career success. By removing financial barriers to allow more students to enroll in higher education, we hope to fill Seattle's growing number of jobs with local talent. 
Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) identified education as a major area in need of change. Students of color are disproportionately disciplined in Seattle schools, and there is a need for better career pathways for all  Seattle students. RSJI played an instrumental role in the Seattle Public School district adopting a policy on Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity, in 2012. This policy states that Seattle Public Schools are committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of race or class, graduate from Seattle Public Schools ready to succeed in a racially and culturally diverse local, national, and global community. 
Data on postsecondary enrollment patterns comes from the Washington Education Research and Data Center.

Objective 2: Build a more equitable, inclusive workforce 

Why is this important?
[Borrowed from 20181218 Content Template]
The City of Seattle is committed to fostering a diverse and innovative local economy powered by a world class workforce. A particular focus is on leading workforce development efforts in the City and preparing Seattle's economy to thrive in the future of work.

The City seeks to promote sustained growth and productivity of businesses, shared prosperity and enhanced standards of living for all Seattle residents, and strength among small businesses and those owned by women and minorities. The City's Office of Economic Development supports Seattle's healthy business environment and empowers entrepreneurs to grow and compete, while at the same time supporting young people and low-income residents to develop their talent towards viable jobs and career paths.

Outcome: Racial/ethnic and gender parity in jobs that promote opportunity

How are we measuring this outcome?

Washington Roundtable's seminal Pathways report categorized jobs in Washington by the opportunities each provides. So-called Pathway Jobs provide better pay and clearer paths to upward mobility than Entry-Level Jobs, while Career Jobs offer the best starting salary and potential for advancement. Pathway and Career jobs are also associated with stronger projected demand for new workers statewide. These job categories provide a starting point for the City's conversation over how to support career paths that promote opportunity and self-sufficiency.
The Pathways report highlighted top ten jobs within each category that are projected to have the most new openings from 2016 to 2021. To ensure our community's education and workforce systems are helping people access opportunity, we have set a goal for People of Color and women to be represented in these "good jobs" on par with their representation in our general population. The charts below illustrate how well each group is currently represented in these high-growth Pathway and Career Jobs.

What progress are we making?

With over 13,000 employees, the City of Seattle strives to be a model employer when it comes to workforce equity. In 2017, 39% of City employees were People of Color, which is representative of the proportion of People of Color in King County. However, we have more work to do in promoting equity in supervisory positions and positions that earn top wages. In these areas, People of Color are underrepresented by 5% and 7%, respectively.
Soon after taking office, Mayor Durkan signed an Executive Order affirming the City's commitment to the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) and proposed additional funding and staffing supports for RSJI across City departments. Looking ahead, the City will require all employees to receive training on implicit bias in employment practices and will continue to provide leadership development programs for employees in non-supervisory positions. 


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