POLICY AND THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Turning Policy into Action:
The Century Foundation Initiative to Revitalize Manufacturing Communities
The 2016 Election proved that voters in the Heartland states and across America are deeply disappointed in the quality of jobs produced by the economy, and the decline of traditional strengths like manufacturing. There’s never been a more important time for Washington to adopt a high road strategy to help communities grow good jobs.
The SVA and our Heartland Capital partners are collaborating with the Century Foundation on a set of white papers on how to revitalize manufacturing communities.
The Century Foundation officially launched the new initiative on June 13, 2017 to find ways to bring high wage work back to America’s heartland, including via manufacturing, technological innovation, expanding workforce training and targeted investment.
Overseen by the foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative, the "High Wage America Project” will focus on research and policy solutions to restore good jobs to the Commonwealth and our nation. The project kicked off with a discussion at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., featuring Members of Congress and panelists from different regions of the country. The SVA’s Executive Director spoke and introduced Senator Bob Casey at the event.
The project believes that good opportunities can be restored, and that all Americans — from the industrial heartland to the inner city — can lead better lives. Its agenda has three major components to help workers:
1. Public investment and innovation
2. Education and training
3. Labor standards and social supports
The SVA will be participating in policy research that focuses on the success of layoff aversion and the responsible investment of workers’ capital, thus turning smart policy into strategic action.
We will taking the results of this work to town hall meetings in industrial heartland cities as a follow-up. Please join us!
Turning Action into Policy:
WIOA and Layoff Aversion Legislation
Our new strategic research and action is an outgrowth of the SVA’s leadership in the National Call to Action (NCTA), a multi-state, tri-partite initiative originally sponsored by the US Department of Labor that designed and presented a cost-effective, comprehensive plan to spur economic recovery and put people back to work. The National Call to Action (NCTA) was originally convened in 2010 by the US DOL (Final Report), and focused on the vital role that innovative jobs partnerships play in:
Addressing economic recovery and expansion
Averting and minimizing layoffs
Getting affected workers back to work as soon as possible.
Working with our friends in the NCTA coalition and the Northeast-Midwest Institute (NEMWI) (and its Congressional Caucus), the SVA led a campaign to win new federal policies that provides funds to states and communities to establish layoff aversion programs. As part of the 2014 reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which has been called “The Eisenhower Moment,” the SVA crafted a broadly supported regulatory reform that turned over 20 years of SVA “action” into smart federal policy.
With the help of Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bob Casey and Sherrod Brown, our educational efforts were partly responsible for a new provision in the WIOA regs that, for the first time, requires states to establish a system to save jobs. These efforts came about due to the SVA’s success with its cost-efficient Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN), and other jobs saving measures.
The SVA has, since its founding in 1986, been concerned about the people and communities of Pittsburgh, the Mon Valley and, more broadly, the Rust Belt. We have authored or commissioned four path-breaking books, plus a number of book chapters, publications, reports and studies. We’ve provided testimony or policy advice to the White House, Congress, and federal agencies and with states and communities. We’ve participated in important events at prestigious national and international institutions, such as the United Nations and the World Economic Forum. The Authority has advised five governors, countless legislators, many mayors and county executives and innumerable national leaders to help the Commonwealth and our communities survive and turn around.
The SVA has collaborated with numerous communities and partners in our long-term efforts to retain and restore good jobs. The SVA lobbied to pass the first industrial communities site programs, which brought tens of millions of dollars for millsite re-use. We also led the transition of the former Hays Armory to city ownership, which resulted in a prime manufacturing re-use. The SVA has also conducted numerous strategic research projects, including the first successorship planning study and a number of brownfield studies. With the guidance of Senator Jay Costa and Representative Mark Gergely, the SVA has provided $570,000 to Community Revitalization Grants to projects in numerous SVA member towns over 15 years, funded by the Commonwealth.