JOIN seeks to incorporate the best practices emerging from the evaluation of its investments into the public workforce system. In order to do this, JOIN advocates for policy change at a national, state, and local level.
At a national level, JOIN supports the policy priorities that have been set out by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. These priorities include:
- Establishing regional funding collaboratives to advance a shared strategic vision for the workforce and regional economy.
- Supporting industry-led partnerships that serve both low-wage workers and businesses.
- Promoting career advancement for workers through career pathways education and training programs.
- Facilitating alignment across the workforce development system.
Most recently, JOIN endorsed the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act of 2009. SECTORS will amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and establish a new grant program for industry-led partnerships that is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.
JOIN is working with a coalition of foundations, businesses, and non-profit organizations from across the Commonwealth to realize four statewide policy goals:
- Institutionalize the “Industry Partnership” model into state policy.
- Change Pennsylvania state policy to encourage more “Industry Partnerships” to serve low-skilled workers.
- Restore and expand funding for financial aid for low-income adults.
These statewide policy efforts are being led by the Pennsylvania Fund for Workforce Solutions at the Keystone Research Center.
Most recently, JOIN was involved in a successful campaign to ensure that the Industry Partnerships received significant state funding again in the 2009-2010 fiscal year despite the budget crisis.
JOIN is in the process of formulating its regional advocacy strategy and building its regional coalition of partners. Please check back in the Spring of 2010 for more information on our regional advocacy plans.