Reports and Publications

In addition to the WPFP state partners’ reports, the national Project team periodically released materials on the conditions of low-income working families. WPFP publications focused on how state and national policies can be strengthened to better assist these families in their pursuit of economic advancement and security. Project materials included widely recognized national reports 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 national reports 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.

Still Working Hard, Still Falling Short: New Findings on the Challenges Confronting America’s Working Families (2008)

  • Report website
  • Media Coverage of National Report
  • Podcast of Brandon Roberts

Working Hard, Falling Short: America’s Working Families and the Pursuit of Economic Security (2004)

  • Media Coverage of National Report

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

Reports on State Partner Progress

Since 2002, the 23 state-based nonprofit organizations participating in The Working Poor Families Project have helped generate or preserve over $7.6 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 and the WPFP model are outlined in this 2014 graphic analysis, Strengthening State Policies for Low-Income Working Families. It describes the Project’s distinctive process of policy change and 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.

A 2009 report, Building a Foundation for Family Economic Success, provides greater detail about the WPFP network and some of the state policy changes that state partners have achieved.

  • Read the Report
  • View a webcast that explores findings from the report.

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 held 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.

  • The Future of Work (2015)
  • The Role of State Policy In Two Generation Strategies (2014)
  • Increasing Education and Skills Training with TANF Resources (June 2013)
  • The National Landscape of Financial Aid Policies: A Road Map for Adults (June 2012)
  • Increasing Access to Income and Work Supports (June 2011)
  • Paid Leave State Policy Academy (June 2010)
  • Strengthening State Data Systems to Improve Outcomes for Low-Income Adults (June 2010)
  • Linking Infrastructure and Capital Investments with Jobs and Training (June 2009)
  • Economic Development (September 2008)
  • Adult Education (June 2007)
  • Postsecondary Education (June 2006)

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