ARP: Partnering with Community Colleges to Prepare Workers for High-Demand Sectors


According to the Congressional Research Service, in general, persons with lower educational attainment experience relatively higher unemployment rates compared to peers with high levels of educational attainment. This population was also hit hardest during the pandemic with the highest rates of unemployment. Furthermore the report found that  persons identifying as Black or Hispanic and younger workers also experienced relatively high levels of unemployment and relatively steep declines in labor force participation over the course of the pandemic.


After a tech firm recently chose Phoenix as the location for a new semiconductor factory, Mayor Gallego partnered with community colleges to make it easier for residents to obtain degrees and training that prepare them for jobs at the plant and other high-demand sectors. The Rescue Plan is allowing Phoenix to offer monthly stipends of up to $1,000 to help residents who enroll in courses for high-demand industries, such as technology and health care. The funds can be used to offset costs such as books and child care. And Gallego is particularly focused on ensuring single parents are able to participate.


New Democrat Coalition Releases Economic Opportunity Agenda

This week, the Congressional New Democrat Coalition released their Economic Opportunity Agenda, a comprehensive policy plan that outlines how Congress and the Biden Administration can continue cutting costs for families and growing the middle class. Much of the agenda is focused on effectively implementing federal legislation like the CHIPS and Science Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and Inflation Reduction Act.

The agenda identifies eight key issue areas where Congress can make progress, including permitting reform to streamline the construction of clean energy infrastructure, eliminating discriminatory zoning practices to encourage affordable housing construction, passing a Farm Bill that helps produce more affordable, high-quality food in America, and much more. “New Dems remain committed to working with the Biden Administration and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground on policies that will continue lowering costs and creating a strong economy that empowers all Americans to succeed,” the group’s leadership said. For more on the Economic Opportunity Agenda, see Semafor’s coverage.


Rhode Island Brett Smiley Directs $3 Million Grant for Building Resilience in Non-Profits Serving Underserved Providence Communities Program

Providence: Rhode Island Mayor Brett Smiley announced $3 million in grants for the Building Resilience in Non-Profits Serving Underserved Providence Communities program. This grant will help the grantees improve and expand their impact, including key social and behavioral services, employment opportunities, and more. “These grants are a long-term investment that will help prepare our community organizations become more resilient in future disasters and ensure residents can still have access to quality services,” Smiley said.


Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks Supports Construction and Renewal in Overlooked Areas

Maryland: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is using a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to support construction and renewal in historically overlooked parts of the county. With what Alsobrooks noted is the first RAISE grant the county has ever received, these efforts will include providing “cyclists and pedestrians an alternative to highway travel and will also provide convenient access to the new regional hospital in downtown Largo,” as well as to schools and regional parks. The Blue Line will receive construction, making transportation easier for commuters. “Equitable transportation is a critical aspect of a just and thriving society as it enables individuals to participate fully in social, economic and civic life,” added Alsobrooks. Overall, the efforts will make transportation more equitable for disenfranchised communities.


Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval’s Financial Freedom Blueprint Supports Generational Wealth

Ohio: Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval revealed a “Financial Freedom Blueprint” which includes a partnership with RIP Medical Debt to alleviate debt, which could benefit up to 30,000 residents, and a savings account with an initial deposit of $50 for every child enrolled in Preschool Promise. The blueprint is one step towards addressing the racial wealth gap in Cincinnati and fixing the systemic issues that Black citizens have faced for generations. “A core focus of ours, both the mayor, council and this administration, has been on addressing this fundamental challenge. Growing economic opportunity with racial equity in the center of the frame, and importantly, centered around ownership,” added Pureval. The Blueprint was funded by a $75,000 grant from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist: Reducing Recidivism with Employment

This week, NewDEAL Leader Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist joined leaders from government, business, and law enforcement to announce a new proposal for a  “Job Court” pilot program. The program is a creative solution to decrease recidivism rates by making employment opportunities available for defendants accused of low-level, nonviolent crimes. The $5.5 million investment would give 450 eligible defendants good paying jobs and transferable career skills that will help them find jobs after their sentence. To read more about how this proposal could reduce recidivism and give Michiganders a second chance while also helping businesses staff up, read the article here.

Senator Loranne Ausley: ‘Foster Children’s Bill of Rights’ in Florida

This week, a Florida Senate subcommittee unanimously passed NewDEALer Senator Loranne Ausley’s bipartisan legislation to codify a bill of rights for children in the state’s foster care system. The legislation compiles the rights of children in the foster care system, ensuring priority is given to their physical, mental, and emotional health. “The purpose of this bill is to place all of the rights that are already in law into one place,” Senator Ausley said. Rebecca Baer, who spent two years in Florida’s foster care system, spoke in support of the bill and “said it felt like she lost about 90% of her rights the day she entered the system,” adding, “at the end of the day, I believe this bill will help youth not go through the same situations that I did.” Read more about the legislation here.

Councilmember Derek Green: Public Banking Boosts Disadvantaged Businesses

In Philadelphia, NewDEAL Leader Councilmember Derek Green has been working for years on an innovative proposal to establish a city-run public bank in his city. In December, his proposal to establish the Philadelphia Public Finance Authority finally won committee approval and is set to be brought before the full Council early this year. If approved, the bank would elevate women and minority-owned businesses by making it easier for them to secure a loan and reducing racial disparities in business ownership. Read more about Councilmember Green’s proposal here, which took finalist honors in last year’s NewDEAL Ideas Challenge.

Mayor Levar Stoney: Mayor’s Alliance to End Childhood Hunger

NewDEAL Leader Richmond, VA Mayor Levar Stoney is chairing the new Mayors Alliance to End Childhood Hunger, launched this week, with more than 50 other mayors already signed on, including 14 other NewDEALers. The Alliance seeks individual and collective leadership from cities nationwide to take meaningful action against childhood hunger, including publicly speaking on hunger issues, expansion of SNAP and P-EBT opportunities, and providing better financial assistance for school meals. Read more about the Alliance, or check out their one-pager on actions mayors can take.

Former County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty: Novel Strategy to Address Mental Health and Homelessness

This week, Santa Cruz County, CA Supervisors, including NewDEAL Leader Ryan Coonerty, unanimously approved a new strategy for addressing mental illness among homeless individuals in the county. The “Mental Health Services Act Innovation Plan” aims to enroll approximately 600 people experiencing homelessness. The program will send field teams to meet participants where they are and provide clinical and case management services to both address mental health concerns and help transition participants into permanent housing. The program will help the County plot a permanent response that could serve as a model for other localities. Read more here.