STEVEN DAWSON, VISITING FELLOW
Considering how much Steven talks about “raising floors and building ladders,” you might think he’s in the construction trade. In a sense, of course, he is. He has dedicated most of his professional life to building pathways to employment and productive careers for disadvantaged young people and adults. A native New Englander, he began his own career in the rural South with the National Association for the Southern Poor and went on to found the Industrial Cooperative Association, now the ICA Group, which provides legal, educational and technical assistance to employee-owned businesses in low-income communities. Steven came to Pinkerton’s attention because of his groundbreaking work in establishing PHI, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute in the South Bronx. PHI is a nationally recognized workforce development organization, and its coop affiliate Cooperative Home Healthcare Associates provides training and quality jobs for 2,000 owner/caregivers. (Pinkerton supports PHI’s programs for disadvantaged young people.) Since stepping down as PHI’s CEO, Steven has consulted and written widely on low-wage employment issues. Among other things, he’s worked with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and co-chaired the NYC Workforce Funders’ Re-envisioning Strategy Group. In his Visiting Fellow role with the Foundation, Steven will meet with our grantees in the career development field and write a series of brief, action-oriented “Pinkerton Papers” on job-related issues for low-income workers.