As implementation of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) gets underway, states have the opportunity to make significant policy decisions that will guide implementation at the state and local level. Given that WIOA provides explicit priority to serving “recipients of public assistance, other low-income individuals, and individuals who are basic skills deficient,” it is important that states establish policies and provide guidance to ensure that resources are allocated and services are delivered in accordance with this legislative priority and that appropriate attention is given to increasing the education and skills of low-income workers.
This new policy brief from the Working Poor Families Project identifies 10 key WIOA policy areas where states can ensure that resource allocations, implementation efforts, performance outcomes, and other activities under WIOA are effectively addressing the needs of working poor families.
Student success is a top priority of community college reform efforts today. Most efforts focus on academic reforms geared toward traditional students. A new policy brief by The Working Poor Families Project suggests that more emphasis should be placed on non-academic support targeted to low-income adults at community colleges, especially student parents.
The brief offers a four-part framework of non-academic supports and services for low-income adult students and makes state policy recommendations to help ensure that non-academic supports are integrated into community college success efforts.
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.
Good for Students, Good for Colleges: Investing in Bridge Programs as a Strategy for Success Women Employed (Illinois) (September 2015)
Download the report (pdf)