The Long-Term Unemployment Elimination Act: Creating Access to Employment, Equity & Opportunity

factory-factory-worker-girl-1108101At Heartland Alliance, we believe every person deserves the opportunity to succeed in work and support themselves and their families. For over two decades we’ve worked at the intersection of practice, policy, and research to advance solutions that ensure that everyone who wants to work has access to employment opportunities.

We know that the labor market excludes many people who want to work and who can and do work when offered employment opportunities and support. Even when the economy is healthy, millions of individuals struggle to get and keep work due to structural barriers that prevent access to employment and economic opportunity. This is why we’re pleased to see the introduction of the Long-Term Unemployment Elimination Act of 2019 by Senators Van Hollen (D-MD) and Wyden (D-OR).

This legislation would establish a national subsidized employment program for the long-term unemployed with a priority on high-poverty, high unemployment communities.

The bill focuses on strong federal collaboration across multiple federal agencies and local coordination with multiple programs and systems including SNAP E&T, reentry, and continua of care programs. The bill requires local data on the impacts and outcomes of the subsidized jobs program to be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and gender in order to analyze program and system equity over time. It promotes the development of worker-owned businesses and upholds a commitment to participant and community engagement processes.

“The Long-Term Unemployment Elimination Act of 2019 represents an important piece of legislation as we work to advance the national conversation around ensuring that every person, regardless of the barriers they face, has equitable access to employment and economic opportunity.” – Melissa Young, Director, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Over the course of the last few months we’ve seen other similar jobs proposals and we are likely to see others. What these proposals have in common is the belief that the federal government has a responsibility to play stronger a role in ensuring that everyone who wants to work has access to the labor market and that principles of equity and opportunity are upheld for all.

In that spirit, our teams will be releasing a set of principles and recommendations drawn from our experience and partnerships in communities. Our ideas seek to ensure that these bold proposals operationalize access to employment for all by striving for equitable access and outcomes.

You can get a sense of where we’re heading by checking out these earlier blog posts:

 

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About National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity is dedicated to ending chronic unemployment and poverty. We believe that every person deserves the opportunity to succeed in work and support themselves and their families. Through our field building, we provide support and guidance that fosters more effective and sustainable employment efforts. Our policy and advocacy work advances solutions to the systemic issues that drive chronic unemployment.

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