...Building Shared Prosperity

Through economic research and analysis, Working Partnerships USA seeks to transform the discussion about the New Economy, exposing income inequality and the middle-class squeeze.   Our work and the dialog it provokes form the foundation for new policy and business models that address the urgent economic challenges facing Silicon Valley's working families. The resulting local initiatives model innovative, replicable approaches to building an economy that generates broadly shared prosperity.

Current Projects

Regional Job Standards
Working Partnerships is in the initial stages of an initiative to design and pilot a new approach to community voice in development projects to ensure that the coming wave of private and public development in Silicon Valley -- and the broader Bay Area -- generates good jobs, supports local neighborhoods and leads to sustainable economic growth. Projects include:

  • Developing a policy framework and accompanying regulatory language to encourage creation of high-road local jobs via the local government planning and entitlements process. In coalition with several local unions, we have developed initial language tailored for the City of Sunnyvale, and plan to adapt this language for an additional city.
  • Working to win more meaningful community engagement and commitments to good local jobs on projects involving the redevelopment of public lands, targeting two large areas in the City of Santa Clara and the County of Santa Clara, respectively, which are in the process of exclusive negotiations with a developer.
  • Extending our policy research on job quality and access in the construction sector through completing studies of the effects of Project Labor Agreements and prevailing wage standards on local contracting. This research has demonstrated the effectiveness of policy tools for increasing the positive impacts of public works construction on local economic opportunity. WPUSA's body of work on this topic has been cited to support successful policy efforts from Santa Clara to San Diego. Most recently, in October 2013 this research was influential in persuading the Mountain View City Council to approve applying prevailing wage to affordable housing projects with a 6-1 vote. We are now bottomlining a coalition of building trades unions, WIBs and community to move to the next step: a Community Workforce Agreements pilot project to develop a construction careers pipeline to expand apprenticeship opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged residents in Silicon Valley.

Life in the Valley Economy: Silicon Valley Progress Report
Working Partnerships USA's periodic economic report, Life in the Valley Economy (LIVE), will evaluate the state of working families in Silicon Valley. Scheduled for spring publication, LIVE 2014 will offer fresh data on employment, wages, cost of living, housing, health care, transportation, financial security, education, environment and more, all through the lens of middle-class and low-income Santa Clara County residents.

 


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