Basic Skills and Workforce Training

CLASP actively comments on federal regulations and guidance regarding adult education and workforce training programs and provides analyses and summaries for state policy makers and advocates.

Workforce and Education Strategies for Achieving National Economic Priorities - Recommendations for the U.S. Department of Education

Workforce and Education Strategies for Achieving National Economic Priorities - Recommendations for the U.S. Department of Labor

RESOURCES:

  • Sep 29, 2014   |  Kisha Bird, Marcie Foster, and Evelyn Ganzglass New Opportunities to Improve Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults: Key Provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) CLASP's summary of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) focuses on opportunities for improving services to low-income youth and adults under Title I and Title II. Read Online
  • Sep 16, 2014   |  CLASP New Census Data Tell Us That Poverty Fell in 2013 CLASP examines the trends revealed in the Census Bureau's 2013 poverty data, including a decline in poverty among young children. Read Online
  • Sep 02, 2014   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Helly Lee SNAP E&T Pilots An update of SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) strategies in up to 10 states designed to help SNAP recipients get into the workforce, increase their earnings, and ultimately reduce their SNAP participation. Read Online
  • Aug 28, 2014 A Job Creation and Job Quality Agenda for Labor Day This report summarizes the recent trends in employment rate and job quality and provides policy recommendations. Despite employment recovery, many are still left behind and job quality is worse than before the recession. Read Online
  • Jul 09, 2014   |  Stephanie Schmit, Hannah Matthews, and Olivia Golden Thriving Children, Successful Parents: A Two-Generation Approach to Policy This brief examines major federal and state policy areas to identify opportunities for two-generation, large-scale change that better support families as a whole and provide a more conducive environment for local programs to do their work with families. Read Online
  • Jul 01, 2014 Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0 CLASP and Alliance partners jointly created and provided consensus support for Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0, which establishes a common understanding of quality career pathways and systems. Download PDF
  • Jun 10, 2014 "A Progress Report on the War on Poverty: Reforming Federal Aid" A Hearing Before the House Committee on the Budget Testimony of Olivia Golden Testimony of Olivia Golden before the House Committee on the Budget for "A Progress Report on the War on Poverty: Reforming Federal Aid" hearing. Read Online
  • Jun 12, 2014   |  Vickie Choitz, Tim Harmon, Evelyn Ganzglass, and Neil Ridley Response to the Federal Request for Information on Adoption of Career Pathways Approaches for the Delivery of Education, Training, Employment, and Human Services CLASP commends the Obama Administration and the departments for their leadership and commitment to career pathways and was pleased to submit a response to the RFI. Download PDF
  • Mar 18, 2014   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Scaling “Stackable Credentials”: Implications for Implementation and Policy This paper identifies five strategies several states, community colleges, and their partners are using to create “stackable credentials.” Students can accumulate stackable credentials over time to build up their qualifications and help them move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher paying jobs. The paper discusses policy and institutional barriers these states and colleges have been working to overcome as they create credentials that have value in the labor market and postsecondary educational credit and credentialing systems. Download PDF
  • Dec 13, 2013   |  Tom Salyers Budget Deal Would Halt Some Sequester Woes, Provide Fiscal Stability As pundits dissect the proposed budget deal hammered out by the committee co-chaired by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), CLASP is examining the proposal with a focus on how it affects low-income children, families and individuals. Following are questions about the deal with responses from several CLASP experts. Read Online
  • Nov 07, 2013   |  CLASP A New Look at the GAO Report on Workforce Funding In January 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report entitled "Multiple Employment and Training Programs: Providing Information on Colocating Services and Consolidating Administrative Structures Could Promote Efficiencies." In this report, GAO identified 47 federal programs that provided support for employment and training activities in fiscal year 2009, with a total funding level of $17.6 billion. This statement has taken on a life of its own, and is often cited as evidence of extensive duplication and overlap between federally funded workforce development programs. Read Online
  • Nov 07, 2013   |  Marcie Foster and Kisha Bird From PIAAC to Policy Solutions: Promoting Postsecondary and Economic Success for Low-Skilled Workers A just-released international assessment of adult skills, the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) shows that a large portion of the U.S. population has low skills, impeding their ability to achieve economic success and build stronger families. Findings illuminate that the U.S. continues to struggle with improving the skills of our nation’s adult workforce, particularly among disadvantaged and minority workers. Read Online
  • Aug 28, 2013   |  Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success Building the Middle Class with Better Skills and Wages: Who Would be Helped by Stronger Pathways? New state profiles from the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) and the Center on Postsecondary and Economic Success (C-PES) at CLASP describe just how many workers need better skills and wages in each state. Read Online
  • Jun 25, 2013   |  Helly Lee SNAP Works: SNAP Work Requirements and Time Limits Most SNAP recipients are either already working (13 percent of all SNAP recipients) or are not expected to work (68 percent) because they: are children or senior citizens; have a disability; care for a family member who is disabled; or care for a child under six years old while another household member is working. However, SNAP does have several provisions designed to encourage individuals who are not working to enter the workforce. Read Online
  • Apr 22, 2013   |  Marcie Foster Testimony to the Committee on Education on the FY14 Budget for the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education In 2013, it is a complete misnomer to label adult education as simply a "literacy" program. It is so much more. Adult education is an oft-overlooked and integral part of the District's workforce development system. Gone are the days when one could attain self-sufficiency with only a high school diploma. Today's workers need higher level skills and often postsecondary-level credentials to compete for jobs in the changing economy. In fact, by 2018, 71 percent of all jobs in D.C. will require some postsecondary training beyond high school. Yet far too many workers in the city are falling far short of these credential requirements and will be left behind. Read Online
  • Mar 25, 2013   |  Allegra Baider, Vickie Choitz, Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Marcie W.M. Foster, Linda Harris, Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Neil Ridley, Julie Strawn Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States This toolkit is designed to help interagency state teams identify and facilitate "braiding" of federal resources to design and develop career pathways and bridges into them for adults and out-of-school youth. The toolkit also will help state teams identify state policy barriers to using federal resources for career pathways and bridges and, ideally, address them. Read Online
  • Mar 19, 2013   |  Chris Warland and Melissa Young, National Transitional Jobs Network and Elizabeth Lower-Basch, CLASP Innovative City and State Funding Approaches to Supporting Subsidized Employment and Transitional Jobs A new paper from the National Transitional Jobs Network and CLASP provides strategies and makes recommendations on leveraging and blending multiple sources of funding to support subsidized employment programs. In addition to highlighting the opportunities to use block grant funding, from both TANF and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), the paper identifies efforts to fund these jobs by averting future expenses associated with prisons and other corrections measures and by leveraging public contracting and bidding opportunities. The webinar is also available. Read Online
  • Mar 15, 2013   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Neil Ridley Navigating Federal Programs to Build Sustainable Career Pathways in the Health Professions: A Guide for HPOG Programs Healthcare is one of the fastest growing sectors in our economy, and there are many jobs in this sector that require fewer than 4 years of college education, have high demand, and offer good pay. However, low-income workers often face barriers to accessing the education and training they need to enter these jobs, including lack of information, poor basic skills, confusing and poorly aligned training programs, cost of training, and need for supportive services, such as child care and transportation. The Heath Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG), authorized by section 5507 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA; Public Law 111-148), address this issue by supporting models for providing education, training, and support services to enable recipients of cash assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low-income individuals to obtain well-paying jobs in high-demand healthcare occupations. The HPOG program is one of several provisions of ACA aimed at supporting training for the healthcare workforce of the future. Read Online
  • Feb 14, 2013 A Framework for Measuring Career Pathways Innovation This working paper examines three elements of career pathway metrics development and provides an overview of what state and local/regional career pathway systems have done in relation to those elements. Our scan provides an impression of current practices but not a systematic description. Read Online
  • Feb 14, 2013 The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Approach: Developing Criteria and Metrics for Quality Career Pathways The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways is a two-year, state driven, CLASP-led effort to identify criteria that define high quality career pathway systems and a set of shared performance metrics for measuring and managing their success. CLASP will work with 10 states that are leading the nation in experience with developing and taking to scale career pathways, using a consensus process, to create this framework of criteria and metrics. These leading states participating in the Alliance are Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Read Online
  • Sep 18, 2012   |  Marcie W.M. Foster and Jackie Taylor Adult Education Promotes Economic Opportunity, Creates Stable Families and Makes America More Competitive Nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. have below a high school education and over 24 million have English language training needs. Even for those adults with a high school diploma, basic skills deficiencies have a detrimental and long-lasting impact on our nation's families and economic growth. Adult education (Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Title II of the Workforce Investment Act) plays a critical role in the economic opportunity of over two million adult learners each year who use these services to earn a high school equivalency, increase basic and employability skills, or improve their English language proficiency. Fully investing in adult education and reforming the program to meet the needs of today's workers will help workers and their families build a better economic future for themselves and the nation. Read Online
  • Jun 28, 2012   |  Marcie Foster with Lennox McLendon Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a Survey of State Adult Education Tuition and Financing Policies At no time in recent history has the importance of adult education been greater and the funding more threatened. Despite the fact that as many as 93 million adults in the U.S. may need basic skills services to improve their economic prospects, funding for these services is stagnating at the federal level and being slashed in statehouses and state agencies across the country. Demand remains high, with at least 160,000 people on waiting lists that exist in nearly every state. To begin the conversation about how to meet existing and emerging needs with shrinking resources, CLASP and the National Council for State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE) surveyed state directors of adult education in February 2012. The goal was to glean information about important policies that govern the way adult education is funded, including the costs borne by local districts, community colleges, and other providers and by the states, the federal government, and students. Read Online
  • Jun 18, 2012   |  Marcie Foster Senate Appropriations Committee Takes Steps to Restore Financial Aid for College-Ready Adults without a High School Diploma On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill that sets funding levels for key education and training programs. Importantly, the bill also includes an amendment that would restore financial aid eligibility for some students without a high school diploma or its equivalent who are able to demonstrate their ability to benefit from college-level coursework. The provision would allow this eligibility only for ATB-eligible students who are enrolled in career pathway programs, a program model which CLASP has long-supported. Read Online
  • Apr 30, 2012   |  Linda Harris and Kisha Bird Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization May Move Youth Development Field Back a Decade On March 29, 2012, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Rep. Joseph J. Heck and Rep. Howard P. McKeon introduced a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 4297). This analysis looks at the bill's youth provisions. Read Online
  • Apr 24, 2012   |  Marcie Foster Refocusing Adult Education on Career and Postsecondary Success Two proposals to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) are in the House of Representatives. Both proposals reflect a priority of greater alignment among adult education (Title II), workforce development (Title I), and postsecondary education, and both increase the focus on preparing adult students not just to earn a secondary school diploma but for college and careers. Despite these similarities, the bills differ across several dimensions. This analysis highlights key provisions in each bill that strengthen or weaken the overall goal of refocusing Title II on career and postsecondary success. Read Online
  • Apr 16, 2012   |  Evelyn Ganzglass and Neil Ridley Reauthorizing WIA: The House Workforce Block Grant Heads in the Wrong Direction On March 29, 2012, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Rep. Joseph J. Heck and Rep. Howard P. McKeon introduced a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 4297). To help advocates and stakeholders, CLASP has developed a set of criteria for evaluating this bill and other proposals that consolidate programs offering workforce services to low-income families and individuals. In applying these criteria to H.R. 4297, CLASP finds that the bill fails on most counts. Read Online
  • Apr 09, 2012   |  Neil Ridley and Evelyn Ganzglass A Litmus for Legislation: Criteria for Evaluating Proposals to Restructure Federal Workforce Programs During the past year, a number of bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to reduce the number of federal workforce programs, consolidate programs in some cases and to improve the efficiency of the workforce system. CLASP recognizes the need for a more coherent and effective workforce development system. However, it is wrong to assume that the federal government's support of multiple workforce programs necessarily amounts to or results in duplicative services. To help advocates and other stakeholders, CLASP has developed a set of criteria with which to evaluate proposals that consolidate or restructure programs offering workforce services to low-income families and individuals. Read Online
  • Mar 02, 2012   |  Marcie Foster The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act: Toward a Modern Adult Education System and a More Educated Workforce This is an update to a similar brief from November 2011. The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (AEEGA) was introduced in the House of Representatives in June 2011 by Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15) and in February 2012 in the Senate by Sen. Jim Webb (VA). The Act (H.R. 2226 and S. 2117) would amend the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to encourage the use and availability of career pathways for low-skilled adults, strengthen the focus of adult education on postsecondary and career success, increase the number of adult education students receiving marketable postsecondary credentials, and modernize the adult education system to meet the needs of 21st century jobs. Although AEEGA could substantially improve WIA-particularly the Title II provisions that govern adult education-it could be strengthened by incorporating stronger provisions that promote better alignment between WIA Titles I and II, including a shared system of accountability. Read Online
  • Feb 27, 2012   |  Marcie Foster Shifting Gears Winter 2012 Newsletter The Winter 2012 edition of Transmissions is the last newsletter of the Shifting Gears initiative, which ended on December 31, 2011. Although this work is formally ending, we hope that other states and the federal government can benefit from the lessons learned from this groundbreaking work. Read Online
  • Feb 15, 2012   |  Neil Ridley and Marcie Foster President Proposes New Investments in America's Workforce In his FY 2013 budget proposal released Monday, the president called for an $8 billion Community College to Career Fund to train 2 million workers for jobs in high-demand and high-growth fields. The president announced the initiative in late January during his State of the Union address and provided more details in his budget proposal. Read Online
  • Feb 02, 2012   |  Marcie Foster Adult Education Funding Levels and Enrollment This fact sheet on adult education funding and enrollment trends shows that funding for adult education and English language services has declined by 17 percent from 2002 to 2012 in inflation-adjusted terms. At the same time, enrollment has declined by 27 percent, signaling concern that the system is unable to serve the growing population in need of services due to insufficient funding. Read Online
  • Feb 01, 2012   |  Neil Ridley and Marcie Foster Unemployment Insurance: Congress Should Reject the Misguided Educational Requirement in H.R. 3630 House and Senate conferees are currently considering an extension of federally funded unemployment assistance through the end of 2012. The House-passed bill (H.R. 3630) that conferees are considering includes a new minimum educational requirement for Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants. The bill would change federal law to require individuals who receive UI benefits to have a high school diploma, GED or other state-recognized equivalent or be enrolled in classes leading to a secondary credential. If this requirement is deemed "unduly burdensome," state agencies may waive it for individuals. CLASP urges conferees to reject the proposed minimum educational requirement for UI recipients and any alternative formulations of this provision. Read Online
  • Jan 27, 2012   |  CLASP Comments on the Department of Education's Strategic Plan FY2011 - 2014 In January 2012, CLASP provided comments on the Department of Education's Strategic Plan for FY 2011 - 2014. CLASP applauded the Department for putting forth a strategic plan that raises expectations for our nation's education system at all levels and moves the country toward meeting the goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Read Online
  • Nov 10, 2011   |  Marcie Foster The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (H.R. 2226) The Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (AEEGA) was introduced in the House of Representatives in June 2011 by Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15). The bill (H.R. 2226) would amend the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to encourage the use and availability of career pathways for low-skilled adults, strengthen the focus of adult education on postsecondary and career success, increase the number of adult education students receiving marketable postsecondary credentials, and modernize the adult education system to meet the needs of 21st century jobs. Although AEEGA could substantially improve WIA - particularly the Title II provisions that govern adult education - it could be strengthened by incorporating stronger provisions that promote better alignment between WIA Titles I and II, including a shared system of accountability. Read Online
  • Oct 13, 2011   |  Marcie Foster Shifting Gears Fall 2011 Newsletter The Fall 2011 edition of Transmissions provides information on state accomplishments and best practices, up-to-date news, and policy insights for policymakers, researchers, advocates, program administrators, and others outside the Shifting Gears network. Read Online
  • Oct 03, 2011   |  Vickie Choitz and Julie Strawn CLASP Testimony for the Record on Nontraditional Students On Sept. 30, 2011, the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance held a hearing on higher education regulations and nontraditional students. CLASP submitted comments focusing on the primary barriers to access and persistence for nontraditional students and promising strategies and policies and the role of the federal government in helping nontraditional students in overcoming the barriers. Read Online
  • Sep 21, 2011   |  CLASP American Jobs Act: New Work and Learning Opportunities for Low-Income, Unemployed Adults and Youth This CLASP analysis of the American Jobs Act examines provisions specifically aimed at those workers most affected by the recession as well as those struggling even before the economy turned sour. In particular, it looks at the $5 billion Pathways Back to Work Fund, which includes three elements that would create work and learning opportunities for thousands of disadvantaged individuals across the country. Read Online
  • Aug 23, 2011   |  Julie Strawn Farther, Faster: Six Promising Programs Show How Career Pathway Bridges Help Basic Skills Students Earn Credentials That Matter Students forced to complete a long sequence of remedial or English language classes before they can begin their postsecondary program rarely earn college certificates or degrees. This brief highlights six promising programs that show how career pathway bridges help lower-skilled students move farther and faster along college and career paths through dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational certificate courses. Because creating such bridges requires collaboration across college silos, they can also transform the way colleges operate. Read Online
  • Aug 11, 2011 National Leaders Recognize Value of Workforce Development Programs Federally funded workforce development programs, the largest of which are funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), assist individuals in building skills, preparing for work, and finding jobs. Many government officials, academics, and business leaders agree that workforce and training programs are essential for our economy to succeed, especially in this period of slow economic growth. Further, most scholars who have examined the evidence find that these programs are valuable for disadvantaged individuals, businesses, and the economy. Read Online
  • May 24, 2011   |  CLASP Student Success Stories from the Shifting Gears Initiative This map links to testimonials from students and staff about how programs developed under the Shifting Gears initiative have enabled adults to access postsecondary education, upgrade their skills, and obtain better family-sustaining jobs. To learn more about the policies that each state is pursuing under the initiative, visit the Shifting Gears web site. Read Online
  • May 23, 2011   |  Marcie Foster Public Comments on Measures and Methods for the National Reporting System for Adult Education CLASP provided comments on the proposed revisions to the National Reporting System, as outlined in the March 22, 2011 Federal Register (FR Docket ID: 2011-6717). Read Online
  • May 11, 2011   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training on Removing Inefficiencies in the Nation's Job Training Programs In May 2011, the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training to the Committee on Education Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives, held a hearing on removing inefficiencies in the nation's job training programs. Evelyn Ganzglass, Director of Workforce Development at CLASP testified before the committee on the steps Congress should take to create a more coherent and effective workforce system. Read Online
  • May 09, 2011   |  EVENT RESOURCES Developing America's Workforce Event Resources While employers are beginning to hire again, structural problems in the labor market will continue to keep unemployment levels high in the coming years and limit economic mobility for low-income workers. This high-level bipartisan discussion focused on lessons we can draw from the last four decades of workforce policy to help the nation effectively navigate its immediate and long-term labor market challenges. Read Online
  • May 06, 2011   |  Neil Ridley and Elizabeth Kenefick Research Shows the Effectiveness of Workforce Programs In this paper, CLASP provides a fresh look at the evidence showing the effectiveness of workforce programs. It finds that federal investments in workforce development help low-income adults and youth find jobs, improve their earnings and contribute to their communities. The national studies also tend to average out results from a wide range of local approaches and consequently mask the success of promising workforce strategies. A growing body of research suggests that workforce investments are likely to pay off for the next generation. Read Online
  • Apr 19, 2011   |  Evelyn Ganzglass, Keith Bird & Heath Prince Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: Creating a Competency-Based Qualifications Framework for Postsecondary Education and Training Postsecondary credentials are the keys to individual self-sufficiency, greater civic participation, and higher levels of family well-being and the catalysts for local, regional, and national economic growth. Often overlooked in discussions of increasing the number and quality of postsecondary credentials awarded is that a great deal of credit-worthy education and training is taking place, but it is often disconnected from educational pathways that could lead to postsecondary certificates or degrees. Given the growing importance of postsecondary credentials to economic success, this disconnect of high-quality, noncredit education and training from education that can be counted toward a degree suggests a gaping hole in education policy and in employment and training policy. Read Online
  • Apr 19, 2011   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch Testimony for the Record on GAO Report on Duplication of Government Programs, Focus on Welfare and Related Programs In April 2011, the Subcommittee on Human Resources to the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives, held a hearing on Duplication of Government Programs with a focus on welfare and related programs. CLASP's testimony for the record focuses on how the programs should be coordinated into a system of benefits that is easy to access, unstigmatized, responsive to economic hardship, open to all, and fully funded. Education and training are drivers of economic mobility and opportunity, and low-wage workers and low-income individuals need access to them to enter and advance in the labor market. Read Online
  • Mar 15, 2011   |  Julie Strawn New Path to Federal Student Aid for Those with No High School Diploma or GED New policy allows students without a high school diploma or GED to qualify for federal student aid if they successfully complete six credits in lieu of passing an Ability-to-Benefit test. Basic skills bridge programs could be designed to help students earn the critical six credits. NOTE: These provisions have been eliminated for newly-enrolled students as of July 1, 2012. Read Online
  • Mar 15, 2011   |  CLASP Shifting Gears Spring 2011 E-Newsletter The Spring 2011 edition of Transmissions provides information on state accomplishments and best practices, up-to-date news, and policy insights for policymakers, researchers, advocates, program administrators, and others outside the Shifting Gears network. Read Online
  • Mar 04, 2011   |  Marcie Foster, Julie Strawn, and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield Beyond Basic Skills: State Strategies to Connect Low-Skilled Students to an Employer-Valued Postsecondary Education Having a postsecondary education -- broadly defined as a credential beyond a high school diploma -- continues to be one of the most important factors in getting a good job and advancing in the workforce. Critical federal programs, such as funding for student aid and job training, can help lower-skilled adults and youth access postsecondary education, but important policy choices that support their success and completion can be made at the state and local levels. This report describes strategies that state policymakers can use to strengthen connections between basic skills education and postsecondary education to help lower-skilled adults and out-of-school youth attain the postsecondary credentials they need to advance in the labor market. Read Online
  • Feb 17, 2011   |  Neil Ridley and Evelyn Ganzglass Responding to the Great Recession: How the Recovery Act Boosted Training and Innovation in Three States Two years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act or ARRA) became law, Congress is preparing to take up reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). With its one-time infusion of resources, the Recovery Act nearly doubled federal funding for adult, dislocated worker and youth programs under WIA during 2009-2010 and set national priorities for the public workforce system's response to what is now being described as the Great Recession. The lessons from Recovery Act implementation should inform WIA reauthorization as it proceeds. This report examines the response of three states and local areas to the urgency of the recession, additional funding and the opportunities and challenges afforded by the Recovery Act. Read Online
  • Feb 17, 2011   |  CLASP Two Years Later: Impacts of Select ARRA Programs for Low-Income Workers & Families This document looks at select provisions in the Recovery Act that affected low-income people and their families. In areas where there is available data, it notes the impact of the program on the number of people who benefited from ARRA provisions. While the effect of the Recovery Act will be debated and analyzed by policy experts and researchers for years to come, some of the early evidence makes it clear that the Recovery Act benefited the nation by easing some immediate effects of the recession and preventing deeper hardship. Read Online
  • Feb 07, 2011   |  Vicki Choitz Pathways to Prosperity for Students In this video clip by American Public Television Service, CLASP senior policy analyst Vicki Choitz discusses preparing students for middle-skill jobs. Read Online
  • Jan 12, 2011   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Abigail Newcomer Federal Funding for Integrated Service Delivery These briefs describe federal programs identified as possible funding sources for one or more components of integrated service delivery, including benefit access, workforce development and financial literacy services. Read Online
  • Nov 30, 2010   |  Linda Harris & Amy Ellen Duke-Benfiled Building Pathways to Postsecondary Success for Low-Income Young Men of Color Linda Harris, director of youth policy, and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, senior policy analyst, co-authored a chapter in the recently published book Changing Places: How Communities Will Improve the Health of Boys of Color. The book "draws attention to the urgent need--both economic and moral--to better understand the policy and community-based factors that serve as opportunities or barriers for young men and boys of color as they make critical life decisions." Ms. Harris and Ms. Duke-Benfield's chapter examines why it is essential to invest access to postsecondary education opportunities for young men of color. Read Online
  • Jul 08, 2010   |  Julie Strawn Shifting Gears: State Innovation to Advance Adult Workers and the Economy in the Midwest Read Online
  • Jun 11, 2010   |  Neil Ridley Workforce Investment Act: Strengthening Priority of Service for Low-Income Adults through WIA Reathorization A key feature of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a tiered service delivery structure that provides core, intensive and training services to adults and dislocated workers. WIA requires states and local areas to implement a priority of service for public assistance recipients and other low-income adults when local adult funds are determined to be limited. Although federal regulations suggest that funds are "generally limited" and that a priority of service is likely to be needed, states and local areas have considerable flexibility to define the policy and determine whether and how to implement it. An early evaluation of WIA revealed that implementation of priority of service varied widely in states and localities. Read Online
  • Apr 22, 2010   |  Julie Strawn The Role of Education and Training in the TANF Program: Read Online On April 22, Julie Strawn testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the importance of education and training in today's economy, and the role that TANF can play in helping low-income parents obtain economic opportunity and better the lives of their children. Read Online
  • Mar 23, 2010   |  Thomas Hilliard and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield Summary of Key Postsecondary Education and Training Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 Read Online
  • Mar 22, 2010   |  Evelyn Ganzglass, Andrew Reamer, Brandon Roberts, Whitney Smith, Rachel Unruh Recommendations for Incorporating Postsecondary and Workforce Data into Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Read Online
  • Mar 18, 2010   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Testimony of Evelyn Ganzglass on 2011 Budget Priorities for Education and Labor This testimony calls on Congress to sustain the level of Recovery Act investment in workforce programs. It further urges lawmakers to increase the funding for youth programming to $3 billion for expanded summer and year-round youth activities and for targeted grants to high poverty communities to build pathways for youth to opportunities in growing sectors of the economy. Read Online
  • Feb 23, 2010 Recommendations on Performance Accountability in the Workforce Education and Training System Recommendations on Performance Accountability in the Workforce Education and Training System urges the federal government to change current performance accountability provisions in WIA Titles I and II to address specific problems in each program and over time to implement a system of shared accountability across workforce and other education and training programs. Read Online
  • Jan 25, 2010   |  CLASP Federal Policy Recommendations for 2010 Our nation faces many domestic challenges, including improving access to affordable health care, improving access to education as well as education outcomes, and providing debt and foreclosure relief. CLASP's 2010 federal policy recommendations are equally essential to achieving healthy and thriving families and improving the nation's prosperity. Read Online
  • Dec 10, 2009   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Proposal to Create Career Pathways State Policy Leadership Grants Program CLASP proposes the establishment of a Career Pathways State Policy Leadership Grants program within the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The program would be jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor to strengthen and align adult education/ ESL, postsecondary education, career and technical education and workforce development systems in a career pathways framework. Read Online
  • Dec 10, 2009   |  Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Thomas Hilliard Recommendations to Refocus WIA Title II on Career and Postsecondary Success Read Online
  • Sep 18, 2009   |  Ronnie Kauder and Neil Ridley Earning and Learning: Options under the Workforce Investment Act Adults with limited work experience, low education and skill levels and other barriers to employment face the greatest challenges, especially at a time of rising unemployment. Strategies that combine work and learning are critical to help these individuals to enter or regain employment. This paper focuses on two program strategies that combine work and learning: on-the-job training and paid work experience combined with skill development. Read Online
  • Sep 01, 2009   |  CLASP Federal Policy Recommendations for 2009 and Beyond The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has developed an extensive federal policy agenda for President Obama and the 111th Congress directed at improving the lives of low income people. That agenda is outlined in this document. Read Online
  • Jul 24, 2009   |  Workforce Team CLASP Recommendations for Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (Title I) Adult Program CLASP's recommendations for changes to Title I of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) aim to re-focus the workforce investment system on raising the skills of the American workforce and better connect WIA with other education, training and work support programs to create multiple pathways to postsecondary and career success for low-income adults, dislocated workers and disadvantaged youth. Read Online
  • Jun 15, 2009   |  Matt Lewis Distance Learning Can Help Low-Income Parents Attend School: TANF Agencies Should Adopt Supportive Policies (Revised) In the wake of the interim rules implementing the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, several states have expressed concerns about distance learning programs meeting the work verification requirements established by the US Department of Health and Human Services under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. This paper identifies language from HHS-approved work verification plans that other states can adopt in order to maximize access to distance learning and raise work participation rates. It also highlights some restrictive and burdensome language that should be dropped from work verification plans. Read Online
  • Apr 29, 2009   |  Evelyn Ganzglass and Julie Strawn Using Increased Funding Under WIA to Create Multiple Pathways to Marketable Postsecondary Credentials and Middle-Class Employment This paper discusses how the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) system can use new funding and flexibility under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to implement cutting-edge workforce education and training strategies that can help low-skill adults and out-of-school youth gain the skills and credentials they need to fill the pipeline of skilled workers for jobs important to local economies. It focuses on career pathways as a framework for strengthening employer engagement and linkages among workforce education and training programs; and as a model for improving how training and related services are delivered in the WIA adult, dislocated workers and youth programs. Read Online
  • Apr 20, 2009   |  David Fischer and Jeremy Reiss From Stimulus to System: Using the ARRA to Serve Disadvantaged Jobseekers This paper explores models and mechanisms for connecting low-skilled jobseekers to ARRA-related job opportunities--including community-benefit agreements, job linkage/first source hiring, and goals and standards for job creation and job quality--and for subsequently engaging jobseekers in further skill-building and educational programs. Read Online
  • Apr 15, 2009 Workforce and Education Strategies for Achieving National Economic Priorities - Recommendations for the U.S. Department of Education This document contains recommendations offered by CLASP and other leading adult education and workforce development organizations on specific actions the US Department of Education should take to meet our national economic challenges and achieve our priorities. Read Online
  • Apr 15, 2009 Workforce and Education Strategies for Achieving National Economic Priorities - Recommendations for the U.S. Department of Labor This document contains recommendations offered by CLASP and other leading adult education and workforce development organizations on specific actions the US Department of Labor should take to meet our national economic challenges and achieve our priorities. Read Online
  • Apr 03, 2009   |  Allegra Baider and Elizabeth Lower-Basch Making the Employment Connection: New Opportunities to Support Transitional Jobs Programs Using the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund This paper highlights new opportunities to develop or expand Transitional Jobs programs using funding from the new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund, which was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Read Online
  • Jan 12, 2009 CLASP's Workforce Education and Training Policy Recommendations to Promote Inclusive Economic Recovery This paper is a summary of recommendations CLASP has made on workforce education and training policy that promote inclusive economic recovery. The recommendations include workforce investments to assist low-income and other workers hardest hit by economic recession and help prepare our workforce for the jobs of the future. Read Online
  • Nov 24, 2008 Written Comments on Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization Submitted for the Senate WIA Listening Session These comments contain CLASP's recommendations for changes for Titles I and II of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) address selected problems specific to each program and to promote closer connections between these two programs and greater alignment with other workforce development programs to better advance the prospects of low-income, low-skilled youth and adults. Read Online
  • Nov 12, 2008   |  CLASP Recover, Renew, Rebuild: Workforce Policies for a Strong and Fair Economy Education and training are major contributors to economic prosperity. They are drivers of economic mobility and opportunity. Workforce policies to help individuals who are struggling in the labor market also are a critical component of a recovery package to get America working again. This report contains CLASP workforce policy recommendations for Congress and the Administration to address the immediate economic crisis and to make a down payment on the longer-term agenda of building a stronger and more equitable economy. It includes actions they can take to: help workers and families recover from the current recession; renew the nation's commitment to good jobs and upward mobility for all and rebuild middle class jobs. Read Online
  • Nov 07, 2008   |  CLASP Beyond Stimulus: Shoring Up the Safety Net, Securing the American Dream The United States is entering into a recession which many will be longer and more severe than any we have faced in recent decades. As Congress and the new President consider what actions to take, CLASP calls for a package that goes beyond stimulus aimed at temporarily boosting consumer demand. This paper outlines actions that Congress should take immediately to strengthen safety net programs that provide critical assistance to vulnerable workers and families and to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to share in the benefits of recovery. Read Online
  • Oct 29, 2008   |  Linda Harris and Evelyn Ganzglass Creating Postsecondary Pathways to Good Jobs for Young High School Dropouts This paper advocates expansion and better integration of efforts to connect high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24 to pathways to postsecondary credentials that have value in the labor market. The paper highlights examples of innovations in policy, program delivery, pedagogy in adult education, youth development and dropout recovery, and postsecondary education that should be built upon in developing more robust and successful dropout recovery and postsecondary education policies and practices to open the door to higher wages and career opportunities for this population. The authors urge federal officials, governors, school administrators, college officials, workforce leaders and employers to provide leadership in building the supports and pathways at scale to bring dropout youth back into the education and labor market mainstream. The paper was prepared for the Center for American Progress. Read Online
  • Oct 16, 2008   |  Alan W. Houseman and the CLASP Staff CLASP Federal Policy Recommendations for 2009 and Beyond CLASP has developed an extensive federal policy agenda for the next President and Congress directed at improving the lives of low income people. The detailed agenda makes recommendations for changes in policy at all levels of the federal government: the White House, Federal departments and agencies, the budget and appropriations' process, and the law-making process in Congress. This publication provides an overview of our agenda organized into eleven key recommendations. Taken as a whole, the eleven recommendations call for increasing investments in effective programs and funding streams that concretely help children, youth, and families thrive; strengthening and modernizing the nation's safety net; and building supportive pathways for low-income youths and adults to good jobs that sustain families and communities. Read Online
  • Sep 24, 2008   |  Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Julie Strawn Congress Expands Student Aid and Supports Innovation in Student Success, Basic Skills and Workforce Partnerships On August 14, 2008, President Bush signed into law P.L. 110-315, Higher Education Opportunity Act, the long-awaited reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This piece summarizes the key provisions that will influence postsecondary access and success for nontraditional students, including year-round Pell Grants and new pilot programs championed by CLASP for Student Success Grants, Business Workforce Partnerships, and basic skills Bridges from Jobs to Careers programs. Read Online
  • Jun 04, 2008   |  Allegra Baider Congressional Action Needed to Ensure Low-Income Adults Receive Critical Employment and Training Services Under the Workforce Investment Act The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) authorizes the nation's federally funded workforce development system, which provides critical employment and training services to individuals and employers. However, since the enactment of WIA, the share of low-income adults receiving intensive and training services has steadily declined. This paper provides an analysis of the structural issues within the law that are contributing to these declines and offers recommendations on how Congress can reverse these trends by reinvesting in workforce development and transforming WIA through reauthorization. Read Online
  • Mar 20, 2008   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch Education and Training for TANF Recipients: Opportunities and Challenges under the Final Rule On February 5, 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the final rules implementing changes in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program made by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. This paper explains the changes in the new rules that affect recipients' access to education and training, and the actions that states will need to take in order to take advantage of these changes. Many welfare recipients lack the education needed to successfully compete in the labor market. By enabling recipients to participate in education and training activities, states can help improve their long-term employment and earnings outcomes as well as increase their participation rates. Read Online
  • Mar 12, 2008   |  Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn Overcoming Obstacles,Optimizing Opportunities: State Policies to Increase Postsecondary Attainment for Low-Skilled Adults This paper, by Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn, provides an overview of state policies that can be most successful in helping lower-skilled adults enter and succeed in college and careers. The paper introduces a series of state policy reports developed as part of Breaking Through, a national project that is helping community colleges identify and develop institutional strategies that can enable low-skilled adult students to enter into and succeed in occupational and technical degree programs at community colleges. Read Online
  • Mar 04, 2008   |  CLASP The Congressional Budget Resolution: Recommendations for a Blueprint in Support of Low-Income Individuals and Families President Bush's budget proposal sends a simple and stark message: even in an economic downturn, those at the bottom of the income scale don't matter. It is now Congress' turn to prepare a budget plan. The Congressional budget resolution should inflict no harm to low-income workers, restore prior cuts, and invest in the future by supporting the workforce and ensuring safe and healthy children. Read Online
  • Feb 13, 2008   |  Amy-Ellen Duke A Strong Step for Students: House Higher Education Bill Promotes Innovation and Student Success Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the College Opportunity and Affordability Act. This legislation, moves Congress one step closer to the long-awaited reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which governs federal student financial aid and other programs that promote access for low-income and underrepresented students. The bill now goes to a conference committee of House and Senate members. CLASP urges the committee to adopt the provisions passed by the House and to support two changes which the Senate is addressing in reauthorization. Read Online
  • Jan 31, 2008   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch Final TANF Rules Include Modest Improvements; Further Action Needed to Restore the Safety Net This week, the Department of Health and Human Services placed on public display the final rules implementing the changes to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program made by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The rule includes several modest but positive changes affecting the work participation rate requirements, but does not change the overall focus on documenting participation. Many of the changes respond to concerns that CLASP and numerous other organizations submitted in response to the interim final rule. Read Online
  • Jan 31, 2008   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch Summary of TANF Rules The final rules implementing changes in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program made by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 are scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on February 5, 2008; this summary is based on the pre-publication version made available for public inspection. Read Online
  • Dec 20, 2007   |  Amy-Ellen Duke and Evelyn Ganzglass Strengthening State Adult Education Policies for Low-Skilled Workers At a time when employers increasingly need better educated and skilled workers to succeed, too few states have taken significant actions to improve adult education and literacy. This brief, prepared for the Working Poor Families Project, provides an overview of state adult education policies and programs and recommends ways they can be strengthened to provide better job advancement opportunities for lower-skilled adults and older youth. Read Online
  • Oct 18, 2007   |  Julie Strawn Policies to Promote Adult Education and Postsecondary Alignment This paper was prepared for the third meeting of the National Commission on Adult Literacy on August 20, 2007. As introduced by its author, CLASP senior policy analyst Julie Strawn, the publication focuses on "helping adults with lower skills and/or limited English proficiency earn postsecondary credentials that open doors to family-supporting jobs." It examines obstacles to moving toward this goal--with major attention to lack of alignment between federal and state adult education efforts, job training services, and postsecondary education policies. It also draws attention to the financial, personal, and family challenges that prevent adults from seeking and completing programs. Numerous policy and action recommendations are given for the commission's consideration. The 28-page publication is also available in bound version from the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (for pricing and ordering instructions, bheitner@caalusa.org). Read Online
  • Jul 24, 2007   |  Linda Harris and Sally Prouty Testimony Submitted for the Record to the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support Hearing on Disconnected and Disadvantaged Youth The Campaign for Youth (CFY), a coalition of national organizations in the youth field, was established in 2002 in an effort to build a united voice for vulnerable and disconnected youth in the United States. This testimony from CFY lays out a 10-point national investment strategy for reconnecting the nation's youth. Read Online
  • Jul 20, 2007   |  Linda Harris and Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Recommended Changes to the No Child Left Behind Act to Address Workforce Issues CLASP recommendations submitted to the House Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness of the Committee on Education and Labor. Read Online
  • Jul 20, 2007   |  Linda Harris The Tragic Loss of the Summer Jobs Program: Why it is Time to Reinstate! For more than three decades, the federal summer jobs program provided early work exposure for youth, including more than half a million low-income youth each year in the late 1990s--until the program came to an end with the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. In light of the peril and the disparities in education and labor market outcomes facing youth in high-poverty communities, there are compelling reasons for re-instituting the federal investment in summer jobs. This article originally appeared in Focus magazine, a publication of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Read Online
  • Jul 19, 2007   |  Linda Harris Recommendations for WIA Reauthorization Legislation: Title I Youth Provisions Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is happening at a particularly important time for state and local youth delivery systems. During the past few years, increased attention has been given to the unacceptably high dropout rates in districts across the country. As local communities seek to put interventions in place, WIA can and should play a pivotal role. It is important that the reauthorization incorporate the past five years' experiences and lessons learned related to youth delivery, especially in economically distressed areas. Read Online
  • Jul 03, 2007   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Workforce Investment Act: Recommendations to Improve the Effectiveness of Job Training Testimony by Evelyn Ganzglass, CLASP's Director of Workforce Development, before the House Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness on June 28, 2007. Read Online
  • May 18, 2007 Making HEA an Engine of Economic Productivity and Worker Prosperity The skill requirements of today's and tomorrow's jobs continue to rise--by 2020 it's estimated that 15 million new jobs will require college preparation. This paper, from CLASP, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Workforce Alliance, argues that the U.S. can meet this increasing demand by modernizing the Higher Education Act (HEA) through reauthorization. It suggests ways Congress can better align HEA with the needs of employers and the realities of working adults' lives. Read Online
  • May 18, 2007   |  Amy-Ellen Duke and Julie Strawn Update WIA Title II to Help More Adult Education Students Gain Postsecondary Credentials and Move Up to Better Jobs Since passage of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998, it's become clear both that an increase in basic skills leads to an increase in low-skilled individuals' earnings and that these earnings increases typically fall short of what people need to become self-sufficient. There is a new consensus on the importance of increasing transitions from adult education to postsecondary education and training. Currently, however, WIA Title II does not reflect this consensus. These recommendations are intended to update Title II to support state and local innovations in this critical area. Read Online
  • May 17, 2007 Recommendations for Reauthorization of Title I of the Workforce Investment Act Adult and Youth Programs The United States economy is undergoing a major transformation. This requires a new vision for workforce policy--one that promotes a \"high-road\" path to U.S. competitiveness and greater economic opportunity for all workers. These recommendations for reauthorization of Title I of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) focus on both the supply and demand sides of the labor market, in order to address the long-term needs of workers and employers in the new competitive economy. (Updated July 3, 2007.) Read Online
  • May 17, 2007   |  Allegra Baider, Abbey Frank, and Evelyn Ganzglass Recommendations to Strengthen Title I of the Senate WIA Reauthorization Bill Passed by the 109th Congress As the 110th Congress turns once again to WIA reauthorization, a new opportunity exists to ensure that our public workforce system is responsive to the diverse needs of low-wage workers and low-income populations. This paper focuses specifically on recommendations to strengthen the bipartisan Senate WIA bill that passed in the 109th Congress (HR 27 EAS, which incorporated S 1021), which the Senate may use as a starting point for a new bill. Read Online
  • Apr 20, 2007   |  Julie Strawn and Amy-Ellen Duke Recommendations to the House Committee on Education and Labor Regarding Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act These recommendations were submitted to Chairman George Miller and members of the House Committee on Education and Labor. They recommend changes to the Higher Education Act (HEA) that 1) help more working adults and other nontraditional students enroll in and complete postsecondary programs by offering greater financial and other support, 2) help colleges in their critical workforce development role by promoting innovation in program content and delivery, and 3) simplify the aid application process and increase aid to the neediest students. Read Online
  • Apr 20, 2007   |  Julie Strawn and Amy-Ellen Duke Updating WIA Title II to Help More Adult Education Students Gain Postsecondary Credentials and Move up to Better Jobs These recommendations to the U.S. Senate are intended to update the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)Title II (the Adult Education and Literacy Act) and support state and local innovations focused on increasing transitions from adult education to postsecondary education and training. Read Online
  • Mar 13, 2007   |  Abbey Frank, Elizabeth Lower-Basch, and Annette Case Where the Funds Are: The Use of FSET Funds for Workforce Training Programs Funding for workforce training programs is limited. Many of the traditional funding streams used to cover the costs of these programs have been cut, leaving administrators to think creatively about alternative funding sources. One possibility is the Food Stamp Employment and Training program (FSET), which supports employment and training services for food stamp participants. This policy brief provides an overview of the FSET program and funding streams and discusses ways that workforce training programs can access FSET funds to improve the employability of FSET participants. Read Online
  • Mar 12, 2007   |  Vicki Turetsky Staying in Jobs and Out of the Underground: Child Support Policies that Encourage Legitimate Work This policy brief explains why policymakers and practitioners should manage the child support obligations of incarcerated and re-entering men to help them maintain regular employment, limit participation in the underground economy, reduce recidivism, and provide steady support to their children over time. A companion brief will outline specific child support strategies to help these parents reconnect to work and family. Read Online
  • Feb 21, 2007   |  Christopher Mazzeo, Brandon Roberts, Christopher Spence, and Julie Strawn Working Together: Aligning State Systems and Policies for Individual and Regional Prosperity Julie Strawn of CLASP coauthored this new report, from the Workforce Strategy Center, which asserts that the current systems are not working effectively to produce the kinds of knowledge workers need for our new economy. The paper examines state policy and system improvements that would enhance the ability of workers to gain skills to advance to better jobs and the ability of employers to find skilled workers. These improvements include increasing access to postsecondary education and training; enabling current students to succeed and complete marketable credentials; increasing transitions between literacy, language, and postsecondary education and training programs; incorporating employer demand and state economic priorities in educational planning; expanding the capacity of postsecondary institutions; and measuring program results. Read Online
  • Nov 13, 2006   |  Linda Harris with Charles Modiano, consultant Making the Juvenile Justice - Workforce System Connection for Re-entering Young Offenders: A Guide for Local Practice This guidebook is designed to provide advice from the field to communities who are interested in pursuing more formal connections--or strengthening existing connections--between the workforce and justice systems. It draws on experiences in eight communities and focuses on on-the-ground challenges and solutions related to blending the cultures, adapting programming, engaging employers, and meeting performance. Read Online
  • Aug 28, 2006   |  Vicki Turetsky Realistic Child Support Policies that Support Successful Re-entry These slides describe 8 child support strategies to improve employment and long-term child support outcomes for parents leaving prison. Click here for the PowerPoint version of this presentation. Read Online
  • Aug 17, 2006   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Ten Years after Welfare Reform, It's Time to Make Work Work for Families On the 10th anniversary of passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, CLASP calls for the implementation of a more holistic set of strategies that truly expand opportunities for low-income families to move into the middle class and achieve the American dream. Read Online
  • Aug 10, 2006   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Amy-Ellen Duke and Allegra Baider Model Comments on TANF Interim Final Rule -- Workforce Development System These model comments on the interim final TANF regulations are focused on specific issues related to the definition of work activities and reporting requirements that are of interest to the workforce development community. Read Online
  • Aug 10, 2006   |  Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Amy-Ellen Duke, and Allegra Baider Model Education and Training Comments on TANF Interim Final Rule These model comments on the interim final TANF regulations are focused on specific education and training issues related to the definition of work activities and reporting requirements. Read Online
  • Jun 20, 2006   |  TANF 2006: CLASP- CBPP Series Skill Upgrading - The Role of Community Colleges in Helping Low-Skilled Workers to Advance in the Labor Market In today's highly competitive global economy, skill-building is becoming increasingly important for achieving self-sufficiency. This conference call highlights strategies that have shown promise in helping low-income individuals gain access to education and training, and develop the skills necessary to advance in their careers. Read Online
  • Jun 01, 2006   |  TANF 2006: CLASP- CBPP Series Not Just Any Job - Helping TANF Recipients Access Good Jobs Although many TANF recipients have entered the labor market, many former recipients remain poor, and continually struggle in low-wage jobs. Research has shown that the type of jobs in which TANF recipients are placed initially have long-term implications for both employment retention and earnings. This conference call highlights strategies that have shown promise in helping low-income individuals gain access to jobs that will lead to opportunities for advancement. Read Online
  • May 09, 2006   |  Abbey Frank, Mark Greenberg, and Robert Zdenek Getting Connected: Employer Engagement in Work Supports More than one quarter of U.S. working families have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. Work supports--government benefits ranging from the Earned Income Tax Credit and child care assistance to Medicaid, the state Children's Health Insurance Program, and food stamps--can help low-income families make ends meet and maintain employment. But many employers are unaware of or reluctant to help connect workers to these supports. This policy paper looks at the role employers can play in connecting employees to supports, employers' concerns about this role, and observations from six sites with workplace-based efforts underway to improve access to work supports. Read Online
  • May 01, 2006   |  Mark Greenberg and Nisha Patel Coordinating Individual Development Accounts and the Workforce Investment Act to Increase Access to Postsecondary Education and Training This paper was jointly developed by CLASP and the Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis. It explores the potential coordination of Individual Development Accounts with Workforce Investment Act programs to increase access to postsecondary education, job training, and related services for low-income individuals. Read Online
  • Apr 17, 2006   |  Evelyn Ganzglass Strategies for Increasing Participation in TANF Education and Training Activities The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provisions in the fiscal year 2006 federal budget will require most states to substantially increase the number of TANF recipients participating in work-related activities. This paper aims to help state policymakers, program administrators, and others identify approaches to meeting federal participation rates while also improving programs' ability to help families enter and maintain sustainable employment. It summarizes existing research on how skills and credentials impact labor market success and on effective skills training and postsecondary education strategies. It also examines rates of participation in education and training, and recommends strategies to expand access to these activities within the new TANF policy context. Read Online
  • Apr 06, 2006   |  Amy-Ellen Duke, Karin Martinson, and Julie Strawn Wising Up: How Government Can Partner With Business to Increase Skills and Advance Low-Wage Workers Helping low-wage workers upgrade their skills is a critical part of public policies to advance workers and to attract and retain "good" jobs—those that pay enough to support a family and offer health care, sick leave, and other important benefits. One promising approach has states and local governments partnering with business and industry to train workers and encourage the creation and retention of good jobs. This report examines five such training partnerships underway in four states, and offers innovative practices, challenges, and lessons learned for states and localities. Read Online
  • Feb 17, 2006   |  Evelyn Ganzglass and Abbey Frank Reform or Dismantling? President's Workforce System Proposal Raises Serious Concerns President Bush's 2007 budget proposal calls for drastic reduction in funding for training and employment services and the consolidation of Workforce Investment Act and Employment Service programs into a single block grant to states. The proposed changes would channel most of the remaining resources into individual training vouchers thus diminishing state and local flexibility to tailor programs to meet the needs of employers and job seekers, especially low-income adults, hard-to-employ individuals, and disadvantaged youth. Read Online
  • Dec 14, 2005   |  Abbey Frank and Elisa Minoff Declining Share of Adults Receiving Training under WIA are Low-Income or Disadvantaged The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) significantly changed the way federally funded job training and employment services are structured, and has impacted who receives training under the program. In particular, the share of training recipients who are low-income or have barriers to employment has dropped since WIA was enacted. This paper examines the data, considers some possible explanations for this decline, and offers recommendations for WIA reauthorization and state and local action to increase the share of training resources directed to adults who are low-income, single parents, or have other barriers to finding and keeping employment. Read Online
  • Sep 29, 2005 Employment and Training in the Response to Katrina: Some Principles for Ensuring Access to Jobs and Training As communities rebuild in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it is critical that local residents have access to the jobs created. CLASP offers specific recommendations to policymakers, program administrators, and advocates to ensure that recovery efforts bolster the skills and circumstances of low-wage workers, and help families and communities emerge stronger than they were before the floodwaters rose. Read Online
  • Sep 09, 2005   |  Julie Strawn and Amy-Ellen Duke Why the Senate Higher Education Bill is Good News for Low-Income Adults--and How to Make it Even Better On September 8th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee unanimously approved S. 1614, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. Among the bill's provisions that will help low income adults are new, supplemental Pell grants to the poorest students; expansion of Pell grants to students enrolled less than half-time or attending year round; pilots of student aid for modularized programs; and grants to prepare nontraditional students for high growth jobs. Further improvements in the bill are needed, though, to increase aid to working adults, to simplify student aid applications, and to prevent fraud and abuse. Read Online
  • May 02, 2005   |  Linda Harris Recommendations for Senate WIA Reauthorization: Title I Provisions Affecting Youth Congress is currently considering Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization proposals. In March, the House passed its WIA reauthorization bill, H.R. 27. In January, Senator Enzi introduced S. 9, which contains several improvements over current law with regard to service to youth. This document contains CLASP's key recommendations for further improvements to Title I youth provisions in S. 9. Read Online
  • Apr 13, 2005   |  Nisha Patel Senate WIA Reauthorization Bill Should Not Adopt the Administration's Consolidation or WIA Plus Proposals The Administration has proposed two Workforce Investment Act (WIA) initiatives that would effectively eliminate requirements that existing employment and training funding streams be targeted for populations and purposes specified by Congress. This brief paper outlines the reasons the Senate should reject both proposals in its WIA reauthorization bill. Read Online
  • Apr 08, 2005   |  Nisha Patel Recommendations for Senate WIA Reauthorization Legislation: Title I Provisions Affecting Disadvantaged Adults Congress is currently considering WIA reauthorization proposals. In March, the House passed its WIA reauthorization bill, H.R. 27. In January, Senator Enzi introduced S. 9. While S. 9 contains a number of positive provisions with regard to disadvantaged adults, this document contains CLASP's key recommendations for further improvements to Title I provisions in S. 9. Read Online
  • Mar 16, 2005   |  Mark Greenberg and Jennifer L. Noyes Increasing State and Local Capacity for Cross-Systems Innovation: Assessing Flexibility and Opportunities under Current Law This paper was written as part of a collaborative effort between the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Hudson Institute, and CLASP. The authors analyze the flexibility, opportunities, and barriers under current federal law with respect to cross-program integration and collaboration. Read Online
  • Mar 16, 2005   |  Mark Greenberg and Jennifer L. Noyes Supporting Cross-Program Integration: Some Recommendations for Federal Policy and Practice This brief is based on the paper Increasing State and Local Capacity for Cross-Systems Innovation. Drawing on the papers' findings and consultation with a range of state and federal policymakers, the brief provides the authors' recommendations for federal action on cross-program state and local service integration efforts. This brief was written as part of a collaborative effort between the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Hudson Institute, and CLASP. Read Online
  • Feb 22, 2005   |  Julie Strawn and Amy-Ellen Duke President's Budget Sabotages Pipeline of Skilled Workers CLASP estimates that nearly half a million people--at least 470,000--would be denied literacy, Adult Basic Education, GED, and English as a Second Language services due to the President's proposed budget cuts. This analysis includes a table of state-by-state data estimating the impact of the proposed cuts. Click here to view the Excel version of this table. Read Online
  • Oct 07, 2004   |  Mark Greenberg and Hedieh Rahmanou Looking to the Future: A Commentary on Children of Immigrant Families This article, printed in Fall 2004 issue of The Future of Children, a publication of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, responds to the question: "How should policymakers, advocates, stakeholders, and practitioners respond strategically and proactively to demographic change and increasing diversity in order to promote the healthy development, productivity, and well-being of our nation's children into the future?" The entire journal issue is devoted to children of immigrant families and is available at www.futureofchildren.org. Read Online
  • Oct 05, 2004   |  Mark Greenberg and Jennifer L. Noyes The Opportunities for Service Integration Under Current Law This article, which appeared in the Summer 2004 issue of Focus, published by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty, identifies barriers to social services integration. The National Governors Association, Hudson Institute, and CLASP initiated a project to examine several key areas in which states wanted to promote service integration and then identify legal issues and potential legal barriers to such integration. As part of the project, the authors developed a set of joint recommendations for federal actionlegislative, regulatory, and administrativeto support state and local service integration efforts. The entire journal issue is available at www.ssc.wisc.edu/irp/focus/focus.htm. Read Online
  • Sep 16, 2004   |  Abbey Frank Comments to the Employment and Training Administration on the EMILE System These comments, submitted to the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, discuss the proposed new method of data collection for 12 employment and training programsthe EMILE system. While CLASP believes the EMILE system will both provide richer data about program participation across 12 employment and training programs, CLASP is also concerned that not enough attention has been given to defining the various data elements and that the proposal does not provide any new funding to develop and implement the new reporting system. Read Online
  • Sep 14, 2004   |  Steve Savner and Jared Bernstein Can Better Skills Meet Better Jobs? This article, from the September 2004 issue of American Prospect, exhorts supply-side and demand-side advocates to form a complementary agenda to meet both sides' needs. The authors suggest not only providing more access to quality job training but then also creating the jobs when they don't already exist. Read Online
  • Aug 18, 2004   |  Abbey Frank State-by-State WIA Program Participation Data--Program Year 2002 States were required to begin implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) by July 2000 and have been continuously developing their programs since that time. Under the Act and associated regulations, states are required to collect a series of demographic and performance outcome information on each WIA participant who accesses intensive or both intensive and training services. At the completion of the program year (July-June), states are required to submit data on those participants that exited the WIA program during the year. Individual participant data are collected and reported annually to the Department of Labor through the WIASRD system. The complete WIASRD data for PY 2002 have recently become available. These tables provide state-by-state data on program participation for PY 2002. Read Online
  • Aug 04, 2004 CLASP Audio Conference Transcript: Disconnected Youth: Educational Pathways to Reconnection (July 9, 2004) CLASP Senior Policy Analyst Linda Harris moderates a discussion about innovative ideas for reconnecting at-risk youth to education with Rob Ivry, Senior Vice President at MDRC; Laurel Dukehart, Manager of the Gateway to College Replication Project at Portland Community College; and Jack Wuest, Director of the Chicago Alternative Schools Network. Read Online
  • Jun 29, 2004 CLASP Audio Conference Transcript: A New Progressive Agenda: Innovative Ideas for Work and Immigration Policy (June 4, 2004) Deepak Bhargava and Janice Fine of the Center for Community Change explain recent trends in the low-wage labor market, particularly as they relate to immigrants (both legal and undocumented); comment on the prospects for immigration reform on Capitol Hill; and describe new advocacy efforts on the local and national levels to improve conditions for struggling immigrants and other low-wage workers. Read Online
  • May 25, 2004   |  Nisha Patel Why Funding for Job Training Matters Recent proposals to cap or reduce Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding come at a time when already limited WIA resources are unable to keep pace with the demands of businesses and local communities for skilled workers and the needs of workers for access to training. This one-page fact sheet argues that Congress should increase, not cap or reduce, resources for job training. ( Read Online
  • May 13, 2004   |  Anita Mathur, with Judy Reichle, Julie Strawn, and Chuck Wiseley From Jobs to Careers: How California Community College Credentials Pay Off for Welfare Participants This report, a joint venture of CLASP and the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, tracks the employment rates and median annual earnings of female welfare participants who exited the California community college system in 1999-2000. The report shows that women receiving welfare in California who complete an Associate degree or certificate work more and earn substantially more in the two years after college than they did before college. In addition, while attending school, the women welfare participants were more likely to be employed than the general California welfare population. Read Online
  • Apr 30, 2004 Comments to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance is preparing a report to Congress on simplification of the federal financial aid application process and on other changes that allow students to better balance the demands of work, school, and family. These comments to the Advisory Committee, submitted in conjunction with the National Consumer Law Center and the Workforce Alliance, provide concrete suggestions on how to better align the Higher Education Act with the needs of employers and the realities of working adults lives. Read Online
  • Feb 12, 2004   |  Mark H. Greenberg, Emil Parker, and Abbey Frank Integrating TANF and WIA Into a Single Workforce System: An Analysis of Legal Issues A number of states and localities want to promote improved coordination or integration of workforce development efforts under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). This analysis identifies and analyzes legal issues presented by integrating TANF and WIA. This paper was written as part of a collaborative effort between the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, CLASP, and the Hudson Institute. Read Online
  • Jan 12, 2004   |  Nisha Patel, LeaAnne DeRigne, Mark Greenberg, and Andy Van Kleunen Side-by-Side Comparison of Title I Provisions in House and Senate WIA Reauthorization Bills The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) expires this year and must be reauthorized. This table, done in conjunction with the Workforce Alliance, provides a side-by-side comparison of the current WIA legislation and the bills passed by the House and Senate. Read Online
  • Dec 16, 2003   |  Nisha Patel Update on WIA Reauthorization This presentation, given at The Workforce Alliance National Conference on December 11, 2003, compares selected provisions of the House and Senate Workforce Investment Act reauthorization bills. Read Online
  • Oct 23, 2003   |  Abbey Frank and Hedieh Rahmanou State-by-State WIA Program Participation Data, PY 2000 States were required to begin implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) by July 2000 and have been continuously developing their programs since that time. Under the Act and associated regulations, states are required to collect a series of demographic and performance outcome information on each WIA participant who accesses intensive or both intensive and training services. At the completion of the program year (July-June), states are required to submit data on those participants that exited the WIA program during the year. Individual participant data are collected and reported annually to the Department of Labor through the WIASRD system. The complete WIASRD data for PY 2000 have recently become available. These tables provide state-by-state data on program participation for various groups of individuals for PY 2000. Read Online
  • Oct 23, 2003   |  Abbey Frank and Hedieh Rahmanou State-by-State WIA Program Participation Data, PY 2001 States were required to begin implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) by July 2000 and have been continuously developing their programs since that time. Under the Act and associated regulations, states are required to collect a series of demographic and performance outcome information on each WIA participant who accesses intensive or both intensive and training services. At the completion of the program year (July-June), states are required to submit data on those participants that exited the WIA program during the year. Individual participant data are collected and reported annually to the Department of Labor through the WIASRD system. The complete WIASRD data for PY 2001 have recently become available. These tables provide state-by-state data on program participation for various groups of individuals for PY 2001. Read Online
  • Oct 01, 2003   |  Nisha Patel, Lisa Ranghelli, and Mark Greenberg Policy Brief: A Means to an End: Integration of Welfare and Workforce Development Systems This is the 8-page policy brief based on the report of the same name. Read Online
  • Oct 01, 2003   |  Lisa Ranghelli, Nisha Patel, and Mark Greenberg Report: A Means to an End: Integration of Welfare and Workforce Development Systems During the last decade, before and after implementation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, state welfare agencies became increasingly focused on linking low-income families with employment. At the same time, in implementing the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), states created one-stop centers and focused on addressing the fragmentation and duplication that has often plagued state employment and training programs. The transformation of state welfare and workforce systems has prompted states to assess the relationship between the two systems. This report describes how four statesFlorida, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsinhave approached integration of TANF and WIA services; how integration has affected TANF-eligible families, other workers and job seekers, employers, and state and local governments; possible lessons learned from early experiences; and policy implications. A concluding section offers recommendations for state and federal policymakers. Read Online
  • Sep 11, 2003   |  Elise Richer, Hitomi Kubo, and Abbey Frank Policy Brief: All in One Stop? The Accessibility of Work Support Programs at One-Stop Centers This is the 8-page policy brief based on the report of the same name. Read Online
  • Sep 11, 2003   |  Elise Richer, Hitomi Kubo, and Abbey Frank Report: All in One Stop? The Accessibility of Work Support Programs at One-Stop Centers Under the Workforce Investment Act, all local workforce areas in the U.S. are required to develop a one-stop delivery system that makes an array of federally funded employment programs available at one location. This report is the result of interviews with 33 one-stop directors to examine the level of access to seven work support programs (Earned Income Tax Credit, subsidized child care, food stamps, publicly funded health insurance, cash assistance, child support, and transportation assistance). The report discusses the findings of the survey, innovative techniques for making work supports more accessible, and the barriers to better access. Read Online
  • Aug 29, 2003   |  Heide Spruck Wrigley, Elise Richer, Karin Martinson, Hitomi Kubo, and Julie Strawn Report: The Language of Opportunity: Expanding Employment Prospects for Adults with Limited English Skills This report describes the demographics and economic circumstances of low-income adults with limited English proficiency (LEP) as well as the language and job training services available to them. The authors summarize lessons from scientific evaluation research on employment programs for low-skilled adults and provide recommendations for policy and practice that would increase opportunities for LEP adults to gain access to higher-paying jobs. The appendix includes profiles of several programs that are successfully training and working with LEP adults. Read Online
  • Aug 28, 2003   |  Heide Spruck Wrigley, Elise Richer, Karin Martinson, Hitomi Kubo, and Julie Strawn Policy Brief: The Language of Opportunity: Expanding Employment Prospects for Adults with Limited English Skills This is the 8-page policy brief based on the report of the same name. Read Online
  • Aug 28, 2003   |  Linda Harris WIA Reauthorization Recommendations on Title I Youth Provisions The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 redirected the focus of youth programming from short-term programs to longer comprehensive interventions. Congress is scheduled to reauthorize the WIA legislation by September 30, 2003. The reauthorization of WIA provides the opportunity to define and refine the parameters of this country's youth development system and set the stage for increasing appropriations to a level commensurate with the need. It also provides the opportunity to strengthen the ability of states and local areas to implement comprehensive programs and systems as mandated by the legislation with a priority focus on youth who are disconnected, or most at risk of disconnecting, from the system and supports they need to be productive, self-sufficient, and responsible adults. This paper provides a short summary of reauthorization recommendations related to the youth provisions and includes a separate document that discusses the rationale for each recommendation. Read Online
  • Jul 17, 2003   |  Elise Richer Expanding Employment Prospects for Adults with Limited English Skills This presentation, given at National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics 43rd Annual Conference on July 15, 2003, discusses how limited English speakers differ from immigrants in general, why TANF providers or workforce development agencies should be concerned about them, and how this population can best be served. Read Online
  • Jul 16, 2003   |  Elise Richer, Abbey Frank, Mark Greenberg, Steve Savner, and Vicki Turetsky Boom Times a Bust: Declining Employment Among Young Less-Educated Men During the 1990s, employment rates for less-educated young women rose significantly. Less-educated young men, however, did not experience a similar jump in employment rates. In fact, their employment rates remained stagnant during the decade, failing to return to higher rates of prior years. This report explores why these young men are not in the formal labor market and offers potential policies to raise their employment rates. Read Online
  • Jul 03, 2003   |  Nisha Patel and Julie Strawn WIA Reauthorization Recommendations The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) substantially altered the federally funded system for job training and other employment-related services. Federal policy for these services is set out in Title I of WIA, which requires that each of nearly 600 local workforce areas develop and administer a one-stop delivery system with a broad array of employment and training services available to job seekers and employers. In addition, Congress folded into WIA the existing Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), as Title II of the law. AEFLA, or WIA Title II, is a federal program to assist undereducated or limited English proficient adults or out-of-school youth in improving their skills. Congress is scheduled to reauthorize both titles by September 30, 2003. This paper provides a short summary of reauthorization recommendations for both Title I and II and includes a separate document that discusses the rationale for each recommendation. Read Online
  • Jul 01, 2003   |  Jodie Levin-Epstein and Mark H. Greenberg, Editors Leave No Youth Behind: Opportunities for Congress to Reach Disconnected Youth Too many young people are not on the path toward successful adulthood, and the U.S. has no coherent policy to help these disconnected youth become productive members of society. Estimates of the number of youth who are disconnected or at risk of becoming disconnected range from nearly 3 million to more than 7 million. This report offers recommendations to help disconnected youth in six programs being considered by the 108th Congress for reauthorization: the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Higher Education Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and the Workforce Investment Act. It encourages federal policymakers to look across legislative initiatives to develop an integrated set of policies to address the needs of this population. The report concludes that the nation should commit itself to increase the proportion of young people who at age 25 (1) have a high school diploma and postsecondary degree or credential, (2) are employed in jobs with career advancement possibilities, and (3) are not engaged in adverse risk-taking behaviors. Read Online
  • Jun 30, 2003   |  Hitomi Kubo Comments on the Revised DOL Recipient LEP Guidance These comments, submitted to the Civil Rights Center of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), concern the Revised DOL Recipient Limited English Proficiency Guidance, issued on May 29, 2003. The Guidance offers a needed opportunity to address the gaps in services that currently exist for people who are not fluent in English. These comments express CLASPs general support for the Guidance and offer a few recommendations to consider when finalizing it. Read Online
  • Jun 17, 2003   |  Nan Poppe, Julie Strawn, and Karin Martinson Whose Job Is It? Creating Opportunities for Advancement This paper, which is the second chapter in the book Workforce Intermediaries in the 21st Century by Robert P. Giloth (Ed.), examines research on the experiences of low-wage workers in the labor market and on the types of employment and training strategies that have been effective for advancement. The paper concludes with a brief review of the challenges that policy makers and workforce intermediaries face in implementing job advancement strategies and suggests some federal policy changes that could promote success. The book from which this chapter is drawn will be published by Temple University Press in late 2003. Read Online
  • Jun 11, 2003   |  Julie Strawn and Victoria Whistler Preliminary Recommendations on Higher Education Act Reauthorization These comments were submitted to the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, regarding the recommendations for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The recommendations are organized around four goals: 1) to help low-income students balance work, family, and school; 2) to help low-income students by meeting a higher share of their financial need; 3) to increase access and persistence in postsecondary by low-income youth and adults; and 4) to recognize the critical workforce development role played by postsecondary institutions by promoting innovation in program content and delivery. Read Online
  • Apr 22, 2003   |  Karen Martinson and Julie Strawn Policy Brief: Built to Last: Why Skills Matter for Long-Run Success in Welfare Reform This is the 8-page policy brief based on the report of the same name. Read Online
  • Apr 22, 2003   |  Karin Martinson and Julie Strawn Report: Built to Last: Why Skills Matter for Long-Run Success in Welfare Reform This report and companion policy brief argue that basic skills and educational credentials are critical for labor market success. The report and brief make the case that the current federal welfare law is too restrictive in its allowance of education and training activities and recommends that this be rectified when the welfare law is reauthorized this year. Read Online
  • Mar 31, 2003   |  Abbey Frank, Hedieh Rahmanou, and Steve Savner The Workforce Investment Act: A First Look at Participation, Demographics, and Services The first in a series of WIA program updates, this publication provides an initial review of WIA participation data from the first year of the program, July 2000-June 2001, which begins to describe the impact that WIA implementation has had on the countrys workforce development system. The data are organized into four groups: total WIA population, adults, dislocated workers, and youth. The program update concludes with state-by-state tables that further synthesize the data. Read Online
  • Mar 01, 2003   |  CLASP and the Transitional Jobs Network Transitional Jobs: Real Jobs, Real Wages, Real Success Transitional jobs programs provide a paycheck to welfare recipients who need the most assistance leaving welfare for work, as well as for others having difficulty succeeding in the workplace. This fact sheet describes the TJ model. Read Online
  • Jun 28, 2002   |  Steve Savner, Abbey Frank, Mark Greenberg, Nisha Patel, and Julie Strawn Comments on WIA Reauthorization and Linkages with TANF These comments were submitted to the Department of Labor on June 28, 2002, regarding the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and linkages with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The comments suggest changes in WIA to improve access to quality training programs, improve quality of information about program implementation and performance, and improve coordination between WIA and TANF. Read Online
  • Jun 11, 2002   |  Nisha Patel and Mark Greenberg Microenterprise Development and Self-Employment for TANF Recipients: State Experiences and Issues in TANF Reauthorization This report discusses how state policies have affected access to and participation in microenterprise training and self-employment for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients involved in the \"Microenterprise Development Initiatives for Welfare-to-Work\" demonstration project, funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. In addition, it recommends ways in which TANF law could be changed during reauthorization to encourage, or at least not discourage, states from providing support to microenterprise initiatives. The report is published by the Aspen Institute Microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination. Read Online
  • May 13, 2002   |  Julie Strawn and Karin Martinson Built to Last: Why Skills Matter for Long-Run Success in Welfare Reform This review of recent research on welfare-to-work strategies shows that the most successful programs have focused on employment but made substantial use of education and training. In particular, the postsecondary education and training appear to be key to obtaining higher-paying jobs. This report has important implications for the current debate over reauthorization of the federal welfare program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The findings suggest that Congress should encourage states to include quality education and training services in welfare-to-work programs and allow sufficient time for recipients to complete both basic education and skill training. Read Online
  • May 01, 2002   |  Anita Mathur, Judy Reichle, Chuck Wiseley, and Julie Strawn Credentials Count: How California's Community Colleges Help Parents Move from Welfare to Self-Sufficiency This study, conducted by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office for CLASP, finds that welfare recipients who attend California's community colleges substantially increase earnings and year-round work, with those who obtain credentials benefiting the most. Read Online
  • May 02, 2001   |  Nisha Patel and Steve Savner Implementation of Individual Training Account Policies Under the Workforce Investment Act: Early Information from Local Areas One of the key features of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is that WIA-funded training services for adults and dislocated workers must generally be paid for through vouchers called Individual Training Accounts or ITAs. Because many of the decisions about eligibility and priority for training services and about limitations on amounts and durations of ITAs are left to local workforce investment areas, policies have the potential to vary widely by locality. This preliminary report is the first stage of an on-going effort by CLASP to monitor implementation of ITAs. The report provides an overview of the requirements of the law related to training services and early examples of ITA policies that have been developed in local workforce investment areas. Click here for the executive summary of the report. Read Online
  • Jun 15, 2000   |  Julie Strawn and Karin Martinson Steady Work and Better Jobs: How to Help Low-Income Parents Sustain Employment and Advance in the Workforce Despite the success of many welfare recipients in finding jobs, their wages typically leave them below the poverty level and, for many, the jobs do not last. Julie Strawn of CLASP is the primary author of a new guide written for MDRC, Steady Work and Better Jobs, that brings together best practices and up-to-date research findings to help staff working in TANF, Workforce Investment Act, and other programs to promote steady work and access to better jobs. Read Online
  • Feb 15, 2000   |  Julie Strawn Workforce Development for the Unemployed and Low-Wage Workers: The Role of Postsecondary Education This working paper describes key policy issues in access to postsecondary education for the low-income workers and the unemployed. It also provides background on why these issues have taken on new urgency in light of recent developments in federal welfare and workforce development policy. Read Online
  • Aug 15, 1999   |  Steve Savner Key Implementation Decisions Affecting Low-Income Adults Under the Workforce Investment Act Provides a brief overview of some of the key elements of the new law and how they may affect access to services by low-income adults and describes how to become involved in the new decision-making process at both the state and local levels. Read Online
  • Jun 15, 1999   |  Mark Greenberg and Steve Savner Creating Workforce Development Structures for All Working-Age Adults This is one of a set of articles contained in the National Governors Association publication, Rethinking Income Support for the Working Poor: Perspectives on Unemployment Insurance, Welfare and Work. The full publication can be obtained from the NGA website, at http://st7.yahoo.net/governors/retinsupforw.html. The CLASP contribution argues that the low level of receipt of unemployment insurance (UI) by former welfare recipients, as well as female and low-wage workers generally, suggests significant failings in the current UI system. However, even with modifications to UI eligibility rules, many low-wage workers will likely continue to be ineligible for UI. The article suggests that a new program of temporary, needs-based income assistance and employment services that supplements the UI system could be an important step in providing support for workers between jobs and in helping states moving toward a unified workforce development structure for all working-age adults, and suggests some ways that TANF-related funds could be used in support of such an effort. Read Online
  • Apr 15, 1999   |  Julie Strawn with the assistance of Robert Echols Welfare to Work Programs: The Critical Role of Skills Describes the shift from basic education to job search and the benefits and limits of both approaches and then argues for a flexible balanced approach that offers job search, education, job training, and work. This short paper incorporates findings from, and includes new research since the publication of, Beyond Job Search of Basic Education: Rethinking the Role of Skills in Welfare Reform Read Online
  • Apr 15, 1998   |  Julie Strawn Beyond Job Search or Basic Education: Rethinking the Role of Skills in Welfare Reform Examines the research on welfare-to-work programs and finds that neither job search nor basic education alone helps recipients work more or earn more over the long run. Instead, the most effective programs share a balanced approach that places a central focus on employment but with room for skill development and other activities. Hallmarks of successful programs include comprehensive, individualized services, close ties to local employers, intensive schedules, and high expectations for participation. Welfare-to-work programs can help recipients earn higher wages if this goal is made a priority; job training in the classroom or workplace and access to postsecondary education are key components of a higher wage strategy. Training must be made more consistently effective, however, and more accessible to those with low basic skills. Read Online
  • Jan 01, 1996   |  Steve Savner Devolution, Workforce Development and Welfare Reform Describes the conflicting themes and provisions of welfare legislation and the job training consolidation bills. A number of key issues are identified and discussed concerning the likely impact of these bills on access to education and training for individuals who receive cash assistance. Read Online
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