By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
Congress’ summer recess is just around the corner. That means that throughout August, United States Senators and Representatives will be traveling throughout their home states and districts talking with their constituents. Face-to-face meetings with Members of Congress are crucial to advancing policies that support the needs of people in their districts experiencing chronic unemployment and poverty. Meeting with an elected official at his or her local office or inviting them to visit your program site is a great way to develop an ongoing relationship with your Member of Congress. Here, we give some tips for conducting meetings and site visits with elected officials and show how program providers can take advantage of these opportunities to advocate on behalf of their participants.
By Caitlin Schnur, Workforce Research and Policy Fellow, NTJN
and Jonathan Philipp, Research and Policy Assistant, NTJN
At the National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN), we believe that every person deserves the opportunity to work and support themselves and their families. Throughout the year, we strive to open doors to work for chronically unemployed Americans—and your membership is a critical investment in our efforts to ensure that everyone who wants to work can find a job, including people with barriers to employment. With your membership support, the NTJN can continue to advance and bolster policies and employment programs that help jobseekers facing barriers to employment find work and advance in the labor market. Our members also receive publicity to help raise your organization’s visibility and reduced rates on program assistance from our team of experts! Read on to discover some of the benefits that will come your way as a 2014 NTJN member. And then join us! Together, we can get #AmericaBack2Work.
Exploring a New Resource: A Paper Released Today from the Council of State Governments Justice Center Offers “Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies”
By Caitlin C. Schnur, Workforce Research and Policy Fellow, National Transitional Jobs Network
and Jonathan Philipp, Research and Policy Assistant, National Transitional Jobs Network
Each year, more than 650,000 individuals return to their communities from prison while millions more return home from jail. With overflowing correctional facilities and crunched state budgets, criminal justice policymakers and practitioners are increasingly working to ensure that returning citizens are not reincarcerated following their release. As a part of these successful reentry efforts, securing employment for formerly incarcerated individuals is critical—not only do returning citizens need immediate income to meet their basic needs, but incarcerated individuals who have been asked about their post-release plans report that being employed is crucial to their ability to stay crime-free. Despite wanting or needing to work, returning citizens face numerous barriers to employment including limited work histories, low educational attainment, and parole-mandated curfews or mobility restrictions. It’s not surprising, then, that employment providers who are focused on serving the chronically unemployed consistently serve large numbers of individuals with criminal records. Read More…
Last week, House Democrats introduced the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (H.R.798) aimed at reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act. The bill was introduced by Representatives John Tierney (D-MA), Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and George Miller (D-CA) and seeks to modernize the current system by promoting more effective coordination among local stakeholders including business representatives, labor organizations, educational institutions, economic development agencies, and community-based organizations.
The bill reflects a number of the NTJN’s recommendations and principles for public workforce system that works for all – including expanding and allowing training funds for the use of transitional jobs programs; adjusting the performance accountability system to account for serving individuals with barriers to employment; maintaining the priority of service requirement giving access to WIA services for low-income individuals; and adopting a definition of “individual with barriers to employment.”
House Republicans are expected to introduce a bill aimed at reauthorizing WIA soon. The NTJN sent a letter in support of H.R. 798. We will continue to monitor and weigh-in on WIA reauthorization efforts.