Christopher Chelpka

Helping Men Find Good Work

I learned about two new studies today that I can’t wait to study more closely.

The first is Harry’s Masculinity Report, USA 2018, a survey of 5,000 American men. Its results show that what makes men happy is good work. “The strongest predictor of a positive mindset in men—by far—is satisfying employment.”

Men at work are men at peace: everything else flows down from satisfying employment. Men who have high job satisfaction are more likely to feel optimistic, happy, motivated, emotionally stable, in control and confident.

But, as you know, many working-class men have trouble finding satisfying employment, or even any kind of employment. According to a second report released this week, Work, Skills, Community: Restoring Opportunity for the Working Class, 1 in 4 working-class men are unemployed.

“Work, Skills, Community” helps us understand the job problem—for men and women—better, and not just unemployment, but underemployment and unsatisfying employment too. The report identifies and defines core areas of concern based on lots of data-analysis and listening, in-person, to real humans. And it proposes thirty-four specific policy recommendations that could make life better, even happier, for all of us.

And there’s one more thing.

“Work, Skills, Community”, is a bipartisan report, convened by Opportunity America and produced by two of America’s leading think-tanks, AEI and Brookings.

We listened and negotiated and ultimately compromised with one another.

This is good because at the policy-level, we need research-based solutions that are also politically practical and able to help people when they need it, which is now.

Two-years of collaborative study and decision-making have gone into producing “Work, Skills, and Community”, a report on a serious and immediate problem. Now it’s time for the rest of us to read it.