In the wake of the 2016 election, Opportunity America convened a bipartisan study group, cosponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution, to consider the challenges facing working-class communities and craft a set of policy solutions. In November 2018, the group released its final report, Work, skills, community: Restoring opportunity for the working class – a slate of bipartisan proposals to create jobs, train and retrain workers and revitalize blue-collar communities.


Full report
Executive summary


Oren Cass, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute
Robert Doar, Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Kenneth A. Dodge, Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies, professor of psychology and neuroscience, Duke University
William A. Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair, Governance Studies Program, Brookings Institution
Ron Haskins, Cabot Family Chair and senior fellow, economic studies, Brookings Institution
Tamar Jacoby, president, Opportunity America
Anne Kim, senior fellow, director of domestic and social policy, Progressive Policy Institute
Lawrence M. Mead, professor of politics and public policy, New York University
Bruce Reed, co-chair, Future of Work Initiative, Aspen Institute
Isabel V. Sawhill, senior fellow, economic studies, Brookings Institution
Ryan Streeter, director, domestic policy studies, American Enterprise Institute
Abel Valenzuela, professor of Chicano studies and urban planning, director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California, Los Angeles
W. Bradford Wilcox, professor of sociology, University of Virginia


Listening tour and release events


The marriage divide: How and why working-class families are more fragile today W. Bradford Wilcox & Wendy Wang, AEI policy brief, 9-25-17
The working class and the federal government’s social safety net Angela Rachidi, AEI policy brief, 1-8-18
Nondegree credentials, work-based learning and the American working class Rooney Columbus, AEI policy brief, 1-11-19


DAVID BROOKS: The return of the chastened establishment New York Times, 11-22-18
Washington Journal, New report on the working class C-SPAN, 12-3-18
Call to expand federal aid for career education Inside Higher Ed, 11-29-18
MICHAEL STRAIN: Stop pretending the working class is helpless Bloomberg, 12-19-18
Getting paid not to work Reason, 11-26-18
Ohio listening tour comes to City Club Youngstown Vindicator, 10-2-18

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