2012 will be an important year for the United States. Economic and social inclusion will be central to decisions about who governs the country and to the design of our economy. Nationally, the presidential election will be this year’s key feature and there will be a heavy emphasis on employment, income inequality, and America’s workforce policies.
In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called for labor market inclusion with:
- the call to Congress to give US Community Colleges the resources they need to become “community career centers,”
- the challenge to help 2 million people develop skill sets that lead directly to jobs, and
- the proposed creation of a “Veterans Jobs Corps” to help US communities hire returning veterans as cops and firefighters.
US labor force participation rate Jan 2001 – Jan 2011
US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan 29 2012
The time is right for these initiatives. There are hopeful tones in some quarters, but our employment rates aren’t yet cause for celebration. There’s a clear recognition that the old economic models don’t function the way they used to, and our cities are determined to find creative ways to re-build. As a social enterprise, our team at InclusionUS offer practical, effective, inclusive, cost-fair strategies to help cities and programs plan for better next steps.
We’re keeping our eyes on
- full-employment plans,
- the income inequality movement,
- the design of workforce, welfare and social service systems,
- the needs of business as employers,
- the experience of excluded groups,
- the growth of social enterprise,
- the new energy / green economy;
- and the resilient local partnerships that are advancing community change.
As always, we’re improving the usability of data and evidence and identifying good ideas from our international counterparts.
Check out the new members of the InclusionUS Team (we’re in Washington DC, Boston, California and Texas) and have a look at our projects for 2012:
- Launch of the US-UK Nonprofit / Voluntary Sector Experts Series in New York City, 12-16 Feb 2012. Follow #V20Launch as it’s happening!
- International Day for the National Association of Workforce Boards, featuring good practice in workforce development from around the world
- Implementation of the economic & social inclusion strategy for Bryan, Texas
- Development of the economic & social inclusion iPhone / iPad app, tailored to your local area
- Exciting new partnerships with the Oregon Environmental Council, Community Action Partnerships, and the US Social Investment Forum
- Development of US Beacon Cities for Child Poverty Reduction
- UK study visit to Washington, DC on community organizing & volunteering as a routeway to employment
- Work with the US-UK Service Personnel Task Force / employment for veterans
- Local labor market training for US Workforce Investment Boards and their partners
- US study visit to Toronto on economic development & employer partnerships for workforce policy
- Continued work with AmbassadorsForPhilanthropy.com
- US visit to the UK on social investments, social innovation bonds and the Green Bank
- Continued support of Team SHIFT in College Station and Bryan, Texas
–Natalie, Tim, Megan, Molly, Jane, Anita, Mark, Ethan and Courtney