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United States Federal Reserve System

The Massachusetts Workforce Association (MWA) is sharing this opportunity on behalf of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, especially to individuals who interact with employees outside of Boston. The Worker Voice Project, a qualitative research project run by the Federal Reserve System, aims to better understand the needs and experiences of employees who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The Federal Reserve’s community development strategy, the national discussion on work, and the Fed’s policy will all greatly benefit from research that sheds light on worker perspectives and experiences.

The Worker Voice Project is an effort from the Federal Reserve System to hear perspectives from workers, particularly low-wage workers and workers of color, across the country. This project builds on an understanding that policies impacting many workers are often created without considering the perspectives of those directly impacted. The lack of direct engagement with workers limits the Federal Reserve System’s understanding of current economic conditions and labor market dynamics that inform policy.

The Federal Reserve hired Public Works Partners, a public and nonprofit sector consulting firm based in New York City, to facilitate focus groups with job seekers and career changers during 2022.

When is this?

  • We are looking for people to participate in a focus group for 90 minutes on Wednesday, July 27, 6 PM-7:30 PM.
  • Workers who participate in the focus group will receive $75 in gift cards.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • We are looking to hear from workers most impacted by the pandemic and economic crisis, whose voices are not regularly represented in these conversations.
  • Participants should have less than a four-year college degree and be prime age (20–55 years old).
  • We are interested in speaking with workers who have lost a job or changed jobs in the past two years.
  • We especially want to hear from workers of color, lower-wage workers in the hospitality/retail/healthcare sectors, and workers who have historically been marginalized in the labor market.

What will you do with the information?

  • The topline information we learn from these listening sessions will inform a study on the perspective of workers in the recovery.
  • Information identifying individuals or individually attributed responses will not be shared beyond the Federal Reserve System and the facilitator (Public Works Partners).
  • There will also be an internal memo to help inform Federal Reserve leaders and researchers on how they can better incorporate worker perspectives into their processes.

What is our ask of you as a partner organization?

  • Reach out to workers who meet the description above to see if they would be willing or available to participate in the listening session on July 27, 6PM-7:30PM
  • Send the link for the survey and encourage them to complete it as soon as possible. Worker Voice Project Screening Questionnaire (Boston) Survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BOSFed)
  • Be sure they understand they will be contacted by Public Works Partners afterward if they are selected. The meeting will be held over Zoom, and they will get a Zoom link.
  • Let us know if they have  any questions!

Thank you for the work you do to support workers in this critical moment in our economy. We are grateful for your partnership and appreciate your help in elevating the perspective of the workers and job seekers you serve. If you have questions, please reach out to Marija Bingulac marija.bingulac@bos.frb.org

 Worker Voice Project Overview

The Worker Voice Project is an effort from the Federal Reserve System to hear the perspectives of workers across the country to better understand their experiences with employment during the pandemic and through today. This project aims to better inform Federal Reserve research and policy decisions by incorporating worker experiences into a broader understanding of the condition of the economy.

This project will talk with 20 focus groups of workers from across the country over the summer of 2022.  To help conduct these conversations, the Federal Reserve hired Public Works Partners, a public and nonprofit sector consulting firm based in New York City, to facilitate focus groups with job seekers and career changers during 2022.

Workers will be invited to each session, but we have limited space in each conversation to make sure the discussion is useful. Workers will be asked to complete a screening questionnaire to gather some background information. Those who are invited to and join the focus groups will receive a payment of $75 for their time and expertise.

The insights gained through these conversations will inform a research study on the perspectives of workers in the recovery and inform Federal Reserve leaders on how to better incorporate worker perspectives into internal processes and policy decisions. Any information identifying individuals will not be shared beyond the Federal Reserve system and the project facilitator, Public Works Partners. The information shared in each focus group will be summarized into trends but not singled out to any one participant.

Focus group sessions will be held on Zoom so no worker will need to travel to an in-person conversation. Sessions will last no longer than 90 minutes. Workers who participate will receive payment following these sessions from Public Works Partners.


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