From the summary:
Employment of Americans in middle-wage jobs has been declining, due to trends both in employer demand and worker skill attainment. Workforce development in the US now mostly occurs in community and forprofit colleges, as well as the lower-tier of 4-year colleges. Enrollment rates are high, even among the disadvantaged, but completion rates are very low and earnings are uneven for graduates. Community colleges lack not only resources but also incentives to respond to the job market (while the for-profit colleges need stronger regulation). Sectoral training and career pathway models show promise but need scaling and maintenance of quality, and employers also need greater incentives to participate and create more good jobs. Three sets of policies should help address these problems:
1. Providing more resources to community (and lower-tier 4-year) colleges but also creating incentives and accountability by basing state subsidies on student completion rates and earnings of graduates;
2. Expanding high-quality career and technical education plus work-based learning models like apprenticeship; and
3. Assisting and incentivizing employers to create more good jobs. Other supportive policies—including higher minimum wages, paid parental leave, and labor law reform—would help as well. Together these proposals should create more good jobs and more good workers to fill them.
Related: Media summary
From the summary:
…Apprenticeships may not solve all of our nation’s workforce challenges, but they have the potential to play a much bigger role in our education and training system. This issue brief discusses the benefits of apprenticeship before explaining why registered apprenticeships do not currently offer a truly portable credential and how industry-recognized apprenticeship programs can help both workers and employers. It then suggests some policies the federal government can enact to incentivize employers to write national guideline standards for apprenticeships. ….
Millions of people live in poverty in this country. They suffer not only material deprivation, but also the hardships and diminished life prospects that come with being poor. Childhood poverty often means growing up without the advantages of a stable home, high-quality schools, or consistent nutrition. Adults in poverty are often hampered by inadequate skills and education, leading to limited wages and job opportunities. And the high costs of housing, healthcare, and other necessities often mean that people must choose between basic needs, sometimes forgoing essentials like meals or medicine. In recognition of these challenges, The Hamilton Project has commissioned fourteen innovative, evidence-based antipoverty proposals. These proposals are authored by a diverse set of leading scholars, each tackling a specific aspect of the poverty crisis.
Section 1. Promoting Early Childhood Development Expanding Preschool Access for Disadvantaged Children
Elizabeth U. Cascio and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
…As the consensus to build an economy that works for everyone and not just the wealthy grows, we believe that there are a few key policies that the president should call for that would begin to roll back income inequality in both the short and long term. While these policies by no means represent all that must be done to address inequality—such as protecting workers’ rights on the job, improving regulation of financial markets, and limiting the corrosive influence of money in politics, to name a few—they represent new, common-sense approaches that could enjoy broad support and help restore an economy that works for everyone.
1. Raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour…
2. Increase access to high-quality preschool…
3. Expand apprenticeships…
4. Offer universal paid family leave…
5. Allow Americans to refinance their student debt…
6. Improve retirement security….