Aiming Higher: Removing Barriers to Education, Training and Jobs for Low-Income Women
This 20-page report uses statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Women’s Economic Security Campaign (WESC) programs in four areas of the United States to suggest improvements to policies that would provide low-income women with opportunities to gain the education and/or job training needed to secure family-supporting jobs. Although focused to impact policymakers, strategies useful to adult education providers are included. One of the key strategies for low-income women to succeed in the workforce is to have intense, focused case management in place to help meet basic needs. Education is another key to a promising future for low-income mothers and their families. TANF regulations mandating employment regardless of the salary level, however, inhibit the working poor from seeking the education needed to attain family-sustaining wages. Another applicable idea for adult education is the development of career pathways. This approach allows for progression beyond entry-level skills. The fourth conclusion that applies to adult education is the importance of creating and maintaining partnerships with employers to more effectively move low-income women into available jobs.
Although this resource is slightly dated in the current public policy environment, it serves as an excellent advocacy document for programs that focus on women’s employment. It summarizes several economic studies on the special importance for low-income women and single mothers of job training AND programs that help them access support systems to overcome obstacles to training. The resource makes an important point in arguing for a case management approach for low-income women in employment training programs. It also argues that continued support (e.g., childcare, transportation) is needed even after women are employed. In addition to summarizing economic research, the piece includes interview comments and program descriptions of several effective programs. The statistics cited could be very useful in proposal development for women’s training programs. The documentation of research studies makes the resource very valuable. It is relatively brief (i.e., 20 pages) and very readable.