America’s growing immigrant community is a significant and sizable part of the labor force. Many immigrants understand that English proficiency is key to a better economic future, yet the opportunities to obtain the education and skills needed to become productive workers are limited. This policy brief by The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) calls for states to strengthen their state adult education policies and programs to ensure sufficient opportunities are available for English as a Second Language (ESL) populations. In doing so, the policy brief identifies three key areas warranting attention:
WPFP State Partners’ Policy Accomplishments: 2002-2014
For the past 13 years, The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) has supported state nonprofit organizations to strengthen state policies and practices on behalf of the nation’s 10.6 million low-income working families. This graphic analysis describes WPFP’s approach to working with its 23 state partners and depicts the cumulative results of these efforts: Approximately $7.6 billion in state investments have been generated or protected for low-income working families in these states.
WPFP’s support for this network of state partners ensures that an active and credible voice participates in critical state policy matters, thus building a foundation for the economic success of low-income 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.