The Los Angeles Workforce Systems Collaborative (LAWSC), which focuses on creating high demand, high growth and sustainable careers in the region, has met weekly since April to develop strategies to support students and workers disproportionately affected by COIVD-19. Together, they are urging federal and state leaders to increase their investment in training and employment assistance so that workers and students are better equipped to return to the workforce once the economy recovers.
The LAWSC sent a letter on April 16 to leaders of the U.S. Senate and House Committees on Appropriations urging them to include in the fourth stimulus package “a comprehensive, national workforce development strategy that supports workers to reenter the workforce after job loss, businesses to minimize further job loss, creates new jobs, and prepares workers and students for both today’s in-demand jobs and those leading to economic growth after the pandemic.” The letter details specific recommendations including funding to support displaced workers, summer youth employment and increased digital literacy. It also recommends support for businesses in upskilling workers and engaging in employee sharing rather than additional lay-offs, as well as supporting higher education and Career Technical Education and training as part of infrastructure packages.
While the fourth federal relief bill did not include any workforce specific provisions, the LAWSC is continuing to seek opportunities to advance its agenda. The group plans to send a letter of support early next week for the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA) introduced Friday, May 1, by House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (VA), along with 11 other Representatives. RAWA calls for $15.1 billion in funding through FY 22 for adult, youth and dislocated worker state grants, adult education – including digital literacy, Career Technical Education, and registered apprenticeships among other provisions as part of its COVID-19 response. There is a companion bill in the Senate sponsored by Senators Murray (WA), Kaine (VA), Smith (MN) and Baldwin (WI).
The LAWSC also sent a letter supporting Governor Newsom for his leadership in establishing a statewide public-private partnership to provide financial support to undocumented immigrants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be disbursed by community-based non-profit organizations with expertise and experience serving undocumented communities, and applications are expected to open soon. The LAWSC felt it was critical to express support for the governor’s efforts to assist those who are ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits and economic relief included in the CARES Act due to their immigration status. The first of its kind in the United States, the governor’s decision has received both praise and staunch opposition. Read the full letter here.
The LAWSC urges all L.A. Compact members to sign-on to a nationwide advocacy letter led by the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce. The letter calls for $15.6 billion of funding – consistent with those proposed in RAWA - for workforce development and skills education as a critical step in our recovery from the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please click here to sign-on and share this link with your partners. The Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce welcomes adult education or workforce training providers, advocacy organizations, businesses, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, community-based organizations, community/technical colleges, intermediaries, labor or labor-management partnerships, workforce development boards and more to sign-on. For more information on specifics of this proposal, click here to read the National Skills Coalition’s explanation.