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Accelerating Employment Strategies for the Precariously Housed Project

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

This report presents the findings from the Accelerating Employment Retention Strategies for the Precariously Housed Project employer survey, innovation lab sessions, and employer engagement conducted in 2021 and 2022, bringing a new understanding of how to engage employers in an iterative process to unveil challenges, identify solutions, and test best practices that increase employment opportunities for precariously housed

individuals.




Key Findings

Key findings for this project are based on an employer survey, Innovation Lab sessions, and case studies conducted in 2021 and 2022


  • A significant portion of employers do not feel confident in their understanding of the unique barriers and needs of precariously housed job seekers and employees. One way to bolster their understanding is to collaborate with organizations and resource centers that specialize in serving precariously housed populations.

  • Strengthening systems coordination can facilitate access to resources for precariously housed employees and jobseekers at various intervention points.

  • Systems coordination requires strategizing, planning, and reaching solutions across existing efforts in both regional housing and employment sectors to minimize duplicate efforts. Investing in the tools and resources needed to coordinate housing and employment strategies can benefit the hiring and retention of precariously housed workers.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to new challenges for hiring and retaining workforce talent, including those already experiencing housing precarity. Employers can adapt by approaching employment with empathy and adopting a culture of flexibility due to the challenges job applicants and employees may face outside of the workplace.

  • Technology can provide advantages for hiring and recruiting new talent. For example, cell phones and text messaging job applicants can expand the opportunities for those looking for work. Additionally, both in-person and virtual resources can target a larger population of precariously housed job seekers attempting to expand their skill range or job market.

Accelerating Employment Strategies for the Precariously Housed Project

The USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation partnered with LeadersUp, a national nonprofit organization committed to bridging the divide to create an inclusive, antiracist economy, to launch the Accelerating Employment Strategies for the Precariously Housed Project. Through the State of California Workforce Accelerator Program, the project aimed to address hiring and recruitment challenges among the precariously housed workforce by identifying employer-led solutions. By leveraging the expertise of employers and adapting the Design Thinking Model, this project offers learnings across the "employment pipeline" for employers to engage in hiring and retention initiatives that expand employment opportunities for precariously housed individuals. The employment pipeline refers to the stages of hiring, retention, and long-term economic stability for job seekers.


This report outlines the findings from the project's activities, including an employer survey, Innovation Lab sessions, and case studies. This report presents the findings from the Accelerating Employment Retention Strategies for the Precariously Housed Project employer survey, innovation lab sessions, and employer engagement conducted in 2021 and 2022, bringing a new understanding of how to engage employers in an iterative process to unveil challenges, identify solutions, and test best practices that increase employment opportunities for precariously housed individuals.


Employer Assessment Tool

As an employer in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California region, you are likely employing people who are precariously housed. As such, it is important to understand how an employee's challenges with housing precarity might interfere with their employment and, by extension, their overall wellness and success. This employer assessment will provide you with customized resources to help you support employees experiencing housing precarity and initiate conversations within your organization to build a more inclusive and sustainable workforce.


Associated Works

Report: Accelerating Fair Chance Hiring

Policy Brief: U.S. Fair Chance Legislation

Literature Review: Fair Chance Policy Impacts

Brief: Employer Incentives for Hiring Justice-Involved Youth

Data Story: Young Adults and the Economic Impact of COVID-19

Report: Opportunity Youth in the City of Los Angeles

A Discussion with LeadersUp CEO Jeffery Wallace: Building an Inclusive Economy for Unemployed Black Youth



Contributors

Victoria Ciudad-Real

Project Specialist, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation





John Roberson III 

Chief of Staff, LeadersUp





Meghan Nazareno 

Policy Consultant, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)



Caroline Bhalla 

Executive Director, USC Price Center for Social Innovation





Gary Painter 

Director, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation





Kyle Hulburd

Research Assistant, Sol Price Center for Social Innovation





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