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Last December, the Washington Post called our current labor crisis “the most unusual job market in modern American history,” citing COVID, the recession, and the “big quit.” But one of the most pernicious causes of the crisis (and one that predated the events of 2020) is a massive mismatch between employers’ needs and job candidates’ skills.
CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, appointed by Governor Newsom to the Health Workforce Education and Training Council, has been selected as Vice Chair. Sandra Baker, DNP, RN, CNE, ANEF, will serve as Chair.
COVID-19 might have sparked the labor crisis in America, but the systemic issues that underlie it predate the pandemic — like the cost of higher education, access to childcare, and systemic barriers to resources of all kinds. Van Ton-Quinlivan is here to help change that. As CEO of Futuro Health, she leads a nonprofit with a mission to improve the health and wealth of communities by training healthcare workers for in-demand jobs in California.
The old way of managing a workplace was relentless, and the message was clear: Work comes above all else. That approach has been slowly changing over the years, and was drastically rewritten during the COVID-19 pandemic. As companies were forced to allow employees to work from home and to take personal time when they and their families were impacted by sickness, it became clear that there was no turning back to the era of unrealistic demands.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the labor market, which already was in turmoil before we ever heard of COVID-19. Workers can’t find jobs. Employers can’t find workers. In the United States, 8.4 million people are unemployed and there are 10 million job openings. Something has to change — and fast.

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