EARN is a nationwide network of research, policy, and public engagement organizations fighting, state by state, for an economy that works for everyone.

Our member organizations work in cities and states throughout the country, providing data-based assessments of local conditions for working families and offering policy roadmaps to shared economic opportunity and security.

EARN partners work with advocates, civic leaders, businesses, and policymakers at every level of government to ensure all Americans have the resources they need to build productive and secure lives. They promote high-road economic growth, pursuing economic development strategies that lessen racial and economic inequity and raise living standards for working people, families, and communities across the nation.  They advance policies that raise wages, guarantee paid sick days and paid family leave, and establish standards for stable and predictable work schedules. They work to secure access to high-quality childcare, education and job training, and livable retirement benefits.

Founded in 1998, EARN is a network of more than 60 state and local organizations in 44 states that share expertise and resources to strengthen each other and pursue their common mission. Together with collaborating scholars and national organizations, along with allied state and local groups representing affected communities, EARN partners constitute the core progressive research and policy infrastructure for shaping and promoting a better economic future in the states.

Our team

  • Dianne Stewart, Director of EARN and Network Engagement

    Dianne Stewart

    Dianne Stewart is the Director of EARN and Network Engagement at the Economic Policy Institute where she engages national networks and constituencies on initiatives to combat economic inequality and promote the well-being of workers and their families. Working together with EARN’s members, donors, and allies across the country, Stewart facilitates strategic joint initiatives and broadens coalitions on the wide range of issues affecting low- and middle-income workers. Dianne was the founder and 12-year ED of the Texas-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, an early member of EARN, the State Priorities Partnership, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count network. Dianne also founded Public Works, engaging for 14 years with state-based groups across the country to help them make the case for the role of government in improving the lives of working families.

  • David Cooper, Deputy Director of EARN, Senior Economic Analyst

    David Cooper

    David Cooper helps to coordinate EARN, and leads EPI’s technical and analytical support for the network. As a researcher at the Economic Policy Institute, he conducts both national and state-level research, with a focus on the minimum wage, wage theft, employment and unemployment, poverty, and wage and income trends.

    David’s analyses on the impact of minimum wage laws have been used by policymakers and advocates in city halls and statehouses across the country, as well as in Congress and the White House. He has testified in many states and cities on the challenges facing low-wage workers and their families, and has been interviewed and cited by numerous local and national media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and NPR.

  • Janelle Jones, Economic Analyst

    Janelle Jones

    Janelle Jones supports the work of EARN groups with customized data resources, technical assistance, and policy guidance. As an analyst at EPI, she researches a variety of labor market topics within EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE). She was previously a research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), where she worked on topics including racial inequality, unemployment, job quality, and unions. Her research has been cited in The New Yorker, The Economist, Harper’s, The Washington Post, The Review of Black Political Economy, and other publications. She also worked as an economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  • Jessica Schieder, Research Assistant

    Jessica Schieder

    Jessica Schieder supports both EPI and EARN research initiatives. She specializes in research on wage trends, executive compensation, the gender wage gap, and various measures of inequality.

    Schieder’s work has been cited by numerous broadcast, radio, print, and online news outlets, including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and The New Yorker.

    Prior to joining EPI, Jessica worked at the Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch) as a fiscal policy analyst, where she examined how budget and tax policy decisions impact working families.