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 Mexico: Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller Announced the Participants of the 2023 Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps

New Mexico: Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced the participants of the 2023 Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps. This will be the fourth cohort of high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates participating in a six-week paid summer internship program focused on arts-based leadership. This initiative provides internship and career exploration opportunities for Albuquerque’s youth. Each participant will work closely with mentors to develop their creative skills. “In Albuquerque, we believe in nurturing the creativity and incredible potential of our young people. Our Creative Youth Corps get valuable hands-on experience in our local creative economy, as well as training and skills that will stay with them no matter what their bright futures hold,” said Mayor Keller.


Maryland Senator Antonio Hayes Secures Funding for West Baltimore Revitalization Programs

Maryland: Senator Antonio Hayes helped secure funding to invest in and revitalize West Baltimore. The state’s budget will provide over $11 million to the area’s Development Authority, which will strategically invest the new funding to build on recent support provided to local businesses. Around $10 million of the funding package will be used for community grants and $1 million will go toward hiring staff for the authority. Hayes sponsored the original legislation creating the authority as well as legislation to expedite the appropriation process and send out grants to spur economic growth and create jobs.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin Brings New Funding to Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program

Connecticut, Harford Mayor Luke Bronin announced new funding to expand the city’s Summer Youth Employment and Learning program. The program helps connect over 800 young people each year with paid summer jobs, and the funding boost will allow the city to expand the program in response to rising workforce needs. These young people will spend the summer exploring potential career options. This program will offer, “young people a really important opportunity to earn a paycheck, build skills and work experience, and get connected to mentors and a network of support,” added Bronin.


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.


Oregon Representative Janelle Bynum Improves Industry with State and Federal Funding

Oregon Representative Janelle Bynum’s Oregon CHIPS Act is realizing tangible results in her state. As the one-year anniversary of the federal CHIPS and Science Act approaches, Bynum has led a successful effort to pass the Oregon CHIPS Act, legislation that complements the federal incentives by providing semiconductor companies with state funding. Semiconductor companies, such as Analog Devices in Beaverton, are expanding their operations in the state, further cementing Oregon’s status as a hotbed for the industry. Bynum looks to potential future proposals including workforce and technical development programs that prepare students for this competitive industry.


Boston Mayor Michelle Wu Ordered the Elimination of Fossil Fuels in City Buildings Under Construction

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu signed an executive order eliminating the use of fossil fuels in city buildings that will be under construction or major renovation. “The benefits of embracing fossil fuel-free infrastructure in our City hold no boundary across industries and communities, and Boston will continue using every possible tool to build the green, clean, healthy, and prosperous future our city deserves,” Wu said. By implementing environmental protections, Wu is also supporting green-friendly businesses. Under a partnership between the Worker Empowerment Cabinet, the Environment Department, Department of Youth Employment and Opportunity, and the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, PowerCorpsBOS trains Boston residents for jobs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in large buildings by learning skills to maintain optimal building operations.

American Rescue Plan: Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti Supports Small Business COVID Recovery

Pennsylvania: Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti allocated $660,000 of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to support small business recovery from the COVID pandemic as well as to increase wages, which will eventually be fully supported by the businesses themselves. Wages will be increased after analysis of the state averages per position and industry. “Our wage boost program helps people working in Scranton earn a more livable wage, necessitated by more than just the challenges of the past few years. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage belongs in the 20th century; we must keep pushing the state legislature to increase the minimum wage and model the theory that increased wages can stabilize operations in a tight labor market and even enhance a business’s bottom line,” added Cognetti. Applications for grants are ongoing.


Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird Offers 26-Step Plan to Ensure Local Food Sustainability

Nebraska: Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird unveiled a new plan to support local produce, offering access to land, training, and capital to farmers. The 26-step plan includes steps “supporting local farmers, expanding markets, creating jobs, increasing food security, improving health outcomes, reducing carbon emissions and instilling a sense of pride in our community,” Gaylor Baird said. Projections to 2035 hope to double the acres where local food is grown in Lancaster County, triple the number of community gardens and local food institutions, and cut the census tracts with little healthy food access in half.

Bynum Leads Semiconductor Effort in Oregon

As the one year anniversary of the federal CHIPS and Science Act approaches, communities across the United States are seeing the results of tangible investments in their technology and manufacturing sectors. Perhaps no state is feeling the effects of this legislation more than Oregon, where NewDEAL Leader Representative Janelle Bynum recently led a successful effort to pass the Oregon CHIPS Act, legislation that complements the federal incentives by providing semiconductor companies with state funding and loans to expand in Oregon. Her bill also includes support for university research and land development projects. Semiconductor companies, such as Analog Devices in Beaverton, are expanding their operations in the state, further cementing Oregon’s status as a hotbed for the industry.