We are all essential contributors to our communities. However, to engage, we need equitable, livable wage jobs. The income gap grew throughout the COVID-19 year. If a pandemic does not bring us together organically, we must advocate for and demand momentum on action items supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Livable wage jobs are one of many approaches. By intent, livable wage jobs provide a safe place for a family (legally related or not) to live, afford utilities, eat healthy meals, access transportation, receive healthcare, and have enough money to care for children, elders, family, or friends. This foundation provides and supports our ability to delve into societal challenges and work together toward future priorities.
As community members, we need to be willing to reframe our understanding of a good job. Idealizing tech startup founders, media influencers, and professional athletes led to youth dismissing jobs and careers offering significant opportunities. For example, there are more construction trade, welding, and advanced manufacturing jobs, by far, than there are applicants. We need to come together and network with youth for youth to envision careers differently. We need to network with all job seekers to recognize, plan, train, and prepare for careers differently.