Corporate Voices was a Blessing to Working Families

Corporate Voices for Working Families, founded in 2001, was a leading national business membership organization shaping conversations and collaborations on public and corporate policy issues involving working families. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, they created and advance innovative policy solutions that reflect a commonality of interests among the private sector both global and domestic, government, and other stakeholders. The organization was a unique voice providing leading and best-practice employers a forum to improve the lives of working families, while strengthening the nation’s economy and enhancing the vitality of communities.

Notable Milestones

In 2011 the organization celebrated its 10th anniversary and released a press document with an elegant word and vision given from the CEO and the President.

The Executive Chair and CEO Donna Klein wrote:

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2011, we recognize this milestone is a cause of celebration for everyone involved with Corporate Voices for Working Families. Founded in 2001 with a $25,000 grant from the J. Willard and Alice Sheets Marriott Foundation, Corporate Voices began with a modest yet exceedingly important goal: to engage the business community in social policy issues involving working families. We have demonstrated over the past decade what can be accomplished when you combine advocacy with business research, legislative outreach, corporate best practices, and collaboration among key individuals and organizations in both the public and private sectors.

Today, we are the leading business membership organization shaping conversations and collaborations on public and corporate policy issues involving working families. And we are continuing to expand our increasingly important initiatives to improve workforce and workplace practices, especially those involving lower-wage and nonexempt employees. Clearly, we are a unique voice bridging business and policy to shape the competitiveness of the workforce and workplace. And we provide leading and best-practice employers a forum to improve the lives of working families, while strengthening our nation’s economy and enhancing the vitality of our communities.

In fact, during the past decade, Corporate Voices has gained wide recognition, respect and credibility for being the leading voice for business workforce effectiveness, workplace flexibility and workforce readiness.

For instance, last year we helped organize and plan and subsequently served as a key participant in several White House forums that focused the national spotlight on the significant issues of jobs and our economy, workplace flexibility, and the imperative to strengthen education and increase educational attainment so workers have the skills they need to succeed in today’s workplace. We also continue to gain recognition throughout the public and private sectors and increased financial support from funders — including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Philip Morris USA, an Altria Company — for our growing and groundbreaking work involving workforce readiness. Here the interests of businesses, young people, entry-level employees and our communities intersect. Businesses, working families and communities succeed when individuals of all ages and all socioeconomic levels prosper — and the competitiveness of American business is tied to the quality and skills of a workforce that is shaped and nurtured in a lifelong talent development pipeline.

Throughout this report you will see highlights of our recent successes, significant accomplishments, and ongoing and upcoming projects. For example, workforce readiness will be among our key areas of engagement this year and next. In this area, we will build on our successful workforce education and Learn and Earn initiatives and continue leading business engagement aimed at increasing postsecondary completion and credentials with labor market value for low-income young adults.

As we begin our second decade, we celebrate what we have achieved, while recognizing that our successes would not be possible without the generous support we receive from so many partners, funders and friends.On behalf of the staff and Board of Corporate Voices for Working Families, thank you for helping us reach this 10th anniversary milestone, as we continue to shape the 21st
century workforce and workplace.

The organization's President Stephen M. Wing wrote:

I am delighted to have this opportunity to join Donna Klein and everyone connected with Corporate Voices in celebrating the 10th anniversary of an organization that has contributed so
significantly to improving the lives of working families and the competitiveness of American business. Even before joining Corporate Voices as President in September, I had an appreciation for the dedication and commitment of Donna and her talented staff and for their outstanding accomplishments. During my career at CVS Caremark — and as a member of the Corporate Voices Board of Trustees — I recognized that this is a high-performing and widely respected organization that offers leading businesses a forum to shape conversations and collaborations on public and corporate policy issues involving working families.

I now relish the opportunity to continue the growth of Corporate Voices and expand our advocacy and initiatives in areas such as workforce readiness and workplace practices. In the years ahead, the mission of Corporate Voices will remain the same: We will continue to create and advance innovative policy solutions that reflect a commonality of interests among the private sector both global and domestic, government, and other stakeholders.

Within that overarching framework, expect us to expand current initiatives while pursuing new opportunities. For instance:

We will continue to expand strategically, with the support and help of our partners and funders, our successful and critically important work in areas involving workplace effectiveness, workplace flexibility and workforce readiness. All are linked directly to the success of working families, to the future competitiveness of American business and to the vitality of our communities.

We will diversify our current portfolio of work, looking at other opportunities that will make Corporate Voices an even stronger and more robust organization while continuing our mission. For instance, we believe opportunities exist for us to expand our engagement in the Workforce Investment System and to identify and cultivate additional public-private partnerships.

We will expand the reach, value and influence of Corporate Voices by gaining new business partners consisting of leading companies that will help us advance our mission and advocacy. All of us will benefit from expanding our roster of active partners that are really engaged.

And we will continue to extend our brand, exploring opportunities involving initiatives with mature workers and veterans and their organizations. While we celebrate during 2011 the many successes and accomplishments of our first decade, we are also looking forward to our future with great enthusiasm. All of us at Corporate Voices appreciate the many contributions of our
partners, founders and friends, and we recognize that our successes rely on your continued involvement and support of our initiatives and advocacy.


Brief History & Summary of the Organization's Activities

In the organization's own words:

Founded in 2001 with a $25,000 grant from the J. Willard and Alice Sheets Marriott Foundation, Corporate Voices combines research, collaboration, business best practices, legislative outreach and advocacy to further the adoption of corporate and public policies that ensure the mutual success of business, individuals and communities. Today, we have more than 50 partner companies and a national reputation as the leading business membership organization focusing on social and corporate policies to improve and strengthen the workforce and workplace.

Today, Corporate Voices is a $3 million organization working with leading companies to bridge the gap between the public and private sectors to ensure that both corporate and public policy support the needs of the current and future workforce. We believe that the adoption of 21st century workforce policies will enhance the economic prosperity of the nation. Corporate Voices’ funding includes contributions from nationally recognized foundations such as The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Hitachi Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as contributions from our more than 50 corporate partners. Corporate Voices’ work focuses on leading-edge corporate social responsibility and human resources recommendations on business policies and practices. Since the beginning, we have focused on issues involving family economics, workplace flexibility, workforce readiness and talent management from child care and youth development to issues involving mature workers. Through conducting original research, sharing corporate best practices and helping to shape social policy issues that affect our business competitiveness, Corporate Voices has gained wide recognition for being a leading voice for business workforce effectiveness, workplace flexibility and workforce readiness during the past 10 years.