Community

    The Cost of the Citizenship Question

    As the debate over adding the citizenship question to the 2020 census rages on, concerns over the effects of an undercount remain. According to a study by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, including the citizenship question, which would specifically ask participants about their citizenship status and birthplace, would lead to an undercount of 6 million Hispanics, or about 12 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population. The Washington Post worked with those who...

    The Argument for Regionally Based Job Training Programs

    Prior to passage of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) in 1973, job training programs were largely federally operated.  Moreover, they were very fragmented and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the way the programs were organized.  CETA changed all that. Though it remained federally funded, all funds were passed through to states and localities, and for the first time the job training system was locally operated through a system of “prime sponsors” – units of general purpose government such as cities or...

    Older Americans Month 2019: Connect, Create, Contribute

    Each year, more older adults are making a positive impact across America. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and resources to help communities support and celebrate their diversity. This year’s OAM theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their...

    The Importance of a Federally-funded Job Training System

    Workforce development programs – whether the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, the Job Training Partnership Act, the Workforce Investment Act or the current Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – have a long history in this nation, and have always had bipartisan support. The problem is that at a time of very low unemployment, the need for an effective and well-funded federal job training system may be greatest.   More recently, however, budget constraints at the federal level have kept funding for...

    Addressing Public Health Concerns Using Regional Solutions

    Happy National Public Health Week! This annual week-long celebration, spearheaded by the American Public Health Association (APHA), celebrates the nation’s public health successes while calling attention to our most pressing health-related challenges. In the words of APHA’s Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin: “We all have a responsibility to the health of our community and our country. We know our needs are as varied as our communities themselves.” That is why the role of regional councils in public health is so critical. Their relationships with all the...

    Census Day is a Year Away!

    We are officially one year away from the decennial census. By April 1, 2020 – National Census Day – the U.S. Census Bureau plans to send a letter or a door knocker to every U.S. household to conduct a constitutionally-mandated, nationwide headcount. Each year, our regions continue to grow and increase in diversity. Because this opportunity comes around only once every 10 years, it is critical that regions do everything they can to ensure a fair and accurate count for all our communities. The decennial census determines: How...

    Regions and the Aging of America

    According to the Population Reference Bureau,[1] the number and characteristics of America’s older residents is shifting dramatically. Here are some basic facts: The number of older Americans (those age 60 and older) will double from 46 million to more than 98 million by 2060;Older Americans by mid-century will make up nearly one-quarter of the population;The number of older Americans is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse; Older adults are working longer. By 2022 27 percent of older men and 20 percent of...

    2018 End of Year Summary

    In 2018, NARC advocated on your behalf on Capitol Hill and with the Administration, fostered innovative partnerships between members and with national organizations, and highlighted your daily successes. With active support from members like you, NARC has fostered better connections between members, increased our programming, and expanded our scope throughout the country. The political landscape is more divided than ever, but NARC will continue to bridge divides with a regional perspective in 2019. The coming year will be another important...

    MWCOG Celebrates 10 Years of Climate Action

    On November 14th, NARC staff attended Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (MWCOG) most recent Climate, Energy, and Environment Policy Committee meeting at MWCOG offices. The Committee met to celebrate ten years of climate action since MWCOG adopted their regional program on climate change in 2008. Additionally, Dr. James Kinter, Director of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere at George Mason University, gave a presentation on climate change and risks posed to the Metropolitan Washington region. Lastly, the Committee spent time discussing the...

    What’s in the President’s Proposal to Reorganize the Federal Government?
    full budget

    This is the first in a series of three blogs dealing with aspects of the president’s federal reorganization plan. It is based, in part, on a recent NARC Wednesday Legislative Briefing that was held on the president’s reorganization plan on Wednesday, August 7. On June 21, the president released his plan to reorganize certain parts of the executive branch. If adopted by Congress and implemented by the president, it would touch virtually every agency in the federal government and the way...

    President Seeks to Increase Job Training Opportunities for America’s Unskilled Workers
    job training

    On Thursday, July 18, the president signed an executive order that creates the Council for the American Worker. Led by the secretaries of commerce and labor, the Council is expected to focus on reorganizing federal workforce development programs and generating funding for new job training initiatives, especially apprenticeships and older worker training. This initiative comes as business and industry are reporting a shortage of qualified workers to fill the nearly six million job vacancies. Of the 6.6 million Americans who are...

    2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Bolsters Many State and Local Programs

    Following the release of the $1.3 trillion fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill on March 21, NARC staff has been combing through the 2,232 page document to learn how localities will be impacted by these federal program funding levels. Much of it is great news for regions! The bill proposes additional funding for so many of the priorities we have advocated for over the last year. Here are a few highlights: Transportation TIGER Grants: The TIGER program increased to $1.5 billion, tripling FY...

    Making the Census Count: How Regions Can Help
    census, populations

    Although 2020 is a few years away, preparations are already in full swing for the next Census. The groundwork that the U.S. Census Bureau is laying out today will affect the accuracy of the 2020 Census across the country. The Census Bureau is up against a significant accuracy issue: past Census reports have historically undercounted certain populations in the United States. These groups include young children, minorities, and low-income communities. The Census Bureau is once again concerned about this problem occurring...

    Implications of Southeast Michigan’s 2045 Forecast

    Demographic and socio-economic trends discussed in the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments’ (SEMCOG) 2045 Regional Forecast will necessitate some lifestyle changes in the greater Detroit, Michigan region. The biggest of these trends is the aging of the population and the lack of incoming young people. These trends will create a labor shortage that can impact a regional economy. One in four people in Southeast Michigan will be over age 65 by 2045. The same will be true in Singapore except they...

    Where Do Job Programs Stand in the Face of Potential Labor Department Cuts?
    labor cuts

    On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor/H) held a hearing at which the current Labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, testified on the president’s budget and other matters. While the conversation often strayed in various directions, including worker safety, foreign workers, public safety, and worker layoffs, it ultimately returned to jobs, and the clear belief by most members of the subcommittee that putting Americans to work requires a robust and effective...

    Federal Support for Job Training Programs
    job training

    On April 4, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing, Examining Federal Support for Job Training Programs. Witnesses included University of Maryland School of Public Policy Professor and Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Douglas J. Besharov, Urban Institute Fellow Dr. Demetra Smith Nightingale, and Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoe Baird. Bi-Partisanship on Capitol Hill? What may have been most striking about the hearing was the comity members exhibited throughout, the positive nature...

    Budget Facts and Talking Points to Share with Congressional Leaders
    talking points

    The budget process is complex and filled with arcane rules and complicated precedents. Over the past seven years, Congress has passed and the president has signed a number of so-called budget control acts designed to limit overall spending and reduce the deficit and the debt. As a result, the budgeting process became even more complicated. The Budget Environment Since the Budget Control Act of 2011, various budget control acts have placed caps on spending, meaning that Congress could appropriate no more than...

    Take Action! Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Non-Defense Discretionary Programs
    budget cuts

    Now is the time to take action. Now is the time to let Congress know that programs like the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program must not be cut. The president’s fiscal year 2018 budget, if adopted, would substantially reduce or eliminate programs important to regional councils. The upcoming congressional recess (Saturday, April 8 – Sunday, April 23) provides an excellent opportunity to meet with your...

    The Problem with Block Grants
    • Community Development Block Grant

    I know. We all like block grants. They give us the flexibility we say we need to effectively implement programs, and they come with few strings attached. Such is the case for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG); youth, adult, and dislocated programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA); the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG); and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to name a few. In large part we are not wrong. All 50 states and...

    The President’s Skinny Budget: What’s It All About?
    President

    The President Proposes On March 16, the president offered his “skinny budget.” Nicknamed “skinny” by the White House, the March 16 budget was released to offer an overview of the budget the president will finally submit to Congress in late April. Unfortunately, this budget does not present a very pretty picture. If adopted it would decimate many federal programs that are critical to the ongoing activities of most regional councils. It would also decimate many federal programs that are critical to the...