Center for American Progress

RELEASE: 4 Job Quality Questions All Applicants for New Federal Funds Should Answer
Press Release

RELEASE: 4 Job Quality Questions All Applicants for New Federal Funds Should Answer

Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration’s historic economic investment legislation has the promise to create millions of jobs and support sustainable industrial growth throughout the 21st century. Now, states, cities, and private employers can attain federal funds through the Inflation Reduction Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and CHIPS and Science Act and bring more good-paying jobs to people across the country. A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress highlights four questions about job quality and access that all applicants competing for federal funds should be able to answer. Those questions are:

  • How will the project support good jobs? Applicants should be prepared to demonstrate that investments will pay market wages; provide decent benefits; support workers’ ability to come together in unions without unfair and illegal interference; and ensure that workplaces are safe, free from discrimination, and provide equal access for workers from all walks of life. 
  • How will the project expand equitable access and training for high-quality jobs? Applicants must include details on how they will expand training pipelines and grow access for workers from all walks of life, including disadvantaged and historically marginalized communities. 
  • Will the project include labor and community stakeholders? Applications should include front-end commitments from community and labor stakeholders who understand the local labor market and have a long track record of upholding high standards. They should provide specific details on how community and labor partners helped develop the proposal and their commitments to providing ongoing guidance, training, and/or oversight. 
  • How will the applicant demonstrate that they are living up to their commitments? Applications for discretionary funds should include transparency and accountability measures that will help ensure that projects live up to their workforce commitments. They should enumerate specific recruitment goals and targets; commit to collection of workforce data in real time; and explain how the data will be used to course correct, including whether outside organizations will have a role in monitoring and how subcontractors will be held accountable. 

“The Biden administration’s economic legislation is bringing millions of jobs to Americans and has the potential to create good, middle-class jobs that are accessible to Americans from all walks of life,” said Karla Walter, senior director of employment policy at CAP and author of the issue brief. “Applicants for federal funds that demonstrate meaningful commitments to job equality and equity goals will increase their chances of winning federal funds and help ensure that today’s economic investments benefit working families now and for generations to come.”

Read the issue brief: “4 Job Quality Questions All Applicants for New Federal Funds Should Answer” by Karla Walter

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected].

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