Coalition of Over 70 Organizations Endorses Rep. Sherrill’s Bipartisan Workforce Development Legislation

August 4, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC–– The Expanding Pathways to Employment Act, introduced by Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Republican Representative David McKinley (WV-01) last month, was endorsed by a coalition of over 70 workforce, education, and community advocacy organizations led by America Forward.

This bipartisan legislation would assist Americans who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic in finding new, good-paying employment by providing grant funding for the operation and expansion of evidence-based workforce development and post-secondary education programs and for the further evaluation of these programs.


“As our economy continues to recover from this devastating pandemic, millions of Americans are still facing challenges reentering the workforce. Helping provide the ability to transition to new jobs and industries will be key to the strength of our long-term recovery,” said Rep. Sherrill. “I am so proud that this legislation received the endorsement of over 70 organizations because they know this bill will be incredibly helpful as people seek to take advantage of new opportunities in the workforce. I look forward to working with these groups and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this legislation through Congress, get it signed into law, and help us build a recovery that works for everyone.”

“As we emerge from the pandemic and work to avoid a “K-shaped” recovery that could leave behind rural communities, communities of color, individuals with barriers to employment, and families experiencing poverty, we have an opportunity to scale more inclusive and effective models for economic mobility,” writes the coalition of organizations in their endorsement letter. “The Expanding Pathways to Employment Act is a transformative new bill that would begin to upend this inequitable and unjust status quo. Thank you for championing this evidence-driven, equity-oriented legislation.”

The group of over 70 endorsers includes organizations such as America Forward, Arnold Ventures, Braven, Economic Mobility Corporation, Jewish Vocational and Career Counseling Service, New York City Employment and Training Coalition, Nurse-Family Partnership, Per Scholas, Project Quest, Results for America, Year Up, and YouthBuild USA.

Read the full text of the letter here:

Dear Representatives Sherrill and McKinley:

We write to voice our enthusiastic support for the bipartisan Expanding Pathways to Employment Act, and to thank you for your vision and leadership in authoring and introducing this important legislation.

As we emerge from the pandemic and work to avoid a “K-shaped” recovery that could leave behind rural communities, communities of color, individuals with barriers to employment, and families experiencing poverty, we have an opportunity to scale more inclusive and effective models for economic mobility. A growing list of workforce development, higher education, health, and human services programs have been shown, by rigorous and replicated evaluations, to sustainably increase wages, unlock opportunity, and improve lives. But to a remarkable degree, major federal funding streams largely do not currently support these programs, inhibiting their potential to scale to the millions of Americans experiencing systemic poverty who might benefit from these services.

The Expanding Pathways to Employment Act is a transformative new bill that would begin to upend this inequitable and unjust status quo. The bipartisan legislation links government-funded programs to measurable results by providing grants for the expansion of job-training and post-secondary education programs. Via a new $700 million mandatory appropriation, the legislation sets aside dedicated funding for programs that have proven, based on rigorous evaluations, to work for their participants. Eligible programs will include those with statistically significant positive outcomes on earnings, student achievement, or degree completion. A program’s eligibility will depend on a number of factors including its impact relative to its cost, the quality of the evidence supporting it, and how intensively it focuses on promoting equity for those in historically underserved communities. A match requirement, which can be satisfied with other federal formula funds, is a strategic, strong incentive to steer dollars from long- standing federal programs toward these proven approaches in the coming years. Importantly, the bill also sets aside additional funding to prove the efficacy of a new cohort of innovative, promising approaches via dedicated funding for pilots combined with rigorous impact evaluations.

Thank you for championing this evidence-driven, equity-oriented legislation. We hope to see a Senate companion bill introduced soon. We further hope both chambers of Congress will prioritize action on this proposal this fall, especially in the context of broader legislation focused on workforce development, education, human services, and economic mobility.

Sincerely,

Organizations:
ActivateIT Powered by Per Scholas 
Aliento Education Fund 
Alternative Staffing Alliance 
America Achieves
America Forward
AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation 
Arnold Ventures
Bottom Line
Braven
Bridgeways
Center for Employment Opportunities
Center for Living and Learning
Chicago Resiliency Network
Chrysalis
Citizen Schools
Colorado Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative 
Denver Public Schools
Downtown Women's Center
Economic Mobility Corporation
Finding Common Purpose
Flare Education
FUSE Corps
Generation USA
Goodwill Industries International, Inc. 
GreenLight Fund
Homeward Bound of Marin
i.c.stars
Institute for Child Success
Jewish Vocational & Career Counseling Service (JVS)
Jobcase, Inc.
Juma Ventures
JVS SoCal
Keys2Work
Kitchens for Good
LA Conservation Corps
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership 
Maycomb Capital/The Community Outcomes Fund
McPherson Strategies
New Earth Organization
New Moms
New Profit
New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCETC)
Nonprofit Finance Fund 
Nurse-Family Partnership
Opportunity@Work
Per Scholas, Inc.
Project Evident
Project for Pride in Living
Project QUEST, Inc.
Propel America
Pursuit
Pursuit Transformation Company Inc 
RecycleForce
Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) 
Results For America
Root Cause
San Diego Workforce Partnership
SkillUp
Social Finance
StriveTogether
Ten Count Consulting, LLC
The Opportunity Network
The Workers Lab
Third Sector Capital Partners
Transcend, Inc.
uAspire
UTEC
Valeo Vocation
Wyman
Year Up
YouthBuild USA

Key Individuals:
Amanda Burden, Program Lead, Pursuit Cesar Carino, Data Analyst, Pursuit
Tony Cohn, Morgridge Family Foundation Allison Devore, Advisor & Board Member Don Fraser, Chief Program Officer, Education Design Lab
Raymond Gonzales, Case Manager, Project 180 Rebecca Maynard, University Trustee Chair Professor Emeritus & Program Director, University of Pennsylvania
Ted McCann, Former Policy Advisor to Former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan
Erin Palumbo, Sr. Programs Manager, The Last Mile
Kathy Powers, Vice President, Orion
Kathy Stack, Former Deputy Associate Director, Office of Management and Budget
Dave Wilkinson, Former Director, White House Office of Social Innovation; Former Chief Performance Officer, State of CT

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