Research Reports

Research Reports

Policy Agenda 2022: A Coordinated System from Cradle-to-Career in California

2022-Policy_Agenda-3.jpgCalifornia’s public servants, including the next Governor, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and State Legislators, have a significant responsibility and will have the power to uplift millions of Californians and brighten their futures.

The past few years have been marked by both incredible struggle for California’s children, families, and residents; and important progress towards better policies and systems change to serve them. Notably, the $2.7 billion investment in Universal Transitional Kindergarten; $3 billion one- time Prop 98 investments for the expansion of Community Schools throughout California; $1 billion investment for the Learning-Aligned Employment Program and Golden State Education and Training Program to support students and adult workers; Development of and initial implementation funding for Recovery with Equity: A Roadmap for Higher Education After the Pandemic; and legislation and investments to establish a statewide, longitudinal data system for California all demonstrate the state’s commitment to a cradle-to-career policy agenda. While these successes should be celebrated, significant work remains.

We are all responsible for transforming our institutions and systems so they support all students to reach their full potential. This necessitates a cradle to career approach to ensure California’s education and workforce systems are focused on racial and social justice, and are better coordinated — from cradle to career — to create a seamless path for students across the whole developmental spectrum.

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Strengthening Regional Economies by Investing in the Education of English/ Dual Language Learners

22_ELL_DLL_One_Pager_1.jpgEnglish/Dual Language Learners (EL/DLL) programs in California are a critical vehicle for remaining the fifth largest economy in the world and accomplishing the state’s Global California 2030 goals, which look to equip students with the tools to ensure all Californians can thrive and succeed in the global economy.

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Improving Equitable Employment Outcomes for Transition-Age Foster Youth in L.A. County

oyc_study_image.jpgIn July, the L.A. Compact, convened by UNITE-LA, together with the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative, released a case study detailing its efforts to connect foster youth to public workforce programs in L.A. County using a shared referral process across agencies. This brief describes the development and implementation of a process to coordinate and streamline foster youth referrals to workforce programs and includes specific recommendations for process improvement based on feedback from both network partners and foster youth themselves.

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Getting Back to Work: Revamping the Economy by Removing Past Records

GettingBacktoWork_Quote_Durazo.pngOn March 3, 2021, we unveiled our Getting Back to Work: Revamping the Economy by Removing Past Records report with Californians for Safety and Justice. We were joined by Senator Maria Elena Durazo, who introduced SB 731, along with co-authors Sen. Nancy Skinner and Sen. Steven Bradford.

UNITE-LA and Californians for Safety and Justice have been working to reduce the barriers that people with records face when they are looking to enter the workforce. Together, they commissioned this study to understand the scale of the problem in California. Working with data analysts and researchers, this study estimates the number of people with past records and the impact these records have on California’s economy.

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The Economic Benefits of a Professional Early Care and Education Workforce in Los Angeles County

Beacon-ECE-Report_1.jpgThe Early Care and Education (ECE) workforce, or child care workers, who serve Los Angeles County preschools and its broader child care infrastructure is facing a crisis. The ECE workforce sector continues to face chronic recruitment and retention challenges. The pandemic has only exacerbated matters. But behind this setback lies an opportunity to link state funding for ECE workforce wage subsidies to local development initiatives. CA’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care is a starting point that serves as a roadmap for building a comprehensive early learning system that is good for families, working guardians, employers and our future workforce. 

UNITE-LA commissioned Beacon Economics, an independent economic research consulting firm, to prepare The Economic Benefits of a Professional Early Care and Education Workforce in L.A. County, a report on the economic effects of paying ECE workers wages that match qualifications. Read the findings in the one-pager and full report below.

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New Americans in Los Angeles (2020 Update)

UNITE-LA worked with New American Economy to publish a new snapshot of the demographic and economic contributions of immigrants in L.A.

There are approximately 4,410,399 immigrant residents in Los Angeles and over 9% of them are entrepreneurs. Nationwide, immigrant households contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal income, state, and local taxes and hold a tremendous amount of spending power. In 2017, total immigrant spending power was $108.6 billion. For more highlights, please view the report. 

 

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Evaluation of the California Paid Family Leave Program

BACEI_PaidFamilyLeave_1.jpgWith support from UNITE-LA, the Small Business Majority and the Bay Area Council, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute conducted an evaluation of California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program from 2004-2018 using data from the California Employment Development Department, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the California Department of Public Health. The research focused on PFL program utilization and how it has changed over time, the impact of PFL on labor force participation, and the impact of PFL on firms, particularly firm labor costs and exit rates. 

This report to the Governor’s PFL Task Force offers findings on the effect of Paid Family Leave to date, to inform what the possible effects of expanding the PFL program would be.

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We Choose ALL: Building a System of Excellent Public Education

After developing its content over the past year and a half, we are pleased to present the full We Choose ALL research and policy brief series. This post links to the 100-page book, but you can also view the individual briefs in the blog posts here

In early 2016, representatives of UNITE-LA, In the Public Interest, the Advancement Project, the Learning Policy Institute and UCLA IDEA came together with the goal of informing public debate about the four-fold increase in L.A. charter school enrollment and declining LAUSD enrollment. We called ourselves, the “We Choose All” coalition, in recognition of our shared interest in supporting an educational system that provides high quality education to all Los Angeles students.

We entered the conversation recognizing the wonderful work of Los Angeles educators in both district and charter schools as well as the civic energy of labor and community leaders, advocates and philanthropists who grappled with one another to define the future of Los Angeles schools. Yet, we worried that “reform” that emerges without systemic planning and public deliberation could not meet the needs of all Los Angeles students.

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New Americans in Los Angeles (2018)

This report presents a snapshot of the demographic and economic contributions of immigrants in Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles. In 2014, foreign-born residents in Los Angeles County contributed a total of $232.9 billion or 35.7% of the county’s total GDP. Please view the report for more highlights.

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Small Businesses, Big Challenges

We surveyed small businesses in Los Angeles and nationally to understand practices and supports for employee upskilling. 

To provide further context and insight into small business’ practices and challenges with respect to upskilling, we conducted two anonymous Los Angeles focus groups with business leaders, as well as three one-on-one interviews with Key Respondents knowledgeable of small business concerns and practices. Survey results and focus group feedback are presented in the research brief below. 

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