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Building good jobs in the U.S.: Tools for employers, workers and government

 Good Jobs in Federal Investments: A Toolkit for Employers, Workers, and Government

Good jobs change lives. That’s why the Biden-Harris administration is building an economy from the bottom up and the middle out through once-in-a-generation federal investments in infrastructure, clean energy, and domestic manufacturing. The president’s historic economic plan will create good jobs where workers have family-sustaining wages, benefits including healthcare and the free and fair choice to join a union— the types of jobs that are the foundation of a prosperous and equitable economy.  

At the U.S. Department of Labor, we’re committed to creating equitable pathways into these jobs for all communities so that no one is left behind. Last year we launched the Good Jobs Initiative, which is delivering on that promise by helping federal partners embed job quality and equity incentives in more than $97 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds. Today, the Department of Labor is excited to release Good Jobs in Federal Investments: A Toolkit for Employers, Workers, and Government, which builds on these efforts and the lessons learned. The toolkit is intended to assist federal agencies, state, tribal and local governments, employers, and labor and worker advocacy organizations unleash their power to improve job quality and equity.

Here’s how you can use this resource: 

  • For federal agencies: This toolkit outlines actionable steps that agencies can take to ensure federal investments create equitable opportunities and high-quality jobs. It summarizes resources that can assist agencies as they embed job quality and equity principles in funding opportunity announcements, provide technical assistance to grantees, leverage their convening powers, partner with the public workforce system and other stakeholders, and collect and leverage data. It also includes examples from the department and agencies that have partnered with our Good Jobs Initiative to implement strong labor standards and promote equitable pathways to quality jobs in federally funded projects.
  • For state, local, territory, and tribal governments: This resource provides information on the administration’s job quality priorities and how they will affect federally funded infrastructure projects. Many of the recommendations are equally applicable to the states, local, and tribal governments that distribute federal funds or bid out contracts as they are to federal agencies. It also provides a model framework for how state agencies can collaborate with one another to promote quality jobs and equitable pathways into those jobs.  
  • For employers: This guide can be used by employers to better understand how job quality priorities will affect the projects that they will bid on. Although specific labor standards will vary by funding opportunity and contract, employers can proactively use this framework to improve job quality and become more competitive for infrastructure contracts while reducing turnover and increasing productivity. 
  • For workers: Labor and community leaders can use this toolkit to understand how the administration’s commitment to working people is creating quality jobs and pathways into these jobs for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged communities. Worker organizations can use this framework to engage with state, local, and tribal governments, employers, and other community partners to ensure that all stakeholders understand the importance of job quality and equity standards, and how committing to this framework will lead to better outcomes for workers and employers. 

Federal agencies, state, tribal, and local governments, employers, and labor and worker advocacy organizations all have a role to play to ensure that federal investments create quality jobs and equitable pathways into these jobs in communities across the nation. We encourage you to contact the Good Jobs Initiative at to learn more about how your organization can support these priorities. Visit to learn more.  

Julie Su is the deputy secretary of labor. 

Sourced from Us Dept of Labor

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