"The toughest job in the world": Latino identity formation and the precarious path to skilled employment
Social scientist Marie Jahoda long ago predicted that the growing abundance of low-skilled workers and the rise of tech-heavy economies would produce a long-term mismatch that would puzzle policymakers for decades. In this presentation, doctoral candidate Raúl Chávez will present research findings that remind policymakers that psychosocial elements matter as much as economic ones in the production of tomorrow's labor force, and that this understanding is especially critical for improving the work outcomes of America's largest minority group, Latinos. Relying on data collected through quantitative and qualitative research methods, he will describe 1) the relationship between psychosocial development factors and work outcomes, 2) present narratives that confirm that work roles, choices, and behaviors are embedded in identity and psychosocial development experiences, and 3) propose implications for improved policy responses to the growing labor mismatch crisis.
Raúl Chávez is a Cota-Robles Fellow currently completing his PhD in the School of Social Welfare. His research has focused on understanding the life outcomes of individuals from underprivileged communities. For his doctoral dissertation, he examined the psychosocial development and employment trajectories of young Latino males to identify policies that support developmental pathways to skilled occupations for Californias disadvantaged children. Mr. Chávez has published research on occupational identity development, work-based learning in Oakland schools, and the relationship between neighborhood environments, parenting behaviors, and child wellbeing. His interest in child and youth policy stems from his many years of government experience at the city, county, and federal levels. Most recently, he served as an intelligence analyst in Washington, DC, where he provided analysis and research findings to the White House and other top policymakers regarding various foreign and domestic policy matters.