JULY 8, 2021

America Achieves Contact:
Jacques Steinberg

New America Contact:
Riker Pasterkiewicz

America Achieves, New America, and more than 30 other workforce-related organizations today released a joint letter calling on Congressional leaders to include workforce development in upcoming economic recovery and infrastructure legislation.

Specifically, in the letter, the signatories called for: a $100 billion investment in workforce development, as President Biden had proposed earlier this year. This investment is seen as critical in making sure employers can find the qualified workers needed to fill infrastructure, clean energy, care and other in-demand jobs–now and in the coming years, and do so equitably. What’s more, upcoming legislation must ensure that millions of people hit hardest by the pandemic, including women, people of color, rural Americans, and those without a college degree, will have a fair shot at accessing good jobs and careers, including millions created by an infrastructure plan.

Analysis from the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce found that in a trillion-dollar infrastructure package, most of the jobs created would require at least six months of training and 90 percent would be in historically male-dominated fields where people of color have been largely excluded from top-earnings.

This proposed workforce investment — and scale of funding — is incredibly popular. Earlier this year, Gallup found that a strong, bipartisan majority (93%) of the public supports a large-scale, ambitious plan to pay people to work and provide them with the skills needed for jobs of the future. Meanwhile, the U.S. ranks near last of OECD countries for investment in workforce development as a percentage of GDP.

As we emerge from a once-in-a-century pandemic that has exposed and exacerbated long-standing inequities, Congress has a historic opportunity to make substantial, new economic investments that ensure all Americans have a fair shot at good jobs in a range of in-demand fields, and employers find the skilled workers they need to fill them.
– Jon Schnur, Chief Executive Officer, America Achieves

The pandemic exposed longstanding racial and gender inequities in our labor market, which we have an obligation to address. Upgrading the country’s infrastructure is a critical step toward preparing for the future – and an opportunity to expand access to good jobs. The public workforce system can play an essential role ensuring infrastructure investments support an equitable and inclusive recovery – one in which everyone has access to those good jobs. But to do so, it will need resources and a seat at the table.
– Mary Alice McCarthy, Director of the Center on Education & Labor, New America

A comprehensive and effective workforce development investment is critical to the success of an infrastructure and economic recovery plan.

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

The full list of signatories is below.

America Achieves
New America
Advance CTE
All Home California 
Alternative Schools Network
Apprenticeship Carolina (South Carolina Technical College System)
Association for Enterprise Opportunity
The Bay Area Council
Career Connect Washington
Center on Rural Innovation
Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap
Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
Democracy at Work Institute
Generation USA
Genesys Works
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
Goodwill Industries International
Grads of Life
Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)
Jobs for the Future
Merit America
National Fund for Workforce Solutions
National Skills Coalition
National Youth Employment Coalition
Nurture: Building Financial Security and Mobility in the Child Care Economy
Pacific Community Ventures
Per Scholas
Program on Skills, Credentials & Workforce Policy, George Washington Institute of Public Policy
Sandra Grace, LLC
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA)
Women Employed
Year Up
YouthBuild USA

UPDATE: Since this letter was initially released on July 8, additional organizations have signed on. The latest version, with the updated list of signatories listed above, can be found here.