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Policy & Legislation

21st Century Workforce Summit The U.S. Department of Labor sponsored a National Summit on the 21st Century Workforce in Washington, D.C. The Summit is the first step in Labor Secretary Elaine Chao's 21st Century Workforce Initiative, which will focus on issues that affect the modern workforce, including education and training issues for youth and adults. The Summit featured a number of prominent speakers including President Bush, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige, organized labor leaders, and business leaders. Speakers emphasized the importance of lifelong learning, and stressed that employers need workers who can read, write, compute, solve problems, and communicate well in order for America to stay competitive in the global economy. This Policy Update discusses a few Summit items that should be of interest to those in the adult education and literacy field.

ASTD Policy and Public Leadership This resource provides information on training and development issues currently under legislative consideration in the United States and government policies now in effect as well as links to resources helpful to those seeking to influence policy.

Business.GOV -- Bills itself as the "official business link to the U.S. Government."

Economic Success Clearinghouse connects to resources about effective policies, programs and financing strategies that help low-income and working poor families.

ETA Policy and Research Publications Online Reports This site provides access to the newest findings from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration. Some of the many areas reported on include: Job Corps, Workforce Investment Act, faith-based organizations, and evaluation of youth programs.

Federal legislation is available at

From Isolation to Integration Over the past decade, the National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE) has conducted a series of studies that examine the shifting roles of education and training and the efforts to create more coherent and effective "systems" of workforce preparation. This Center Point summarizes that research.

Indicators of Welfare Dependence:Annual Report to Congress
The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence. This 2001 Indicators of Welfare Dependence, the fourth annual report, is the first report to provide welfare dependency indicators for the 1996-1998 period, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in August 1996. As directed by the Welfare Indicators Act, the report focuses on benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, now the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program; the Food Stamp Program; and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

Male-Female Differences in the Low-Wage Labor Market In recent years, women have made considerable gains relative to men in the labor market. Most notably, the gender gap in hourly wages has narrowed substantially. In this paper, the authors divide workers into three skill groups on the basis of education, and analyze how the hourly earnings of women in each group have progressed relative to those of comparably educated men, the reasons for those gains, and their implications for women's economic well-being.

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., conducts public policy research and surveys for federal and state governments as well as private-sector clients. They study health care, education, welfare, employment, nutrition, child development, and other policy issues. Both on-line research reports and also publications which must be ordered are available through this source.

Medicaid: Transitional coverage can help families move from welfare to work. Transitional Medicaid assistance is a key protection offered to families at a critical juncture in their efforts to move from welfare to work. This document focuses on how transitional Medicaid assistance provides low-income working families an option to maintain health insurance coverage; and how states have used transitional Medicaid to provide health insurance coverage to families.

National LINCS Policy & Legislation Special Collection. This special collection is designed to provide useful and timely information on major issues in the literacy field. New issues and topics are periodically added to this site.

Skills for a New Century In 1999, Vice President Gore convened a group of key leaders from business, organized labor, education, and all levels of government. He asked the group to synthesize current thinking and promising practices on workforce learning, and to issue recommendations for how the sectors it represents can help Americans continuously acquire the skills they need for the 21st century workplace. This document is the result.

The US Department of Labor Compliance Assistance includes links to major laws and regulations as well as compliance assistance tools.

Welfare Reform policy, practice, information is a page from Literacy Resources/Rhode Island with links to reports and papers under the headings of education, implication and implementation, families, kids, and learning disabilities.

Welfare Reform Reauthorization and Rural America Opportunities for work are more limited and less financially rewarding in rural areas than in urban areas, according to a new report released by the Joint Center for Poverty Research which strongly suggests that reauthorization of welfare reform in 2002 needs to recognize diversity in context, resources, and opportunities in different areas of the country.

Welfare Reform Series From the Post This series of articles produced by the, chronicles the impact of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Each of six articles deals with actual welfare recipients and their struggles to adjust to the changes brought about by welfare reform.

Welfare's Changing Face This article discusses the changes that have taken place in the United States Welfare system as a result of legislation implemented in 1996. Issues discussed include exactly how the system is changing, and delves into some of the concerns and politics behind these changes.

Work Supports
This web site is devoted to the promotion of policies and programs that supplement income and wages in order to help families escape poverty and avoid welfare dependency.

The Workforce Information Council Library The links provided in the Webliography present current documents relating to the Workforce Information Council. You can access the System Plans, Federal Legislation that affects the Workforce Information System, Federal Budgets and Workforce Information Council Agendas and Work Group Charters. Also included is a list of State Employment Statistics Agencies and the State employment statistics directors.

The Workforce Investment Act: Better Guidance Needed to Address Concerns Over New Requirements A report examining issues relating to to the implementation of the WIA at the state and local level including: mandatory partner participation in one-stops; job seekers' ability to receive enhanced choices for training; private sector participation on workforce boards.

The Workforce Investment Act: New Requirements Create Need for More Guidance The report gives recommendations to Congress about how to give support and guidance and state and local implementers of WIA.

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 created a new approach to the delivery of employment and training services. It required each state to create a five year plan for implementation. This site provides a map of the United States with access to each state's plan.

Workforce literacy in an information age: Policy recommendations for developing an equitable high-tech skills workforce A new relationship between educational institutions and companies needs to be formed, by bringing students into small and medium enterprise in an effort to prepare students with information technology skills while simultaneously providing companies with high-tech workers. Currently, more than one million information technology openings will be available in the year 2000 in companies with 50 to 99 employees and it is estimated that more than 800,000 positions will remain unfilled. By envisioning a new relationship between schools and smaller companies, a new workforce literacy program can serve to not only alleviate the current IT shortage but to also provide equal job opportunity for disadvantaged and traditionally disenfranchised students.

Workforce Strategies and Initiatives (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Workforce Preparation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce develops workforce strategies for businesses, chambers of commerce, and communities to hire, train, retain and advance skilled workers in the 21st century.