Creating More Quality Jobs: Centering Workers in the Rebuilding Agenda

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Please join JFF’s Future Ready CA Network and Turning Basin Labs for a virtual conversation.

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Monday, Nov 16, 2020 | 10:30am - 12pm PT

California needs more quality jobs. In response to an employment landscape marked by declining union membership, increased outsourcing, the rise of platform work, and eroding wages and worker protections, Turning Basin Labs and Jobs for the Future (JFF) have teamed up to answer the questions,

  • “What business models prioritize worker well-being?”
  • “What employment models are worth investing in, from the worker perspective?”

Our approach to answering these questions is centered on the inclusion of workers themselves in a participatory, community-driven research process. Our view is that harnessing the insight of these workers is fundamental to ensuring that we identify truly equitable employment models--ones that advance worker power, improve job quality, and support career development for low-wage earners, with a particular attention to the needs of 1099 contractors.

Over the last several months, we have built a unique team that blends professional researchers and “worker researchers” who have the lived experience of low-wage and/or 1099 contract employment. These worker researchers from across California have led the design and primary research processes while serving as strategic advisors on the project’s direction. Their voices, ideas, and efforts will determine where this research leads.

Please join JFF’s Future Ready California Network and Turning Basin Labs for a conversation about job quality, worker power, models of business ownership, and the shared role we all can play in supporting worker leadership in the creation of quality employment opportunities.

Conversation 1: Workers as Researchers & Advisors: What do workers tell us about quality jobs?

  • Alison Schmitt, Senior Program Manager, JFF
  • Danny Spitzberg, Lead Researcher, Turning Basin Labs
  • Elsa Guerra-Garcia, Worker Researcher, Turning Basin Labs
  • Leneka Pendergrass, Worker Researcher, Turning Basin Labs

Conversation 2: Workers as Owners: What business models prioritize worker well-being? Investing in cooperatives as one strategy to support inclusive recovery

  • Kimberly Alvarenga, Director, CA Domestic Workers Coalition
  • Kirk Vartan, General Manager and Founder, A Slice of New York
  • Stephen Bediako, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Turning Basin Labs

Conversation 3: Policy Implications: What policies put workers at the center of strategies that improve job quality?

  • Ana Bertha Gutierrez, Senior Director, JFF
  • Julie Su, Secretary, CA Labor & Workforce Development Agency
  • Marti Shaw, Worker Researcher, Turning Basin Labs

About JFF’s Future Ready California Network:

The Future Ready California Network is an open learning community of leaders working across institutional, regional and sectoral boundaries to improve regional income and social mobility outcomes and drive inclusive regional growth. We strive to tackle complex regional challenges collaboratively while building capacity through sharing and learning. We believe diversity, equity, and inclusion enhance learning and fuel innovation, and we welcome leaders across California who represent diverse voices to be a part of our community and join the movement to uplift every part of California.

About Turning Basin Labs:

Turning Basin Labs (TBL) is a worker-owned cooperative dedicated to ensuring “economic opportunity accessible to all” workers. Our workers come from varied socio-economic backgrounds – formerly incarcerated workers, immigrant workers, minority workers, women workers – all seeking better jobs. We provide these workers community, access to benefits, and high road jobs. Join us at

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Organizer JFF

Organizer of Creating More Quality Jobs: Centering Workers in the Rebuilding Agenda

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