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Economic Recovery & Anti-Poverty Strategies, Re-imagining 21st Century Community Colleges, and Much More

Reports on Economic Recovery and Anti-Poverty Strategies:

  • Battered by the Storm: How the Safety Net Is Failing Americans and How to Fix It - Federal aid programs to reduce the effects of the economic crisis on struggling families, such as TANF and unemployment insurance are insufficient to address the needs of struggling families, according to this joint report by the Institute for Policy Studies, Center for Community Change, Jobs with Justice, and Legal Momentum.  Along with proposing expanded aid, the report proposes long term solutions such as increasing the minimum wage, quality health care, and investments in education.
  • Workforce development as an antipoverty strategy - Despite having a labor market that puts a greater premium on skill development, our nation spends dramatically fewer resources on the training of disadvantaged workers than we did in the 1970s, according to this report by the Institute for Research on Poverty.  While workforce development needs to be accompanied by complementary strategies including income support such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other benefit supports for working families, increased spending on training is a critical need in the economy.
  • Pathways: Are Green Jobs a Silver Bullet? - This series of articles published by the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality explores what is needed to assure that green jobs create economic opportunity for all Americans, rather than benefiting just a small number of high-skilled workers.

Re-imagining Community Colleges in the 21st Century - Each of the primary missions of community colleges faces a broad spectrum of challenges, according to this report by the Center for American Progress, and they need to respond by improving vocational and occupational education, strong support for transfer to four-year colleges, better infrastructure and technology and better data and assessments of standards to facilitate mobility of students between institutions.

Immigration Reform Is Good for Economic Recovery - Legalizing eight million undocumented workers, requiring them to pay taxes and leveling the playing field for business owners who play by the rules is an important step in strengthening any economic recovery, according to this Center for American Progress report.  Reforms would keep law-abiding businesses from constantly being undercut by outlaw employers who exploit workers by making them work in substandard conditions and at lower wages, while all workers would benefit by encouraging better enforcement of wage and labor rights in the workplace.

Opportunities for Policy Leadership on Fathers - This Sloan Work and Family Research Network brief focuses on the work-life conflicts of fathers and how to encourage greater contact between fathers and their children.  The report highlights surveys of fathers and how policies like parental leave can help relieve part of that work-life conflict.

Coverage for Caregivers: Lessons from Massachusetts Health Reform - From Health Care for Health Care Workers, this survey of nursing home and home care providers conducted three years after Massachusetts legislated health reform reports that less than one-fifth of Massachusetts direct-care workers — nursing home assistants, home health care aides, and personal care attendants — are enrolled in employer-sponsored health insurance plans, primarily because they are too costly or are ineligible due to their part-time work status or a waiting period.  Researchers recommend that for Congress to significantly improve access to quality, affordable insurance for direct-care workers and their employers, the following provisions should be included in health reform legislation:  a robust national, publicly operated health insurance option; allow all eldercare/disability service employers access to the proposed insurance “exchanges” or “gateways” regardless of size; ensure adequate federal subsidies to low- and moderate-income workers and their families, and; expand Medicaid to include all individuals earning up to at least 133 percent of the federal poverty level.