Welcome to the Economic Analysis and Research (EARN) Industrial Policy Resource Library. This document is maintained by Economic Policy Institute (EPI) staff who support the work of over 60 state and local research and policy organizations who make up the EARN network across 46 states and the District of Columbia.
The library consists of a curated, annotated compilation of links to practical resources of use to those working at the state and local level to leverage federal investments toward creating good union jobs, increasing worker power, and building high-road workforce training partnerships that advance racial and gender equity.
This resource library is designed for use by EARN groups and their many labor and grassroots partners, policymakers and public agency staff, and other stakeholders and allies who are working on the state and local level to maximize the long-term economic benefits of federal industrial policy investments created or expanded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and CHIPS and Science Act.
Historic federal investments in infrastructure and clean energy transition created by the BIL, IRA, and CHIPS and Science Act are providing unprecedented opportunities to advance many of the economic justice goals EARN groups and their partners have long fought for—good jobs, worker power, strong labor standards, and progress on racial, gender, and climate justice. But these outcomes are by no means automatic, and a myriad of important policy choices and challenges lie ahead for every state and local jurisdiction across the country.
In this context, state and local policies, programs, and practices shaping labor standards and worker power have never been more important. Some of the funding opportunities and mechanisms in these laws require the kinds of labor standards necessary to ensure that good jobs, equity, and worker power result from major public investments. In most cases, however, these labor standards are purely optional, if they are mentioned at all. Individual federal program and funding rules are highly variable across agencies, allowing wide latitude for state and local governments and labor and community stakeholders to shape the uses of many federal funds and the rules that private employers and contractors receiving funds will be expected to follow.
This resource library is intended to serve as a hub for 1) sharing practical guidance on navigating complex information streams associated with the three major industrial policy bills and the federal agencies administering them, and 2) providing easy access to how-to guides best practices, and implementation resources designed for state and local advocates.
Last updated January 22, 2024
- December 31, 2022
- Tyler Mac Innis, Janet Bauer, Nhi Nguyen
All Oregonians deserve to live in dignity — to enjoy economic security and the possibility to thrive. This is doable. Oregon, after all, is a prosperous place, with enough resources for everyone to live well.
But for a vast number of Oregonians today, economic security feels like an impossible dream. At a time when the income of the richest Oregonians has reached record highs, many low-paid Oregonians can’t afford basic necessities such as food, housing, and health care. Economic insecurity afflicts Oregonians of all races. As a result of an economy designed to benefit the white and wealthy, it is especially pronounced among Black, Indigenous and other Oregonians of color.
Data for the People provides the latest publicly-available data on the economic well-being of Oregonians. To better reflect the realities of particular communities, wherever possible we break down data by race and ethnicity using Race, Ethnicity, Language, and Disability (REAL-D) categories developed by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). For more information about this process, as well as data sources used throughout, see our detailed methodology.
The data make clear the need for Oregon to create an economy that is more equitable in its prosperity. OCPP’s Action Plan for the People lays out a policy roadmap to shift the economic system to benefit all Oregonians, not just the wealthy few. We invite you to explore this data set.
- October 7, 2022
- Michael Lawliss, Lew Finfer, and Jennifer Sherer
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), was signed into law on November 15, 2021. This federal legislation will bring $1.2 trillion to states and cities over the next 5 years to repair and build roads and bridges, public transportation, the broadband network, and water infrastructure, among many other critical infrastructure projects. Each state will receive billions of dollars in funding over the next 5 years through mandatory and competitive grants, loans, and bonds.
Local and targeted hiring refers to policies attached to major economic development and construction projects that seek to ensure that a certain percentage of the jobs on the contract be set aside for local residents or for job seekers that share a particular set of demographic characteristics, such as being from communities historically underrepresented in an industry or experiencing barriers to employment. A range of community and labor advocates worked together with federal policymakers to include a provision in the BIL that allows policymakers to enact preferences for local and economically-targeted hiring on highway and transit construction projects receiving financial support from the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). This is the first time local and economically-targeted hire on federally-funded projects is allowed after years of community advocacy.
This guide provides an overview of local and targeted hiring policies, answers key questions for states and cities looking to implement these policies, and offers success stories from around the country. The BIL represents an important organizing opportunity for community groups and unions to meet with state officials on incorporating local and economically-targeted hiring provisions in the highway and transit construction contracts that local agencies will be issuing over each of the next 5 years. Our hope is that this guide will be helpful not just for BIL implementation, but for other local initiatives and future legislation as well.
EARN Worker Power Project Bulletin
State and local policy updates and resources for advancing racial, gender, and economic justice
We know EARN groups around the country are already contributing ideas, research, analysis, strong testimony, coalition building, and more to act in solidarity with workers who are organizing to build power in a wide array of state and local contexts.