Investments in Policy

The Collaborative supports research, advocacy, and consensus-building efforts aimed at informing key state and local workforce policy decisions. Our partners in this arena represent a spectrum of approaches to impacting workforce policy, from focused budget and legislative tracking and analysis to mobilization of community leaders and stakeholders through coordinated campaigns.


  • The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act was passed, overcoming a Governor’s veto, requiring employers with 15+ employees to earn up to seven (7) days of paid sick leave in one year.
  • The Maryland Fair Access to Education Act was passed, also overcoming a Governor’s veto, requiring colleges and universities who do not use a third-party vendor to remove the arrest/conviction question from the initial admissions application.
  • The Universal Paid Leave Act was adopted by the DC Council to give workers eight weeks of paid family leave for new parents, six weeks to care for a sick family member and two weeks of personal medical leave.
  • In DC, the Workforce Development System Transparency Act requires the District’s Workforce Investment Council (WIC) to create a guide detailing the District’s spending on workforce development and adult education programs, as well as the performance outcomes of those programs.
  • In Maryland, the Adult High School Pilot Program ACT (MD HB 1381) will allow for the establishment of up to six adult education and workforce development schools, in conjunction with the State Department of Labor and Education.
  • The approved 2018 District budget includes $2 million to allow adult learners to travel for free using public transportation – recognizing that many students miss class and fail to complete their programs because they don’t have bus or subway fare.
  • In partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent for Education and the DC Deputy Mayor for Education, supported the launch of the DC Re-Engagement Center, a drop-in center for youth who are not connected to work and school. More than 400 youth have been supported to reconnect in the first few years of this important initiative.


Below are some of the specific organizations and advocacy that our work has funded:

DC Appleseed’s critical advocacy efforts to increase adult literacy outcomes for District residents, support the creation of an effective Career Pathways system in the District, and support the District’s efforts to improve our local American Job Center system.

DCFPI’s efforts to support public policy research and advocacy on selected workforce development issues in including developing annual workforce budget toolkits, effective local implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and mapping the complex workforce funding streams available to support programs in the District.

JOTF’s efforts to ensure that Greater Washington workers, employers, and nonprofits are represented in state-level discussions on workforce policy. JOTF has led efforts to remove policy barriers for returning citizens to access employment, investigated new models of adult education for Maryland, and led efforts around family-friendly workforce policies including paid sick leave.

MDCEP advances innovative policy ideas to foster broad prosperity and help Maryland be the blueprint for responsible public policy.

TCI’s efforts to better link the needs and perspectives of Northern Virginia stakeholders in workforce policy conversations in Richmond. Commonwealth has addressed issues including WIOA planning and implementation, expansion of the EITC, and better leveraging SNAP E&T funding for Virginia residents.