The post-COVID-19 labor market has been unprecedented and unexpected. Although the labor market appears strong, significant economic and policy headwinds are growing, and employers and workers are struggling. Many employers are desperately trying to fill open positions as more than two million workers are still on the sidelines, and workers’ wages have failed to keep pace with inflation as the average worker’s annual paychecks are worth $2,500 less than at the start of 2021.

One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an increase in flexibility and family-friendly workplace policies, but threats of government mandates and a litany of impending regulations could replace accommodating policies with restrictive, one-size-fits-all policies.

Join us to hear from three panels of policy experts, workers, and business owners about how pro-worker and pro-entrepreneur labor policies can help workers move onward and upward in the 21st century workforce.


Session I: How Economics and Government Policies Affect the Workplace

  • Rachel Greszler, Senior Research Fellow, Budget and Entitlements, The Heritage Foundation (Moderator)
  • David Burton, Senior Fellow, Economic Policy, The Heritage Foundation
  • Todd McCracken, President, National Small Business Association
  • Ben Brubeck, Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs, Associated Builders and Contractors

Session II: Why Protecting Independence Is Vital for Opportunities and Flexibility

  • Patrice Onuwuka, Director, Center for Economic Opportunity, Independent Women’s Forum (Moderator)
  • Karen Anderson, Founder, Freelancers Against AB5
  • Carrie Lukas, President, Independent Women’s Forum
  • Clement Troutman, Founder, Troutman Alliance, LLC, and Owner, Tropical Smoothie Café

Session III: The Role of Unions in the 21st Century

  • F. Vincent Vernuccio, President, Institute for the American Worker (Moderator)
  • Michael Alcorn, Crew Member, Trader Joe’s in Hadley, Massachusetts, and Former Barista, Starbucks
  • Sean Higgins, Research Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • Bryan Reifsnyder, Former Senior Vice President, Labor Relations and Safety, Yellow Trucking

See the event on Heritage.

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