The Women's Council focus on barriers that block low wage women from getting and keeping good jobs continued in 2008 with specific work groups aimed at specific policy areas.
The Workforce Action Collaborative we organized in 2005 won Community Foundation funding and pulled excellent partners to the table - MIFA, Uptown Alliance, Seedco, Center for Research on Women, Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action, Memphis HOPE, Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis, YWCA, Neighborhood Christian Centers, Partners for the Homeless.
In our ongoing work groups, Collaborative members are crafting and carrying out strategies to address child care subsidy policies, public transportation routes and schedules, access to mental and medical health services and operation of the local Workforce Investment Network. We pressed for change in leadership at the WIN - and Mayor Herenton replaced its top staff person. We met with planners at the Memphis Area Transit Authority and Frayser community leaders as first steps in a mini-hub to connect needy residents to direct routes to employment centers.
NEXT: We will form a Community Advisory Board to link low-wage women to the strategic planning. Public transit policy will be a focus at a regional women's policy conference organized by the Memphis Development District Advisory Council which the Women's Council helped organize.
YOUR PART: Help us monitor the Workforce Investment Board and MATA - call for details. Join a WAC work group if you see your pet peeve on our action list. Become a mentor to our Community Advisory Board. Help plan the regional women's policy conference or volunteer to speak or serve on a policy panel (topics to be determined).
Work in Frayser to build grassroots connection and with large employers of low-wage workers to enlarge our coalition.