New report analyzes local hiring as an anti-poverty tool. In the last few months, local hiring has rapidly gained traction as an anti-poverty tool utilized at the local, state, and now federal level. As cities across the country have rapidly moved to enact new local hiring policies to target disadvantaged communities with high unemployment, the federal government has now taken unprecedented action to implement local hiring pilots on federally funded projects. Analyzing these new pilots encouraged by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Brightline has published a report, "Local Hiring Hits the Road." With support from the Surdna Foundation, public policy nonprofit Brightline analyzes these new trends and provides technical assistance in strengthening workforce development systems for cities across the United States.
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Raising the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, as proposed by the Raise the Wage Act of 2015, would lift wages for 35 million American workers, according to a new report by EPI’s David Cooper. Explaining why it’s time to raise the minimum wage, Cooper writes, “The minimum wage was established to make sure that regular employment would provide workers with the means to a decent quality of life. Lawmakers have let it erode for so long that today a parent working full-time at the minimum wage doesn’t earn enough to be above the poverty line.”
Published By: Economic Policy Institute
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The nationwide emergence of food hubs is an indicator that local food is becoming more readily available in higher-volume sales channels. The more than 300 food hubs operating around the country use a wide range of business models. All share the general function of helping farmers and other local food producers take their differentiated products to market. These intermediaries provide customized aggregation, distribution, and related supply chain services. Food hubs also strive to deliver on local market promises—the good food values driving this sector’s growth. Good food is defined as food products and practices that are healthy for the body, green for the planet, fair for producers and workers, and affordable for all. Good food values range from concerns for public health and social justice to demand for local economic and environmental returns.
Published By: The Farm Credit East, Wallace Center at Winrock International, and Farm Credit Council, coordinated by the National Good Food Network, Food Hub Collaboration.
Download Related Document(s):Counting Values. Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study
A National Urban Innovation Report highlights national and local case studies that break new ground and change the game for urban areas in New Jersey and beyond.
The Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies and the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute are working together to explore urban innovation. Funded by the Surdna Foundation, the goal of the Best Practices in Urban Innovation (BPUI) Project is to shift the national discourse on urban areas away from problem identification and toward problem solving. By focusing on best practices in urban innovation, we can bring attention to what is working and discuss the process for scaling up these solutions to practitioners in other urban areas.
Download Related Document(s): A National Urban Innovation Report
Since 2010 infrastructure employment has jumped 5 percent, higher than the average across all occupations. These jobs often provide competitive and equitable wages while expanding opportunities to workers with less formal education.
Published By: The Brookings Institution
Asserting that black lives matter also means that the quality of those lives matters. Economic opportunity is inextricably linked to the quality of the lives lived by blacks in America. Several years past the Great Recession of 2008, the American economy has recovered, and workers and families in most demographic groups have begun to participate in that recovery. Yet African Americans have yet to feel those benefits. Focus on the recession obscures the fact that our country has been harboring a black jobs crisis for many decades, and there are no signs on the horizon of an immediate resolution of that crisis.
Download Related Document(s): Black Workers Matter
The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the nation’s sewer systems will require $298 billion worth of capital investments over the next 20 years to replace aging infrastructure and meet new demand. As local governments plan how to maximize their investments, they seek not only larger systems with improved technical performance, but greener systems that help provide work and maintenance opportunities for local and small businesses, particularly for minority, women, and disabled-owned business enterprises.
The purpose of this report is to identify opportunities in the sewer infrastructure value chain for Minority, Women, Disabled, Small and Local Business Enterprises, which we call “targeted businesses” for short. We studied major sewer infrastructure capital improvement projects made by six cities, counties and water districts—Cleveland, Louisville, Omaha, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle (King County)—and used the value chain framework to provide a comprehensive assessment about where targeted businesses have been successful in green and gray infrastructure projects. Our review of the value chains of 54 sewer infrastructure projects across the six cases found that:
Our review of green infrastructure installations found that the relatively small size of such contracts made them less attractive to lead firms that typically capture much of the value of sewer infrastructure projects. The green infrastructure features reviewed across the six cases relied on targeted businesses to perform environmental engineering, landscape architecture, nursery and garden supplies, and landscape maintenance and monitoring services. Construction and installation was almost exclusively performed by companies based in the region, although not all of these businesses were the targets of local benefits policies.
Download Related Document(s): Targeting Inclusive Development: A Value Chain Approach to Sewer Infrastructure Investment
When the Surdna Foundation decided it wanted to involve all of the members of the founding Andrus family, they knew they were starting a formidable challenge. Historically they involved a select few members from each generation in the family's philanthropy and maintained a low public profile. Now their goal was to involve nearly 350 family members in eight branches, spread over three continents. After three years of work, planning, more work, and with the creation of the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program, a larger purpose evolved—linking the larger family around concepts of service and education. And they realized that they were creating something with potential importance far beyond the confines of their own family.
Published By: National Center for Family Philanthropy
Download Related Document(s): Sustaining tradition: The Andrus Family philanthropy program
Over the past 15 years, the federal government has provided $68 billion in grants and special tax credits to business, with two-thirds of the total going to large corporations. During the same period, federal agencies have given the private sector hundreds of billions of dollars in loans, loan guarantees and bailout assistance, with the largest share going to major U.S. and foreign banks. These sums represent the portion of federal “corporate welfare” for which specific recipients can be identified. These are among key findings from Uncle Sam’s Favorite Corporations, the first comprehensive compilation of company specific federal subsidy data.
Published By: Good Jobs First
Download Related Document(s): Uncle Sam’s Favorite Corporations
Health and Wealth In Your Region: Anchor institutions and regional food procurement
Hospitals, schools, universities, and government agencies anchor towns and cities by driving economic development, creating jobs, and facilitating community engagement. While these “anchor institutions” make intentional and targeted investments in community development, they often look beyond their own communities and regions to meet their food procurement needs. Imagine if they treated food purchases as investments in local and regional businesses, economies, and the environment?
Published By: Common Market Philadelphia
Download Related Document(s):Health and Wealth In Your Region
Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.