Our country faces the most devastating economic crisis since the Great Depression, and NSC stands with the working people and local businesses who have been most impacted by the pandemic’s economic fallout. Our federal and state governments should provide immediate and sustained relief to those who are out of work, out of business, or just barely hanging on. Income support, healthcare assistance, paid leave, and payroll protection to mitigate small business layoffs will be necessary for some time to come. These immediate responses are essential, but policymakers also need to start investing in our future today, in a way that ensures that every worker and every small business can be part of our nation’s economic recovery.
A set of generation-defining investments in inclusive skills policy can contribute to addressing the disproportionate impact of the economic crisis on workers of color, immigrants, and workers with a high school diploma or less; the essential role of small businesses who hire locally and invest in their people but need policymakers to be their partner; and the moral and economic imperative to dismantle structural racism within workforce education and training.