Engaging Businesses in Local Efforts to Reduce Poverty (Part 2)

Resource Type: Audio Seminar || Speaker: Garry Loewen
Garry Loewen

The 2nd of a four-part series, Garry Loewen considers effective tactics for leveraging business and markets, creating employment opportunities and recognizing the realities faced by hourly wage workers.

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All across Canada, communities are creating multi-sector collaborations or networks that develop long-term, comprehensive approaches to reducing poverty. 

The local business community is a natural partner in this effort:

  • As Community Citizens: businesses can contribute financial, technical and human resources to community initiatives (e.g. community volunteers, grants to poverty reduction projects, joint marketing campaigns). 
  • As Employers: businesses can train and hire unemployed or underemployed workers, pay good wages, and offer supplementary employment benefits (e.g. child care, flexible work schedules). 
  • As Purchasers: businesses can buy goods and services from local enterprises that employ unemployed or underemployed workers (e.g. subcontract to a community training enterprise). 
  • As Producers: businesses can strive to ensure they provide quality services for low-income communities (e.g. financial services, housing, transportation). 

In order to tap into the enormous potential of the private sector to significantly reduce poverty,it is necessary to develop a better understanding of how to build the case for business involvement and the specific strategies and techniques for engaging and sustaining businesses in poverty reduction work over the long term.

This podcast explores how communities, governments and employers can work together to prepare and link unemployed and underemployed people to good paying jobs in areas of local skills shortages.

Highlights include:

  • The characteristics of a comprehensive workforce development system in bridging people seeking work and areas of skills shortages
  • The role of workforce intermediaries in supporting a comprehensive workforce development system
  • The central place of the business community in workforce development 

In this podcast, Garry Loewen, one of Canada’s most experienced Community Economic Development practitioners, highlights some ”best practice” employment development programs from across North America and makes the “case” for business involvement in customized training.

Resources from the Seminar: