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The Approach

Rather than starting with solutions, MemWorks seeks to develop a holistic understanding of the roadblocks that hinder employment pathways and why they occur. This objective understanding will enable targeted solutions to address the roadblocks.

The approach is divided into three phases over an 18-month timeline. The first two phases combine data analysis with the voices of individuals experiencing poverty to tell the stories of employment challenges and successes in Memphis. In the third phase, we will collaborate with workforce stakeholders to use this knowledge to implement action plans for the needed interventions.

Data Analysis

The data analysis phase seeks to understand the current situations and work experiences of individuals experiencing poverty.

Define the population

Analyze demographic data to understand the population experiencing poverty

Catalog workforce service providers

Develop a database of important characteristics for workforce development service providers

Map employment pathways

Map all the entry and exit points along employment pathways that lead to living-wage roles

Identify employment clusters

Prioritize the most compelling industries and sectors for people who are experiencing poverty

Review policy landscape

Understand how relevant policies and funding flows influence employment pathways

Primary Research

The primary research phase highlights the lived experience of individuals experiencing poverty and insights from workforce organizations to tell real stories, build evidence about employment roadblocks, and begin to explore solutions.

Incorporate voice of workforce participants

Conduct qualitative research with workforce participants and individuals experiencing poverty

Capture experience of workforce organizations

Gather insights from career & technical education providers and other workforce stakeholders

Create participant journey maps

Map the flow of how workforce participants engage and disengage with workforce development services and employment

Refine and synthesize insights

Refine the insights from the data analysis phase to build a holistic understanding

Identify evidence-based solutions

Review available research to identify potential solutions that can resolve the roadblocks

Action Plans

The action plan phase proposes evidence-based solutions for the most critical challenges that will enhance employment pathways.

Design solutions

Develop evidence-based approaches to address the most impactful opportunities

Identify success factors

Identify the factors necessary to successfully implement the solutions

Build ownership

Collaborate with stakeholders to implement solutions as part of existing or new efforts

Support infrastructure

Outline needs to sustainably maintain efforts, such as funding, data management, etc