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Good Jobs for All: How Federal Laws Can Create Pathways From Education and Training to Good Jobs

Getty/Brian van der Brug An iron worker climbs a ladder at a terminal for a new people mover at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles on December 31, 2020.

Despite the billions of dollars that the federal government spends each year on education and workforce training, education and labor market outcomes remain inequitable.

For example, not all students graduate from high school, and even when they do, most are ineligible for their post-secondary training program of choice.

Research shows that students do not receive sufficient information about what careers are available and which courses best lead to those options, so they waste time in courses that do not lead to good jobs. What’s more, it is not clear how effective public workforce programs are at raising wages and increasing access to better jobs.

These poor outcomes in part result from how Congress structures and funds federal K-12 education, higher education, and workforce laws. For example, even though federal legislation should help students achieve the same long-term outcome of getting a good job, these laws have different purposes, are on different timelines, and the funds they provide can be used in a wide variety of ways. These […]

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