CLASP: Jobs Plan a Critical Step Toward Economic Recovery for All

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).
Washington, DC, March 31, 2021—The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) enthusiastically endorses the Biden-Harris Administration’s proposal to address the nation’s infrastructure as outlined today by President Biden. We particularly appreciate the commitment in the proposal to the real meaning of infrastructure: in addition to physical infrastructure, the community infrastructure required to support true economic recovery for all includes the care economy that supports workers and families and a foundational commitment to racial equity. These are not “nice to haves” or options—they are fundamental to a successful economic recovery, and we deeply appreciate the proposal’s commitment to these principles. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to ensure the proposals set forth today, along with the crucial remaining elements of a strong focus on caregiving and racial equity, are enacted into law.

The American Jobs Plan would create millions of good jobs—with family-sustaining wages and opportunities to unionize—through resources targeted to those having the greatest barriers to employment. This is the bold jobs proposal our country needs to expand economic opportunity to all.
CLASP is particularly pleased to see robust investment in workforce development opportunities for communities that face systemic barriers to employment including people who have been impacted by the justice system; a subsidized job proposal to address long-term unemployment and underemployment; a call to eliminate the subminimum wage; and attention to strong labor standards to protect worker rights. Among the vast infrastructure investments, funding for child care facilities, schools, and community colleges will modernize buildings, reduce inequities and improve supply where it’s needed most.

The plan includes a major commitment to strengthening our nation’s care economy by significantly investing in long-term supports and services with a focus on the home- and community-based services to ensure people with disabilities and older Americans can receive the support they need to thrive and creating good jobs and raising wages for home care workers—predominantly women and disproportionately women of color. For too long, home and child care workers have been undervalued and underpaid even as they provide the essential care that enables families with caregiving responsibilities to work.
As the administration and Congress look toward an economic recovery agenda, it’s imperative that legislative packages prioritize the wellbeing of individuals and families with low incomes. Workforce development and subsidized jobs programs must restore opportunity to those hardest hit by the pandemic—Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and AAPI communities—and include a focus on youth and young adults of color and people impacted by the justice system who faced severe underemployment, unemployment, and economic insecurity prior to the pandemic.
CLASP looks forward to supporting the remaining crucial infrastructure investments anticipated in the forthcoming American Families Plan. A successful economic recovery can’t occur without a national paid leave program that enables workers everywhere to take time when they need to care for themselves or loved ones without risking their livelihoods. It requires a large-scale investment to transform the nation’s child care and early education system, building on the important first step in the recently enacted American Rescue Plan to stabilize the sector. 
A comprehensive recovery must also make permanent improvements to the child tax credit and earned income tax credit included in the American Rescue Plan, as well as a substantial additional investment in mental health, and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers (including DACA beneficiaries), Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and essential workers.