McCormack Speaks

June 29, 2017
by justinmaher
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Workforce Development Conference Brings New Ideas and Renewed Passion

At a recent conference organized by McCormack’s Center for Social Policy (CSP), keynoter Ronald G. Marlow urged workforce development professionals not to bury themselves so deeply in their tasks that they lose perspective. “Sometimes we get so busy doing our job that we forget to do the work associated with doing the job — connecting with stakeholders, informing and bringing along allies, and engaging those who may be antagonistic to mitigate their concerns,” said Marlow, who is vice president for workforce development at National Urban League.

McCormack student Ronald G. Marlow delivers CWC conference keynote, May 11, 2017.

McCormack student Ronald G. Marlow delivers CWC conference keynote, May 11, 2017.

Marlow, who is also a former board member of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) and a current UMass Boston Public Policy PhD candidate, delivered a powerful message of equality, urging a focus on disadvantaged populations.

The 14th annual “Sharing Skills – Building Connections” conference, held this past May in Sturbridge, was organized by the Commonwealth Workforce Coalition (CWC), which is administered by CSP and CEDAC. The Commonwealth Workforce Coalition is a statewide initiative that seeks to strengthen the capacity of Massachusetts’ education, training, and workforce system to produce better employment and earnings outcomes for unemployed and underemployed residents. In 2016, CEDAC entered into a partnership with the Center for Social Policy (CSP) to administer the Commonwealth Workforce Coalition.

Each year, workforce development professionals convene to share their experiences and expertise to help develop strategies to support economic prosperity for all Massachusetts residents. Dean David W. Cash congratulated Susan Crandall, Director of CSP, and her staff for their efforts to make the conference a success. “This year’s Commonwealth Workforce Coalition conference provided a forum for diverse stakeholders to share innovative approaches to foster workforce development initiatives at the local and state level. Our Center for Social Policy conducts research and facilitates cross-sector capacity building that engages McCormack faculty, staff, students, and community collaborators to holistically address critical issues like economic mobility.”

Read more about the conference in CEDAC’s latest newsletter.

June 26, 2017
by justinmaher
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Dean Cash Testifies at MA Legislature in Support of Carbon Pricing Policies

By David W. Cash, Dean of the John W. McCormack School of Policy and Global Studies

Dean Cash provides testimony in support of carbon pricing policies at the Massachusetts legislature, June 20, 2017

Dean Cash provides testimony at the MA legislature. Photo: Bill Ravanesi ©2017. 

On June 20, I had the honor to testify before the Massachusetts Legislature Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy in support of policies that would establish carbon pricing.  Establishing a carbon fee will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have many economic benefits — driving innovation, playing to Massachusetts’ strengths in technology development and entrepreneurship, creating economic equity, boosting clean energy economic development and providing the most cost-effective path to reach our mandated emissions targets.

You can listen to my testimony and read the full statement below.


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June 15, 2017
by justinmaher
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Mother Knows Best: At the Intersection of Low-wage Work, Public Assistance and Child Care

by Robert Turner, McCormack Graduate School Senior Fellow

“Current policy approaches make it impossible for families to create a stable life.” Mother and daughter

This blunt assessment—and the visionary yet common sense proposals accompanying it— are part of a Ford-Foundation-funded study and partnership of Françoise Carré, research director of the Center for Social Policy (CSP), 9to5 National Association of Working Women, and Lisa Dodson of Brandeis University. The study is titled “Mothers Know Best; At the intersection of low-wage work, public assistance and child care.”

Far too often, their report concludes, federal, state, and local policies smother the efforts of families to lift themselves and their children out of poverty.

The research was conducted in Massachusetts, Colorado, and Georgia. In addition to policy analysis, it included in-depth focus groups and follow-up interviews with one hundred low-income parents, mostly mothers, whose real-life frustrations inform the work. “The whole system sets people up to fail,” said one mother in Georgia. A grandmother added, “It punishes people who are trying to do better.”

Among the report’s recommendations:

  • Consider wages and public assistance jointly to eliminate “cliff effects” that, for instance, wipe out a young mother’s child care subsidy when she gets a modest pay raise.
  • Focus on the children, especially their safety, health, and stability.
  • Promote work that includes a pathway out of poverty, such as education and training for more skilled positions.
  • Recognize and dismantle the barrier of discrimination.
  • Listen to affected women, and include them in policy-making councils.

The study is part of the Integrating Resources to Strengthen Low-income Families project, a partnership of 9to5, the National Association of Working Women; the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University; and the Center for Social Policy (CSP) at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston.

Dr. Carré’s colleagues in this report were now retired 9to5 Executive Director Linda Meric and Dr. Lisa Dodson, senior scientist and faculty at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis.

Susan Crandall, the CSP director, said the report complements CSP’s “research agenda for the On Solid Ground coalition”, which aims to improve housing stability and economic mobility through a cross-sector, research-based, and family centered approach.

June 2, 2017
by justinmaher
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Professor Christian Weller Reflects on Obama’s Economic Legacy

In their new Center for American Progress issue brief, Public Policy and Public Affairs Professor Christian Weller and CAP Associate Director Brendan Duke analyze a diverse range of metrics to shed better light on the Obama administration’s economic legacy. 

Christian WellerObama’s Legacy on the Economy Is Anything But a Mess

The economy improved markedly under former President Barack Obama, from the start of 2009 through the end of 2016. Faced with the specter of another Great Depression in winter 2009, President Obama enacted a series of policies that helped the economy avoid that fate. The economy was growing again by the second half of 2009, and jobs followed suit by early 2010.

Read in full at Center for American Progress.

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