Thursday, September 15, 2005


The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute has developed a new three-part agenda to strenghten regional economies through the nation's more than 600 state and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs).
Created as part of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), these boards oversee the use of public funds for workforce development and serve as a “Board of Directors” for a range of activities in their labor markets. Under WIA, each WIB is required to have at least two labor representatives nominated by state and local labor federations.
Hundreds of WIB representatives from 35 states gathered at a national meeting in March to discuss the three-part strategy.The Institute's new High Road Agenda for Workforce Investment Boards is the result of extensive discussions with WIB labor representatives at four training and strategy conferences conducted by the Institute earlier this year. To follow up on these meetings, the Institute held a national conference for WIB labor representatives in Virginia in the March of 2003.
The new agenda is designed to help WIB labor representatives ensure that the workforce investment system embraces the principles of a high road economy that competes on the basis of innovation, quality and skill, rather than on low wages and limited benefits. Just as importantly, the agenda allows today’s unions and their allies to learn more about their regional economies and to use public resources to set the kind of job quality that working families need.
The new agenda focuses on three ways in which labor representatives--and other concerned members of WIBs--can use their positions on state and local workforce boards to advance a high road working families’ agenda while also blocking low-road strategies and practices. In each case, the AFL-CIO Working for Americia Institute has developed additional materials to help WIB representatives in their efforts to promote quality jobs.


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