Afton believes that every person who wants to work should have access to a career that offers stability, fulfillment, and dignity. And that the workforce development field can (and should!) be (re)structured to achieve these goals. Through our work with community based providers, public and private funders, policy makers, intermediaries, advocates, state and local government officials, public administrators, and other workforce development experts, we aim to move the field beyond its “second chance” status and establish it as a premier destination for all.
To achieve this goal, Afton focuses its efforts on:
- Designing programs and services that are accessible, equitable, and responsive to workers who have been most impacted by structural racism
- Empowering worker voice to ensure agency and ownership over individual career choices and program and policy design
- Breaking down silos and increasing alignment across system services
- Supporting employers to design quality jobs, create resilient workplaces, and adopt more inclusive hiring practices
- Equipping system staff with the skills and knowledge they need to improve service delivery
- Collecting and translating real-time data and research into practice
- Identifying, assessing, and disseminating evidence-based promising practices to improve outcomes
Afton’s approach to consultative work is highly collaborative and steeped in human-centered design and racial equity principles.
- We design client engagement processes to ensure all relevant stakeholders have multiple and accessible opportunities to participate, be it through structured feedback (e.g., 1:1 interviews, focus groups, listening sessions, “office hours”, surveys, etc.); participation in relevant steering committees, planning groups, or advisory committees; solution ideation; and/or development and review of final deliverables. We make particular efforts to center end-users needs in our process and results.
- We value the voice and input of multiple stakeholders, particularly those who will be most impacted by final recommendations, those on the ground who are closest to the work, and those whose voices have been historically underrepresented.
- Where and when appropriate, we build in compensation for end users as a way of valuing their time, talents and expertise.
- We prioritize projects that focus on reducing racial inequities.
Who We Serve:
Our team is well-versed in working across systems, comfortable navigating the intersection between policy and practice, and passionate about improving the quality and effectiveness of the field. We work with:
- Public and Private Funders
- State Agencies
- American Job Centers
- Community-Based Workforce Development & Social Service Organizations
- Workforce Boards
- State and Local Governments
- Institutions of Higher Education