Crittenton Women's Union and its partners launched an ambitious, multi-pronged effort for the 2013-2014 Massachusetts legislative session to substantially increase access to education and training for low-income, non-traditional students.
Workers' Pathways to education & Jobs Coalition
The Workers’ Pathways to Education & Jobs Coalition works to ensure Massachusetts residents can attain the education and training necessary to obtain a well-paying job in today's knowledge-based economy.
CWU’s Hot Jobs 2013 survey reports that post-secondary education and/or training is all but required for jobs that pay enough to support a family, as determined by CWU’s Mass. Index. During the current economic downturn, adults with a high school education or less have experienced the greatest number of job losses.
At the same time that Massachusetts businesses have a pressing need for skilled workers, nearly half of adults ages 18-64 have a high school diploma or less and/or some post-secondary education without a degree.
The Workers' Pathways to Education & Jobs Coalition supports the following legislative agenda:
- An Act Regarding Pathways to Family Economic Self-Sufficiency (H114/S35) — Proposes the creation of a pilot program that would equip low-income families for long-term economic stability and self-support.
The Pathways to Family Economic Self-Sufficiency bill would enable low-income adults and teens with dependent children to attain education and/or skills training for jobs in high-demand occupations. Participants may receive vocational assessment, pre-employment training, remedial education, college navigation, opportunity for work-study jobs, internships or on-the-job training, and case management support to insure successful job placement and retention. View the fact sheet.
- An Act to Promote Financial Stability and Asset Development (H93/S37)—Calls for changes in policy and procedures to remove barriers to asset development for low-income families receiving Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC).
TAFDC provides cash assistance to eligible low-income pregnant women and families with children, limited to 24 months in any continuous 60-month period. TAFDC recipients are required to work, but few have the skills to obtain jobs that pay enough to support their families. Current state law only allows 12 months of education or training to count toward the work requirement. The promotion of education and training is the most cost effective means of helping TAFDC recipients becoming self-supporting. The bill proposes allowing education and training to count towards the work requirement for the full 24 months that families are receiving benefits. The bill also removes asset limits to allow recipients to increase their asset base and to simplify administration. View the fact sheet.
Organizational Coalition members
Asian American Civic Association
Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children
Community Education Project
Community Teamwork, Inc.
Crittenton Women’s Union
Homes for Families
Horizons for Homeless Children
Jewish Vocational Service
Massachusetts Alliance for Adult Literacy
Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy
Massachusetts Association of Community Action Programs
Massachusetts Association of Jewish Federations
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts
One Family, Inc.
Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts
Wellspring House, Inc.
Workforce Solutions Group
Find Out More
For more information on CWU's legislative agenda and how you can help, contact Ruthie Liberman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.259.2933