Principles

The principles for the community-labor coalition are the following:

  1. Economic Development is Community Development
  2. Good Jobs: Living Wages & Safe Working Conditions
  3. Access to Good Jobs

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Economic Development is Community Development

PREAMBLE

The Worcester Community-Labor Coalition (WCLC) works to have a voice in the economic development plans of Central Massachusetts, especially for low-income communities and people of color. Coalition members understand that labor and community interests are the same.  A trained workforce with access to good jobs is a vital component of any vibrant community. Good jobs are safe, they provide family-sustaining wages and benefits, and they offer opportunities for advancement and career development.

WCLC is made up of community groups and labor organizations whose members share similar interests and strive to impact public policy as well as private business practices. We believe we are more effective when we work together under a common purpose as a coalition. That is why our coalition is guided by democratically agreed upon principles that reflect these four components: Clarity, Accountability, Transparency and Results.

THE PRINCIPLES

Principles help create clear objectives for the member organizations of the coalition. The principles for the community-labor coalition are the following:

  1. Economic Development is Community Development

  2. Good Jobs: Living Wages & Safe Working Conditions

  3. Access to Good Jobs

Economic Development is Community Development

Neighborhoods are the foundation of any great city. Worcester is a diverse city with many low-income neighborhoods. It is also a great place to live and work and consequently, Worcester is currently seen as a great place to invest and grow businesses. The danger is to divorce community needs from economic outcomes.

Without a cooperative effort from communities, labor groups, businesses and city officials, economic growth may leave Worcester’s low-income communities and communities of color behind. To prevent increased inequality, the WCLC believes that Worcester’s economic development, especially public funds, city development plans and agreements with private entities should have community benefits that help nurture community development in low-income neighborhoods and good jobs for Worcester residents.

Community development promotes public safety, lowers dependency on public assistance, promotes environmentally healthy and sustainable neighborhoods, reduces foreclosures and urban blight and helps families enter the middle class, so they can invest in their neighborhoods and their children’s lives. This in turn strengthens the municipal budget by reducing public assistance and by increasing tax revenues.

Good Jobs

Not all jobs are good jobs. Family sustaining wages and strong benefits strengthen the economic and social fabric of our communities while building the city’s tax base.

Good jobs provide:

  1. Family sustaining wages and benefits that maintain or raise area standards

  2. Safe working conditions

  3. Career ladders and job training

  4. A democratic voice in the workplace

  5. Protections from discrimination

Access to Good Jobs

The WCLC works towards creating good jobs as well as creating pathways to good jobs for adults and youth who have been traditionally excluded from employment opportunities or may have significant barriers to employment. Job training, local hiring provisions and community driven economic development policies significantly reduce barriers that prevent communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color, from accessing good jobs.

  1. Job Training (pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs)

The WCLC supports investment in the current (adults) and future (youth) workforce because a trained and skilled workforce is productive and safe. We strongly believe in apprenticeship programs because they are a gateway to a middle class career. Pre-apprenticeship programs prepare individuals for employment in good jobs and are necessary to ensure that people with significant barriers to employment will succeed.

  1. Local hiring

The coalition will hold with public officials and private entities accountable to hiring Worcester County residents. This could take many forms and includes but is not limited to community benefit agreements with developers, institutions and businesses as well as public policy initiatives.

The city should invest our tax monies in our communities by helping to foster the creation of good jobs.

  1. CORI friendly

Criminal records are a major obstacle for many people who are trying to find a job. The coalition commits to extend progressive CORI practices that reflect all appropriate state, federal and local laws, including the Worcester Fair CORI Practices Ordinance.

MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNTABILITY

Our member organizations have come together under the structure of WCLC so that we can accomplish results and hold each other accountable. Principles of accountability provide a structure for membership organizations. They ensure that member organizations have a stake in the outcomes of the coalition and it helps to ensure that each organization carries out its obligations, helping the coalition achieve results. Accountability also promotes confidence from the public, including local officials, private institutions and businesses.

Once all coalition members have agreed on a campaign, demand, or action, all members of the coalition must publicly support the decision. This creates a “united coalition,” projecting the voices of community and labor as one. 

 

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