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Values and Principles to Guide Employment Programming and Policy

By Melissa Young, Director, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity and Chris Warland, Associate Director for Field Building, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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At Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, our policy goals and program recommendations are based on research, evidence, and data—but they are also driven by values rooted in human rights and the dignity of all people. These are the values that have guided our work in the employment field since our inception. This Labor Day, we are reflecting on our commitments and looking forward to help establish these values and principles throughout the nation for the benefit of every person who wants to work.

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Trump’s Support for Apprenticeships Falls Short

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

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For some, the recent unveiling of President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) pledging to expand apprenticeships nationwide – programs that allow workers to “earn and learn” on the job – was a welcome action in keeping with his campaign promise to get millions of Americans back to work. Unfortunately, the EO itself and this administration’s actions so far are in direct conflict with the goal of expanding these programs. They fail to dismantle the historic and current inequities that prevent access to apprenticeship programs for millions of individuals.

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6 Things We’re Watching Out of Trump’s “Skinny Budget”

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

The Trump Administration submitted its FY18 budget blueprint to Congress this week – his “skinny budget.” The plan proposes historic cuts and outright eliminates a range of programs and services serving low-income Americans and families – all of which are critical to ensuring safety, stability, and creating pathways to employment and economic opportunity for Americans who are chronically unemployed.

Here are six programs, services, and agencies on our radar that are slated for total elimination through the Administration’s “skinny budget.” As Congress debates FY18 funding priorities we hope you’ll stand with us to defend these and other vital efforts serving low-income Americans.

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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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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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