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Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Economy, Work | 4 comments

Six Differences Between How Professionals and the Working Class See Their Daily Work

Six Differences Between How Professionals and the Working Class See Their Daily Work

America is working pretty well for the top third of society. It’s the other two-thirds who are struggling. I came to this conclusion after reading Robert Putnam’s stunning book Our Kids.  After seeing the growing class divide separating American society, I also started to ask: how does the working class see their work?   As I spend nearly all my time working with and for professionals (those with a four-year college degree), in a recent article I confessed that as I grew older, I realized I didn’t have a single working-class friend. Their world was foreign to me. And so was their work. Joan C. Williams is a law professor at the University of California, Hastings who studies social class. Her book The White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America explains how differently professionals and the working class see their daily work.  Her research is a wise, honest look into working class values, beliefs, and opinions about their families and work. Here are six differences between how professionals...

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Posted by on Sep 27, 2018 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Faith and Work Movement, vocation, Work | 2 comments

“God of the Second Shift: The Missing Majority in the Faith and Work Conversation” (Christianity Today Cover Story)

“God of the Second Shift: The Missing Majority in the Faith and Work Conversation” (Christianity Today Cover Story)

By Jeff Haanen The following is the cover story for the October 2018 print issue of Christianity Today. To access the full article for free, click the “friends and family” link below. Also, if you’re not a subscriber, please consider subscribing to Christianity Today to support their work. Here’s an excerpt of the story. Our group was white, college-educated, and passionate about helping people find meaning in their careers. We looked at Josué “Mambo” De León, pastor of a bilingual working-class congregation called Westside Church Internacional, eager to hear his thoughts on a recent “faith and work” conference.  “For us, work isn’t about thriving,” Mambo said. “It’s about surviving.”  Between bites of salad, it slowly became clear who the man in a red baseball cap, World Cup T-shirt, and jeans really was: an emissary from another world.  “You start with the premise that you have a job and that you feel a lack of purpose,” he said. “But that doesn’t resonate with us. How are you supposed to find purpose...

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Posted by on Jun 29, 2018 in business, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Economy, Work | 0 comments

The Good Jobs Advantage (Speech Text)

The Good Jobs Advantage (Speech Text)

  Good afternoon. Thanks for joining us to think about good jobs, and how business and nonprofit partnerships are renewing the trades. A particular thank you to our speakers and panelists tonight, and special gratitude to Karla Nugent for hosting us at Weifield Group Electrical Contracting, a fitting location for our topic today. And thank you for allowing a writer, entrepreneur, and former pastor to address you. Why are we here today? First, businesses can’t find enough people to work in the trades. Wages are high. Demand is soaring. But we can’t find enough people. The National Association of Homebuilders reported that in July of 2016 there were 225,000 open jobs in homebuilding, the highest level since 2007. Last August, the Associated General Contractors of America found that 85% of Colorado construction companies were having a hard time filling hourly jobs. What happened? When did working as a carpenter, welder, or electrician drop off the map as a viable option for America’s youth? In this iconic 1932 photo, “Lunch...

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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in business, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Work | 0 comments

The Good Jobs Advantage – Keynote

The Good Jobs Advantage – Keynote

  In Colorado today, business can’t find enough people to work in the trades, and nonprofits are finding that society isn’t working for about 2/3 of Americans. Yet businesses and nonprofits agree: a good job is the surest way to get somebody out of poverty, and keep them out of poverty. How do our stories about business and work affect our views about manual labor and the trades? What can business owners do to attract and keep the right talent so that their business – and their community – can flourish? Recently I gave a keynote entitled “The Good Jobs Advantage,” targeted toward business owners and workforce development professionals who are eager to build healthy businesses and better serve our community’s work force. I begin with framing the cultural problem we find ourselves in. Then I cover how Christian teachings can help correct distorted views about work and business. And I conclude with three practical points with how business can attract and keep the right talent for their...

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Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in business, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, vocation, Work | 0 comments

How Does Your Work Impact Those Down the Line?

How Does Your Work Impact Those Down the Line?

  Have you thought about the people affected by your work who you may never meet? Learn more in this excerpt from the e-book “The Call to Commerce: 6 Ways to Love Your Neighbor Through Business.” Catch the first post here on the blog as well.  3. Love Your Supply Chains Months ago, I had a moving conversation with Tim Dearborn, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and former vice president at World Vision International1. He shared the story of visiting a church built on slave forts in Ghana. As he sat in the cathedral, he could almost hear the cries of 19th century slaves echoing below. I asked him, “What do you think are the modern ‘churches built on slave forts’ today?” That is, what are the systemic injustices that Christians have knowingly – or unknowingly – supported in the modern world? He replied with two simple words: “Supply chains.” Rarely do we think about the labor conditions of those who sew our shirts or make components for our...

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Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in business, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Faith and Work Movement, Work | 0 comments

Making a Permanent Impact on American Society?

Making a Permanent Impact on American Society?

  “Dealmakers: Episode I” – Pete Ochs I often imagine what collective impact between business leaders, churches, government, nonprofits and ministries might look like. What would it look like for us to partner together to make a permanent, generational impact on American society? When it comes to work, in many ways, our society is hemorrhaging. The labor participation rate for men age 24-55 is at its lowest point since the Great Depression; 10 million men are either unemployed or looking for work; today there are 70 million Americans with a criminal background, many of whom can’t find a good job due to their past. What if the Christian business leaders we all know decided to hire the millions of men and women with barriers to employment? Could the Church step up to meet a critical need – and develop the knowledge, best practices, and vision for loving our neighbors through good jobs? This is a big task – maybe too big. But I feel like things are changing. TC...

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