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Latest Publications from WPFP

Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future

Despite an improving economy, the share of female-headed working families considered low-income continues to increase. A new report by The Working Poor Families Project finds there now are 4.1 million low-income families headed by working mothers struggling to support 8.5 million children.

According to the report, the persistence of the gender wage gap over the years is a key barrier to economic success for working women. In addition, relatively few low-income working mothers have the education and skills for higher-wage jobs. Women in low-wage jobs often do not receive benefits, which include health insurance, paid sick leave and wage protections.

The report describes the issue, and details state government policies and actions that can facilitate the economic advancement of low-income working women and their young children. The report notes that strong state policies will strengthen the economy and neighborhoods, and assist families striving to work their way into the middle class and achieve economic security.
Read the Brief (PDF) 

State Opportunities for Reconnecting Young Adults to Education, Skills Training and Employment

An alarmingly large number of young adults are disconnected from traditional education (including a high school diploma or credential) or job skill training, diminishing their chances of lifting themselves out of poverty. Past research suggests that these “disconnected youth” face challenges beyond their control, and lack the supports and skills needed to transition from high school to college and employment.

This new brief by The Working Poor Families Project describes the issue, and details policies and strategies for reconnecting young adults (typically 18-24 years old) to education, skill training and employment, with a specific emphasis on state level policies and interventions. The brief notes that by bringing more attention to these young adults, WPFP and its state partners have the opportunity to promote state policies to assist disconnected young adults to effectively support themselves and their families.
Read the Brief (PDF)

Strengthening State Policies for Working Families

Millions of American breadwinners work hard to support their families. But, despite their effort, almost one in three working families are mired in low-wage jobs that provide inadequate benefits and offer little opportunity for advancement and economic security. Compounding the problem are public policies that do not adequately prepare workers to advance to higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs or promote the creation of quality jobs.

The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) was launched in 2002 by national philanthropic leaders who saw the need to strengthen state policies affecting these working families. This national initiative is now supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and Kresge foundations. WPFP focuses on the states because their policies and investments critically affect the lives of working families.

The WPFP is active in 22 states and the District of Columbia. In each state the WPFP partners with one or more nonprofit organizations to strengthen state policies to better prepare America's working families for a more secure economic future.

Featured Publication from a WPFP State Partner

From Women Employed
A Plan for Building Skilled Workers and Strong Families Through the Massachusetts TAFDC Program
(February 2014)

Download the report (pdf)