Eighteen months after the largest job losses in U.S. history, unemployment is still high as workers, particularly Black and Hispanic workers, continue to struggle. While some indicators suggest the economy continues to recover, that recovery is uneven and fragile. America urgently needs a solution that supports workers, employers and communities alike, without leaving anyone behind. One proven and adaptable strategy that policymakers at all levels of government can mobilize now is subsidized employment.
The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis made employment more scarce and exacerbated long-standing challenges—like access to quality child care—for millions of workers, particularly workers who are Black and Brown. This brief, published in partnership with Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, shares the success story of Milwaukee’s New Hope Project—a program with a package of work-based supports that included subsidized jobs, earnings supplements, affordable health care, and child care. New Hope provides a blueprint for creating holistic, work-based approaches that significantly improve employment and family outcomes for participants and their communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.