Bridge the gap, don’t widen the divide.

Like many places around the country, the Texas Legislature continues to fuel an increasingly hyper-partisan discussion on the state of politics and governance in the Lone Star State.

I won’t go so far as to say it’s a strategy, but the noise certainly draws attention away from recent (and long term) shortcomings.

Any effort put into initiatives designed to further divide our communities into red and blue voter banks only delays what should be our primary, perhaps sole, objective: establishing and delivering a stronger, sustainable, and more resilient future to the next generation of Americans.

Work is a core component of that future, impacting each of us and every community: urban, rural, red, and blue. It remains the common step toward the American Dream.

There was a rising workforce crisis in the United States before COVID-19 and today that landscape is vastly more complicated. Given the current political noise, it can be daunting to approach the problem from a policy — and certainly a political — perspective. I find it simpler, and more heartening, to remember that work — specifically jobs — ultimately translate to people.

Prioritizing people over politics clarifies purpose.

Here are four groups I’m working with that are making a difference in how we meet the workforce challenge ahead.

Please let me know if you want to learn more about any of these organizations or if you have one on your radar I need to know about.

  • Mentor Method has built a valuable new approach to helping young Americans in corporate environments succeed, gaining support from the U.S. Department of Education looking at long term workforce development. As I always say, people will be what they can see. The Mentor Method gives organizations the tool they need to build their workforce of the future.
  • Mickey Leland Environmental Internships offer an unparalleled opportunity to the nation’s brightest students to learn more about potential career paths while working to make the world safer, cleaner, and more resilient,
  • Veterans Energy Project is a new organization working to support the veterans and veteran-owned businesses that build and deploy American-made clean energy and advocate for clean energy investments and policies that help protect the country while creating millions of new jobs.
  • Transitions and Decisions is working to address the growing caregiver shortage. Americans are living longer and fewer people are trained to help them. I recently moderated a virtual panel on the subject. Watch it here.

Using new data to educate and engage community coalitions on the issues left behind by today’s divisive politics.