On December 12, the Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a two-part forum at the National Press Club on ways to encourage, facilitate and reward work. Besides releasing a new Hamilton Project strategy paper, the forum highlighted four new and forthcoming discussion papers. Hamilton Project Director Jason Furman gave opening remarks and provided an overview of the new strategy paper, which suggested a long-term approach to expanding opportunity, along with specific near-term policies to promote work and reduce poverty.
The new discussion papers feature complementary approaches to both encourage work among the unemployed, and reward low-income earners already in the workforce. Harry Holzer of Georgetown University and the Urban Institute offered his proposal for awarding competitive grants to states to support career advancement for disadvantaged adults. Greg Duncan presented a paper written with Hans Bos, Lisa Gennetian and Heather Hill on expanding the model New Hope program, which operated for three years in Milwaukee; and Karl Scholz of Brookings and the University of Wisconsin presented a paper proposing employment-based tax credits for low-skilled workers. In addition, Bruce Western of Harvard University previewed his forthcoming Hamilton Project discussion paper on promoting work among ex-offenders and eliminating restrictions on employment and educational resources for these individuals.
Former U.S. Representative Harold Ford moderated a second panel of experts who talked more broadly about ways to promote job development and placement within some of the most at-risk communities. Participants included Brookings’s Rebecca Blank; STRIVE President Robert Carmona; Center for Budget & Policy Priorities Executive Director Robert Greenstein; and former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp.
A Hand Up: A Strategy to Reward Work, Expand Opportunity, and Reduce Poverty, by Jason E. Bordoff, Jason Furman, and Paige L. Shevlin
New Hope: Fulfilling America’s Promise to “Make Work Pay”, by Hans Bos, Greg J. Duncan, Lisa A. Gennetian and Heather D. Hill
Employment-Based Tax Credits for Low-Skilled Workers, by John Karl Scholz
Reward and Facilitate Work, by Jason Furman
New Hope: Fulfilling America’s Promise to “Make Work Pay” (pdf), by Hans Bos, Greg J. Duncan, Lisa A. Gennetian and Heather D. Hill
Better Workers for Better Jobs (pdf), by Harry J. Holzer
Employment-Based Tax Credits for Low-Skilled Workers (pdf), by John Karl Scholz
Promoting Employment After Prison (pdf), by Bruce Western