We Know We Can Be a Nation That Works for All

By Melissa Young, Director, Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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This blog post is adapted from Melissa Young’s closing remarks from our 2016 national conference, A Nation That Works: What’s It Going to Take?

At Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, we believe every person deserves the opportunity to succeed in work and support themselves and their families—and from our 127-year history of working alongside our participants, we know that putting people at the center of solutions is key to ensuring that programs, systems, and policies work together to end chronic unemployment and poverty. That’s why, over the past year, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to the stories of people within our programs and communities across the country who, by nearly every standard, are doing everything right but still struggle to make ends meet and to reach their full potential because this nation isn’t working for them.

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Together, We Can Be #ANationThatWorks

By Tara Maguire, Workforce Research & Policy Fellow, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
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What’s it going to take to end chronic unemployment and poverty for all Americans? What’s it going to take to make us #ANationThatWorks for everyone? On October 25 through 27 in Chicago, we invite you tackle these tough questions at our national conference, A Nation That Works: What’s It Going to Take? There, you’ll encounter a wide range of content lifting up solutions to end chronic unemployment, supporting the adoption of best and promising employment practices for the people who need them most, and advancing policy solutions and systems change for addressing chronic unemployment and poverty. We’ll also highlight efforts in Chicago and across the country to improve job quality for low-wage workers. Excited? We are! Read on to learn more about what to expect at #ANationThatWorks.

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Baltimore’s Connections Project Applies a Racial Equity Lens to Economic Opportunity for Homeless Jobseekers

By: Kyle Pierce, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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To wrap up our Connections Project blog series, the National Initiatives team chatted with Hannah Roberts, who coordinates Baltimore’s Journey to Jobs project. Looking at homelessness through a racial equity lens, Journey to Jobs aims to increase economic opportunity for homeless jobseekers by tackling two barriers to employment that disproportionally impact people of color: criminal records and child support payments.  In our conversation, Hannah shares how she’s working with Baltimore’s Connections Project team to develop savvy partnerships, gather data, and shape system-wide collaboration to expand employment and economic opportunity for Baltimore’s homeless jobseekers.

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Supporting Bold Goals: Ending Chronic Unemployment Among Men and Youth of Color

By Melissa Young, Director, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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Last month, we were honored to support the Campaign for Black Male Achievement in developing bold goals and indicators to help strategically guide the organization’s ongoing efforts to improve the life outcomes of black men and boys. While men and youth of color face a myriad of challenges in health, education, wealth, housing, and other social and economic outcomes, it’s clear to us and many others across the country that economic opportunity must be a key area of change. We must redouble our efforts to ensure that men and youth of color have access to employment and economic opportunity and we must measure our progress against these goals.

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America Needs a Big Investment in Subsidized Employment

By Indivar Dutta-Gupta & Kali Grant, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality

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The job market continues to bounce back from the economic downturn, but Americans’ feelings about job opportunities remain the same. Despite months or even years searching for jobs, two million Americans—more than a quarter of all unemployed workers—are long-term unemployed, meaning they’ve been searching for work for six months or longer. Unemployment is in no uncertain terms a waste of economic and human potential in our communities, demanding attention from philanthropists, advocates, service providers, and policymakers alike. Subsidized employment is a proven, promising, and underutilized approach to solving this problem.

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