Michigan Employers Take Part in Vulnerable Worker Forum

An advisory council to the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (which is Michigan OSHA's parent agency) held a Vulnerable Worker Forum on March 7 at a center on the campus of Wayne County Community College. "Employers in southeast Michigan left their real-world identities behind and tried to make ends meet as low wage workers," the department explained, saying this "modified poverty simulation was used to jumpstart employer awareness of the struggles that most vulnerable workers -- hourly and entry level staff -- face and whose difficulties with poverty often impact their employment success."

The Council for Labor & Economic Growth and the CLEG Low Wage Worker Advancement Committee hosted the event in partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and CVS Pharmacy. It included an employer-led roundtable about actions employers can take to connect low-income employees to support services in an effort to decrease turnover, provide opportunities for advancement, and improve long-term workforce stability.

CLEG is a board of leaders from business, education, and labor; services; and state and local officials. The council also advises the state's governor and is charged with continuous improvement of a statewide workforce investment system. "A growing number of employers are developing strategies to proactively help their frontline workers keep their jobs, advance in the workforce, and achieve economic security," said Andy Levin, DLEG's deputy director. "Employers who invest in their workers and view them as assets are achieving greater success in worker retention, productivity, and the company bottom line."

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