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Putting Research To Work: Improving Low-Wage Jobs and Public Policies to Support Vulnerable Workers

Enjoy audio files from this event.

Susan Lambert, Associate Professor
Julia Henly, Associate Professor

Date: March 7th, 2009

Location: School of Social Service Administration
969 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

At the turn of the last century, Edith Abbott and the “Great Ladies of Halsted Street” conducted research on job conditions in the major industrial sectors of the time. Their careful empirical analysis of the employment circumstances of low-wage workers—many of whom were low-income mothers—provided a foundation for employer reforms and legislation governing child labor, work hours, and wages. Today’s economic climate attests to the need for social work scholars, practitioners, and policy makers to continue to work at the intersection of employment, public policy, and social work, with the same goal of improving employment conditions and adopting effective legislation to protect vulnerable workers.

This symposium brings together many of the nation’s top social work and social policy scholars and practitioners to discuss the implications of the changing labor market on low-income working families. Beginning with an historical introduction to social work’s role in the employment field, this symposium will highlight the richness of its enduring contributions to knowledge about macroeconomic labor market trends, employer strategies and practices, and job conditions at the front-lines of today’s firms. The symposium is designed to engage participants in a discussion of the relative merits of different avenues for improving low-wage jobs and public policies intended to support vulnerable workers and their families.

The day’s sessions will:

  • Consider the realities of low-wage jobs under changing
    labor market conditions;
  • Engage in solution-focused discussions about promising
    public policy and employer-based interventions;
  • Identify strategies for translating knowledge into
    public policy and employer practice;
  • Highlight social work’s longstanding commitment
    to addressing work- family issues among disadvantaged

View the full agenda for this symposium.

View biographies of the panelists

Please register online for this event. There are 6 CEUs available; registration is $55 for those registering without CEUs and $70 for those wishing CEUs.

Julia Henly

Julia Henly

Susan Lambert

Susan Lambert