Report | June 9, 2021

Improving Equity & Opportunity in California’s Workforce

A business case for helping advance racial equity via early childhood investments

California’s robust workforce relies heavily on the 61 percent of workers of color, who carry a disproportionate share of economic challenges, from higher unemployment rates to lower average pay. To strengthen our entire economy, we must use every available tool in our workforce-development toolbox to remedy inequities, starting with those in early childhood.

Investing in early childhood is a win for children of color, as they get a better start, and for our economy, as it leads to a more equitable future workforce.

Tammy Martin-Ryles, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce Inland Empire

In California, as in other states, many children of color still lack access to high-quality early childhood services— services shown by research to boost opportunities for success in the classroom today and the workplace tomorrow. Such supports can command a greater impact for children of color: the entrepreneurs, employees and community leaders of our future.

It’s an economic imperative that we treat pre-K, child care, and similar early childhood priorities as a valued part of our workforce-development approach to improving racial equity, as reflected in research and experience. Doing so will not only help us plan for a more equitable, inclusive and participatory workforce tomorrow, but help to reinforce the well-being of working parents of color today.


  1. California