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Tue Jun 17, 2014

Austin Interfaith leveraged a historic living wage concession from AISD school board members in a close-to-midnight vote approving the use of federal Davis-Bacon wage standards for workers employed on school construction projects.  After months of deliberation and negotiation, labor caucus leaders of Austin Interfaith testified at AISD board proceedings, backed by a large crowd of supporters.

Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez’s letter exhorting the Board to support Davis-Bacon wages was followed by impassioned testimony from leaders representing LiUNA, Education Austin, IBEW, Painters Local 1779, Pipefitters, Workers Defense Projects, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Equal Justice Center.  Plans are in the works for the school district to soon establish an accompanying living wage floor to raise the wages of the lowest paid workers.  [Photo Credit: Austin American Statesman]

Additional Coverage Here


Austin Interfaith leaders exhort AISD school board to support federal wage standard for workers.
Wed May 28, 2014

Valley Interfaith Project leaders celebrated the passage of a measure which would raise $21 Million for Maricopa Community Colleges, part of a long-term regional economic development strategy of the organization.  

Monica Dorsey, board member of Arizona Career Pathways, testified in support of the measure stating, "These community colleges are the best driver of economic development that we have."

More here.

Thu May 22, 2014

Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez called Project ARRIBA, and other Texas IAF labor market intermediaries, “the model workforce capacity job-training economic development program that we have in the state of Texas.”  With that said, leaders celebrated the award of $500,000 to ARRIBA to be used train an additional 300 students for a degree in a high demand occupation.  

 

A 2010 report prepared by the Institute for Policy and Economic Development at the University of Texas at El Paso, estimates that Project ARRIBA’s work provides a $26 return for every dollar invested.  Graduates of the labor market intermediary “contribute half a billion dollars to the El Paso economy,” ARRIBA Executive Director Roman Ortiz said.

The news came the same week ARRIBA celebrated its 1,000 graduate.

Project ARRIBA Receives $500,000 Grant to Improve Local WorkforceKVIA Channel 7 News

Project ARRIBA Receives $500,000 to Help 300 EPCC StudentsEl Paso Times

Video of Senator Rodriguez’s RemarksEl Paso Times


Thu May 1, 2014

Confronted with 40,000 unemployed & underemployed, while good manufacturing jobs remained unfilled and training facilities underutilized, DuPage United leaders worked together to form a novel plan.  Targeting 9,000 replacement skilled-jobs set to become available over the next ten years, DuPage established Career Connect Metro West (CCMW) to connect people to training programs for quality living-wage jobs in western Cook, DuPage and the Fox River towns of Kane and Kendall Counties.  Partnering with the Jan Addams Resource Corp. (JARC) and the Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing (AIM), CCMW will recruit cohorts of students for training with JARC and then work to connect them to manufacturers needing skilled workers.  

This workforce development strategy was developed out of the initiative of leaders who emabrked on 30 months of research, community-wide listening sessions, relationship building and public action.

More information here.  


Thu Feb 20, 2014

Capital IDEA celebrated its 15th anniversary and 1,000th graduate at the Norris Conference Center in Austin.  Elizabeth Soltero, the 1,000th graduate entertained the crowd with her story of triumph — learning English then learning her third language, Technical English, before landing a job in computer security.  Elected city and county officials were in attendance, and other graduates honored — including a single father who not  only worked his way through college, but volunteered at his son’s pre-school.

Facebook AlbumCapital IDEA

Elizabeth Soltero stands with Capital IDEA Executive Director Steve Jackobs.
Capital IDEA celebrates 1,000th Graduate, Elizabeth Soltero.
Fri Aug 9, 2013

Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez and Jacob Cortes of Austin Interfaith stand with workersIn the latest battle of a longstanding fight for living wages in Central Texas, 200 supporters of construction workers, including Austin Interfaith leaders, Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Austin Diocese and Workers Defense Project, rallied on the steps of City Hall demanding that workers receive the pay promised to them by developers of White Lodging, in exchange for $3.8 million in fee waivers granted by the City.

In the wee hours of the night, City Council voted unanimously to stand by its revocation of economic incentives in light of the developers’ refusal to pay the promised prevailing wages.  

[Photo Credit: Alberto Martinez, Austin American Statesman]

Council Approves Revoking of Marriott IncentivesAustin American Statesman

City Council Affirms Original Agreement with Marriott Developer, ABC – KVUE

Tue Jun 25, 2013

AMOS stands with Governor Branstad as he signs bill appropriating $200K for Project IOWARepublican Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa signed into law a bill that will appropriate $100,000 per year for Project IOWA for the next two years.  Project IOWA is a labor market intermediary that prepares adults for dignified participation in the labor market by training for jobs that already exist, and thus also helping employers find motivated and skilled workers.  Project IOWA was established with the support of AMOS to better address the jobs -skills mismatch in the state.

Wed Feb 13, 2013

Before the Delta Regional Authority would award workforce development project NOVA $208 thousand to expand training opportunities further into the Delta region, the proposal had to win the approval of Republican Congressman Rodney Alexander and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.  Northern Louisiana Interfaith successfully urged both officials to sign off, allowing NOVA to receive the award and pull more people out of working poverty in the Delta region.

Not only does NOVA train for good-paying jobs, NOVA works to transform bad jobs into better ones.  When approached by a call center seeking to train workers for high turnover jobs paying $8 / hour, NOVA challenged the employer to invest in worker development for higher paying work.  The call center responded and now NOVA trainees start at $10 / hour and move to $12.50 / hour within three months, including benefits; call center attrition has dropped.  NOVA is becoming a new kind of hiring hall, offering training for dignified work that pays fair wages and offers benefits.

Sat Aug 11, 2012

In Houston, The Metropolitan Organization united key clergy in support of janitors as they fought to protect previous wage increases and benefits; prior to the strike, workers earned $8.35 /hour or $8,684 annually.  Cardinal DiNardo, Bishop Rinehart and TMO clergy held a press conference exhorting contractors to respect union contracts and to give Houston janitors a raise.  The janitors succeeded in maintaining the contract AND securing a wage increase over four years.

Tue Jul 24, 2012

Many middle and high -skill jobs in Iowa will be increasingly difficult to fill because of demographic changes, structural change in the economy and divergent skill distribution in Iowa.  To address this impending shortage, A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS) established Project IOWA to train participants in advanced manufacturing and healthcare.  Thirty six workforce development trainees graduated in 2012 with 86% now established in career-track jobs with full-benefits and earning as much as $20 per hour.

Fri Jul 20, 2012

In San Antonio, COPS/Metro Alliance leaders applauded the decision of Ramen noodle producer Maruchan to withdraw its application for tax incentives.   Leaders fought the proposal because the company was asking for $8 Million in taxpayer money to subsidize minimum wage jobs, undermining the wage standard set by COPS/Metro with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County.  When Maruchan changed its mind, leaders welcomed the company to town.  [Photo of Fr. Steven Gamez by KENS5]

Mon Jun 4, 2012

Two participants of W/SWIAF labor market intermediary Project Quest took top honors at a statewide vocational nursing contest, demonstrating “through their achievements both their individual commitment as well as the value of this program in generating highly skilled workers from within our local community,” said Dave Marttala, Project Quest’s executive director.  Project QUEST was the first W/SWIAF labor market intermediary established; based in San Antonio, it was created through collaborative relationships initiated by COPS / Metro Alliance , the San Antonio business community leadership, employers of high-skill workers and other private and public entities.

Thu May 5, 2011

On 2nd May 2011, Trust for London announced to the 2,000 citizens at Citizens UK's Living Wage 10th Anniversary Assembly the new rate of £8.30 per hour. A new figure was also agreed with Loughborough University and Rowntrees at £7.20 per hour for employers outside London.  A focus on the retail sector was agreed by the Living Wage Steering Committee and ‘Lush’ from the private sector offered to lead the way across their 20 outlets. It was also agreed to explore the four major supermarket chains and to seek a working relationship with them for the long term. 


Mon Nov 8, 2010

London 2012 from its inception has been an organising opportunity for TELCO, and the work continues. Over 700 people gathered at an Assembly in November 2010 to focus on the Olympics. We negotiated publicly with officials from all three Olympic Games agencies (the Delivery Authority, the Organising Committee, and the Legacy Company).

A month after our action, LOCOG (the Organising Committee for the Games) announced that all 130,000 jobs during the Games will be paid at least a London Living Wage.

During April, TELCO schools took advantage of the International Olympic Committee visiting London and organised a celebration rally of the Ethical Guarantees that were struck between TELCO and the Olympic agencies. Over 300 students from East London schools attended the celebration rally; gave ‘Civil Society’ awards to the Chief Executives of the Olympic agencies; reminded them of their commitments to the organised people of East London and asked LOCOG to work with TELCO to ensure that local people are given job opportunities during the Games. We have since held two successful pilot jobs fayres, spearheaded by St Thomas More in North Hackney and St Katherine’s in Bow.

In September, the TELCO team plans to roll out ten jobs fairs, clustered around anchor institutions.


Neighborhood Development

Fri Aug 4, 2017

Four months after a nonpartisan accountability assembly in which 750 COPS / Metroleaders secured public commitments of support for senior housing rehabilitation from city council candidates, the San Antonio City Council unanimously voted to support the allocation of $6.5 Million during the next year.  This represents a 261% increase in funding and will allow the city to rehab 81 homes in the next fiscal year, compared to 25 in the current year.

Said COPS / Metro leader Shirley Ellis of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, “It is now time for the ‘Decade of Neighborhoods.’  Instead of investing in developers, we should invest in homeowners — homeowners who have invested their lives into this community.”

Last April, Mayor “Nirenberg and council members Roberto Treviño, William “Cruz” Shaw, Rebecca Viagran, Rey Saldaña, Shirley Gonzalez and Ana Sandoval all publicly committed to boost funding for rehabilitation.  According to the San Antonio Express-News,” Then Mayor Ivy Taylor did not attend the accountability session, nor would she make the same commitment.”  

COPS / Metro leaders delivered 8,555 people to the polls in support of their issues agenda.

[Photo Credit:  Jerry Lara, San Antonio Express-News]

Housing Renovation Projects Get More MoneySan Antonio Express-News [pdf]

Nonpartisan accountability assembly

Press conference on housing bond accountability

 

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