Reports and Publications

In addition to the WPFP state partners’ reports, the national Project team periodically releases materials on the conditions of low-income working families. WPFP publications also focus on how state and national policies can be strengthened to better assist these families in their pursuit of economic advancement and security. Project materials include a widely recognized national report on the conditions of low-income working families in the U.S. and policy briefs on key issues affecting low-income working families in the states.

National Reports

In 2004 and 2008, the Project released a national report assessing both state and national efforts on behalf of low-income workers. The reports present data on the conditions of low-income working families and clearly highlight the major challenges facing America. The reports call for new approaches by state and federal policymakers and increased investments in programs that can lead to economic self-sufficiency for hardworking parents and their families.

In 2010, the Project released “Building Opportunity: How States Can Leverage Capital and Infrastructure Investments to Put Working Families on a Path to Good Jobs.” Each year states spend billions of dollars to build and repair roads, bridges, sewers, schools, subsidized housing, and government facilities. These and other capital and infrastructure investments employ millions of construction workers. Increasingly states are looking for policies that expand access to these jobs to low-income working families. This Working Poor Families Project report, Building Opportunity, profiles how states can shape policies and program efforts to both 1) boost the supply of skilled workers by connecting low-income, low-skilled adults to construction-related skills development programs, and 2) increase employer commitment and demand for hiring these workers and paying them family-sustaining wages.

Read the Report (pdf)

State Data Systems Recommendations

Read Recommendations for Incorporating Postsecondary and Workforce Data into Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems

WPFP State Progress

Since 2002, the 25 state-based nonprofit organizations participating in The Working Poor Families Project have helped generate or preserve over $2.5 billion in state investments in low-income working families. In the process, these organizations have brought the concerns of low-income working families into a variety of state policy debates. These impressive accomplishments are detailed in the report Building a Foundation for Family Economic Success. By describing the Project’s distinctive process of policy change, the report shows how this innovative partnership positions state-based nonprofit organizations to champion investments in working families. Consequently, low-income working families in many states are better able to obtain financial aid, increase their education and skills, access good jobs, and make ends meet.

Read a previous progress report for an overview of policy accomplishments in the partner states, Strengthening State Policies for Working Families. To see a detailed discussion of state policy efforts, read WPFP State Policy Actions.

WPFP State Policy Academy Presentations

The WPFP holds annual cross-state meetings where partner organizations share and receive information on key state policy issues. These meetings often include specific policy academies that involve an in-depth examination of a particular issue. Below are materials that were developed and presented for these state policy academies. Please note that these presentations were developed and delivered by experts from national organizations that collaborate with the WPFP.

WPFP Policy Briefs

The Project periodically creates policy briefs that examine important issues effecting low-income working families. These briefs contain recommendations for strengthening state polices.

Below is a list of WPFP policy briefs.

Earn to Learn: How States Can Reimagine and Reinvest in Work-Study to Help Low-Income Adults Pay for College, Enhance Their Academic Studies, and Prepare for Post-College Careers
(Spring 2014)

Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future
(Winter 2013-2014)

State Opportunities for Reconnecting Young Adults to Education, Skill Training and Employment
(Summer 2013)

Low-Income Working Families: The Growing Economic Gap
(Winter 2012-2013)

Preparing for the New GED® Test: What to Consider Before 2014
(Fall 2012)

Graduating to College: Three States Helping Adult Education Students Get a College Education
(Summer 2012)

Making Performance Funding Work for All
(Spring 2012)

Overlooked and Underpaid: Number of Low-Income Working Families Increases to 10.2 Million
(Winter 2011-2012)

Strengthening Workplace Education Program Policies to Enable Low-Wage Workers' Advancement
(Fall 2011)

Improving Access to Apprenticeship: Strengthening State Policies and Practices
(Summer 2011)

Improving Access to Work Supports: Strengthening State Policies and Practices
(Spring 2011)

Great Recession Hit Hard at America's Working Poor: Nearly 1 in 3 Working Families in United States are Low-Income
(Winter 2010-2011)

College Access Challenge Grants: Including Adult Learners, Strengthening Student Success
(Fall 2010)

Widening the Doorways of Opportunity: Philanthropic Efforts to Strengthen Postsecondary Education and Skill Development Systems
(Summer 2010)

A Pathway to Clean Jobs and Prosperity: State policies for helping low-income families build clean energy careers
(Spring 2010)

Strengthening State Economic Development Systems: A Framework for Change
(Winter 2009-2010)

Building and Strengthening State Data Systems to Measure Community College and Workforce Outcomes
(Fall 2009)

Strengthening Correctional Education for Adults
(Summer 2009)

Economics and Politics of Work-Family Policy: The Case for a State Family Leave Insurance Program (Spring 2009)

Principles for State Implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
(Winter 2009)

Improving Student Success by Strengthening Developmental Education in Community Colleges: The Role of State Policy
(Winter 2008-2009)

Preparing Low-Skilled Workers for the Jobs of Tomorrow
(Fall 2008)

Strengthening State Policies: The Process for Change
(Summer 2008)

Using the Workforce Investment Act to Develop and Foster Innovative State Workforce Policies and Programs
(Spring 2008)

Securing State Commitments to Family Economic Prosperity. (Winter 2007)

Strengthening State Financial Aid Policies for Low-Income Working Adults. (Fall 2007)

Strengthening State Adult Education Policies for Low-Skilled Workers. (Summer 2007)

Strengthening State Policies to Increase the Education and Skills of Low-Wage Workers (Spring 2007)

Using the American Community Survey to Strengthen State Policies (Winter 2006)

Promoting Student Success in Community Colleges by Increasing Support Services (Fall 2006)

Promoting Economic Self-Sufficiency as a State TANF Outcome (Spring 2006)