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“Our country has not experienced anything like the current upheaval in the workforce since the late Nineteenth and early 20th Centuries,” says Dr. Ira S. Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions and author on labor issues and workforce trends.

Dr. Wolfe will keynote Saffron Strand’s Fifth Annual Homeless Workforce Conference, June 16-17 in Richmond, CA. His keynote will speak to the Conference theme “Let’s Get Serious: Skills, Jobs, Careers as Paths Out of Homelessness and Poverty.”

“The only comparison to the revolutionary changes we are experiencing in the labor market today,” Dr. Wolfe says, “is the shift from an agricultural to an industrial society. The pace of change this time around however has no precedent. The result is that people are not only being displaced from jobs because of a slow economy but many of those jobs are becoming extinct.”

Dr. Wolfe was chosen to keynote the event, Saffron Strand Executive Director Yvonne Nair said, because of his “compelling thought leadership on the direction of jobs, work, and the workplace.” Wolfe had forecast a “Perfect Labor Storm” more than 15 years ago, describing how globalization, disruptive technology, the Internet, and demographic shifts would converge to redefine how work gets done. He has since published several books including The Perfect Labor Storm and Geeks, Geezers and Googlization.

Ms. Nair notes that Dr. Wolfe is an advocate of workforce-relevant job training and employment-first policies on the path to ending homelessness. “Dr. Wolfe also brings an insightful perspective to improving the success rates of training and career development programs. He is one of the country’s experts in raising the Quality of Motivation, a concept he will introduce during an afternoon workshop at the Conference.”

“Most everyone is motivated to work,” says Dr. Wolfe. “But too often people are just spinning their wheels even when they have the necessary job skills. They aren’t as effective as they could be because their behaviors and habits are inefficient. Often their life skills are just plain counter-productive. When you don’t address the whole person in helping the unemployed and homeless re-enter the workforce, the chances of long-term re-employment are regrettably near zero.”

Saffron Strand’s 2014 Conference features Monday and Tuesday plenary sessions with leading national and Bay Area authorities, nearly 20 workshops with specialized training, Roundtable Discussions, a unique Evening of Diversity Reception, the annual Advocacy Luncheon with the Jesse Curtis Awards for Reducing Homelessness, and breakfasts and lunches catered by Conference sponsor La Bonne Cuisine. Other sponsors include the City of Richmond, The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and more.

Saffron Strand’s Homeless Workforce Conference is the only forum nationwide to address the critical question: How do we help the homeless — and those at risk of homelessness — to get back to work and increase their economic independence?

For more about the 2014 Conference, click here.


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