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Five Cities Team With NLC To Promote Long-Term Employment Solutions.

The National League of Cities will work with local officials and community leaders in five cities to develop strategies to help move people from poverty to well-paying jobs with a future. The five cities are Dayton, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; Pasadena, Calif; Modesto, Calif; and Oklahoma City, Okla. The work is being supported by grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

NLC staff and consultants will provide technical assistance to leadership teams in each city that include both city officials and leaders from business, education, economic development and community-based organizations.

Over a period of two-and-a-half years, the city teams will work individually and together to identify and begin to implement collaborative strategies those cities are using to move people out of poverty into living-wage jobs.

These include school-to-work programs, post-employment education, regional transit, and use of "first source" hiring agreements with employers.

A highlight of the project includes an annual convening of the five city teams for two days of intensive information sharing, networking, and strategizing.

These annual "roundtables" will also include presentations from officials and practitioners in other cities that are engaged in workforce development.

Workforce Development

NLC will evaluate the project in order to learn about potentials and problem areas for city interventions to promote workforce development to reduce poverty. NLC will keep all cities and state leagues informed about the five-city process and related issues through Nation's Cities Weekly and other publications.

As a group, the five cities address a range of challenges faced by local government in using workforce development for poverty reduction.

They include:

* Expanding public support of programs and policies that increase the participation of women and low-income and minority workers in the skilled trades;

* Using public subsidies to promote creation of jobs that lead to economic serf-sufficiency are filled by trained and qualified low-income city residents;

* Developing welfare-to-work initiatives that include post-placement opportunities for continuing education and training;

* Exploring new models of city-county collaboration in administering workforce development programs;

* Linking school-to-work programs with targeted economic development; and

* Expanding transportation to help inner city residents access regional job opportunities.

The Kellogg Foundation supports initiatives aimed at helping people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their lives and that of future generations.

The Ford Foundation grant for this project was made from its program for asset building and community development, whose goals include helping poor people build financial assets through work and other strategies.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant to NLC for this project is from its human and community development program, which promotes the development of healthy individuals and effective communities and supports dissemination of information about effective workforce development strategies.

For more information about the NLC Workforce Development for Poverty Reduction project activities, contact Susan Rosenblum, project manager, at NLC's Center for Research and Program Development, (202) 626-3030; E-mail: rosenblum; or fax (202) 626-3043.
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Author:Rosenblum, Susan
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Nov 30, 1998
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