“The United States today faces a basic challenge.” (to view the full report, click here)
Just three years ago, our report on the needs of working low-income families in Pennsylvania focused on this simple premise. Yet as 2009 continues, the situation for families seems anything but simple.
Investing in Families, written in late 2006, illustrated some of the stark contrasts between workers’ low wages and benefits and business’ high productivity and profits. Three years later, workers still find themselves struggling to make ends meet with insufficient wages on top of slim, or nonexistent, benefits. To make matters worse, today’s families are struggling to get by amidst a growing foreclosure crisis, a tightening credit market, and increasing layoffs.
The situation seems to change from week to week, ranging from corporate bailouts to bankruptcies, with workers often stuck in the middle. Government at all levels is looking for ways trim budgets, including cuts in programs that are more important than ever to the families facing these obstacles.
In this report, we focus on Pennsylvania at a glance, through the lens of education, economic development, and work supports. We ask the overarching question where is our economy going next? This report will also look at a selection of the 29 recommendations made in the original Investing in Families report to show where Pennsylvania has made progress and where we still need to make progress.
As we continue working towards these recommendations, we do so with the knowledge that Pennsylvania is still positioned to do great things. Our state includes a national model for Industry Partnerships, a history of prosperity and equality, and, most importantly, a population that is ready to embrace new opportunities for self-sufficiency. In this time of economic crisis, all of Pennsylvania must come together to create opportunities for families to support themselves through work and education.
To view the full report, click here.