We Are Doing to Get America on the Economic High Road
The Working for America
Institute focuses its work in 3 key areas:
1. Public Strategies
Helping strengthen America’s economy by ensuring
that workers fully participate in—and understand the
impact of—public workforce and economic development
The Institute is working to strengthen the voice of workers
and their representatives on more than 600 state and local
Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). Created by Congress
in 1998 as part of the Workforce Investment Act, these boards
help coordinate federal and state resources to address the
needs of employers and workers in their communities. The
Institute has worked to improve communications among WIB
labor representatives and to develop a common agenda for
labor’s participation in the public workforce system.
WAI’s model agenda encourages Workforce Investment
Boards to adopt high self-sufficiency standards, conduct
more comprehensive community audits and apply economic development
subsidy disclosure practices to public workforce development
2. Sector Strategies
Helping workers and employers succeed by creating sector-based
high road partnerships among employers, unions, government
agencies and community organizations to retain good jobs and
build stronger communities.
The Institute has worked closely with the Hotel Employees
and Restaurant Employees (HERE) International Union and
its local unions to strengthen the nation’s hospitality
sector for both workers and high road employers.The Institute has assisted HERE locals and their employers in developing projects designed
to strengthen the higher-paying part of the hospitality
industry in New York City, Atlantic City, Minneapolis/St.
Paul and the Bay Area of California. The Institute and HERE
also have worked closely with the Las Vegas hotel industry
to expand the Culinary Training Academy, a national model
for helping hospitality workers improve their skills.
3. Individual Success
Helping individual workers succeed through effective lifelong
learning, skills development and access to good jobs.
When D.C. General Hospital in the Nation’s Capital
closed in the summer of 2001, more than 1,500 workers were
laid off. The Institute worked with the Metropolitan Washington
Council AFL-CIO to create the CareerPath Project, an initiative
that serves workers, unions and the area’s better
employers by counseling, training and placing workers in
family-sustaining jobs in the same or other area industries.
its first year, CareerPath provided services to more than
300 former D.C. General Hospital workers and met its first-year
goal of placing 160 displaced workers into good jobs.