Polygon has learned from a source familiar with a proposal to expand a program that helps members of the LGBTQIA community find jobs, access education and more.
The program is called the LGBTQI Workforce Opportunities Network (QWEN) and was launched in 2015, but has been on hold in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
QWEN provides jobs to LGBTQIA+ workers, but only those who have received a formal job offer.
The organization was designed to help LGBTQIA people in various industries, including construction, agriculture, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, retail trade, transportation, and the service sector.
Its members are employed by a variety of companies, including the University of Illinois, and many more.
One proposal would create a group of “affiliates” who would “meet and interview” those who are in a similar position as QWEA workers and would help them “develop skills that are complementary to those of the QWE community.”
These affiliates would then be allowed to join the network, which is intended to be a resource for LGBTQIAQIA+ members who are looking for jobs in the construction, food service, manufacturing and retail industries.
It would be the first time that such a network has been put in place for an LGBTQIA population.
In a statement, QWE Network said the new program was in the early stages of development and that it was “currently in its infancy.”
The group has been in discussions with local governments and the University and that the plan to create the network has already been approved by the local governments.QWE Network was founded in 2008 and has offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.
The organization has been involved in projects for a variety: the Gay Pride festival in Los Vegas in 2014, a national network of trans youth for the 2014 Summer Olympics, and more recently, a group that helps unemployed LGBTQIA+, undocumented immigrants, and young adults find jobs.QTEN, which has since been renamed the LGBTQ Employment Partnership, has also developed partnerships with employers across the country, including Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King, Costco, McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Starbucks.
QteN has also been working with companies and government agencies, including on the hiring of LGBTQIAE+ employees.
For example, QTEN is currently working with the Department of Labor and the Federal Communications Commission on the creation of a list of employers that support employment opportunities for LGBTQQIAE+, including in STEM fields.
The new program, according to QTEA, would be a “step in the right direction” for the LGBTQ community, but the company has not yet provided any details on what would happen to the work done through the network.
Polygon has reached out to QWENetwork and the LGBTQ Career Institute for more information.