77th Annual Meeting

COMPETITIVE WORKFORCE

WHEREAS, mayors from cities across the nation met in Los Angeles September 23 and 24 to develop an action agenda on poverty to present to the next President of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Los Angeles meeting culminated two years of work by the Conference of Mayors Task Force on Poverty, Work and Opportunity on this national action agenda on poverty; and

WHEREAS, the mayors agreed that:

  • A large segment of the population in local communities is not prepared to meet the rapidly changing demands of the 21st century workplace, due to inadequate education, low skill levels and other barriers of poverty; and

  • Eleven million Americans are unable to read a bus schedule or fill out a job application; and

  • The largest growing segment of our youth labor force is largely minority and immigrant youth, and they are largely located in metro regions with high concentrations of poverty; and

  • The nation's growing unemployment rate is a reflection of a deeply distressed economy in which job opportunities are dwindling amid continuing turmoil in the housing, credit, and financial sectors; and

  • In this new era of global competition, America's economic health depends on the availability of a skilled workforce with the knowledge and ability to adapt to an ever-changing economy; and

  • A sustained commitment to local workforce development programs that produce measurable results is crucial to ensuring our continued competitiveness in the 21st century global economy,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors adopts as its policy the actions called for by the mayors in the National Action Agenda on Poverty:

  • Timely reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act and full funding of its programs to ensure a significant investment in lifelong learning for every American is needed; and

  • The workforce system should partner with education agencies to implement multiple pathways to the world of work and careers in high school, so that we can prepare students for first jobs in high-skill, high-wage careers, and increase their opportunities for further education; and

  • A new summer youth employment initiative that provides program funding directly to cities and urban counties should be developed. Well-organized summer jobs programs bring both immediate and long-term benefits to teen workers, their communities and the business sector.