Organization for independent contract workers launching in NWA
The Gig Community to foster community, development, support
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS— A new organization designed for independent contract workers is launching soon in Northwest Arkansas. The Gig Community’s vision is to establish a community of contract workers that fosters development, support, and advocacy for all gig economy participants in Northwest Arkansas and beyond.
The Gig Community is hosting its first informational gathering 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, January 15, in the community room at Guess Who? (214 SE Walton Blvd, Bentonville, AR 72712). A short presentation about the organization’s vision and goals will be at 11:30 a.m. with open house style networking afterwards. Water, tea and coffee will be provided, and participants are invited to bring their own lunch.
The Gig Community is open to any Northwest Arkansas worker who earns part of their income from contract or “freelance” work. This could include everything from self-employed creatives, to direct sales representatives, to various self-employed service providers such as real estate agents and technical skills workers.
The Gig Community will focus on three components:
- Community-social interaction for people with like interests and similar work/life balance considerations.
- Development-helping fellow members grow personally and professionally.
- Support-accountability, mentoring, panels, and other programs that provide insight and reinforcement.
“Megan (Tucker, president of The Gig Community) and I came together and discussed the importance of community for independent contractors,” said Brandee Segraves, vice president of The Gig Community. “By providing support and resources for this part of the workforce that is growing exponentially every year, we can support the new backbone of the economy and positively impact the changes that will inevitably occur from it.”
“Connection and support are vital for successful living,” she said. “With more people going to contract work, we want to provide a resource that enables individuals to be successful in this new work environment.”
According to a 2017 study called Freelancing in America from Upwork and the Freelancers Union, an estimated 57.3 million Americans are freelancing (36 percent of the U.S. workforce) and contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually to the economy, an increase of almost 30 percent since last year. By 2027, the study estimates that a majority of the workforce will be freelance or independent workers.