Federal Policymakers Hear from Working Learner Advisory Council During Leadership Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Posted: May 11th, 2015

(March 31, 2015) – At a leadership meeting held March 30-31, 2015, ACT Foundation’s Working Learner Advisory Council (WLAC) met with representatives from the White House National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, and U.S. Departments of Education and Labor. These meetings focused on issues surrounding working and learning in a National Learning Economy and on the need for working-learner friendly policies and programs.  During this two-day visit, the council members also received guidance from Capitol Hill staffers, former staffers, and other policy consultants from across the political spectrum on the policy process and communicating with their representatives in Washington.  At every stop, the WLAC members shared their individual stories and the issues they hope to see addressed in future policy.

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ACT Foundation supports working learners across the nation in the quest to better integrate their living, learning, and working worlds in pursuit of education and workplace success. As part of this effort, the WLAC was formed to provide ACT Foundation with valuable insight into the lives of today’s working learners and serve as a direct voice for working learners in the development of real-world solutions that meet their needs. The two-day leadership meeting provided the WLAC members with opportunities to learn from policy experts, ask questions, and engage in a robust dialogue with the people helping craft legislation, policies, and programs that both inform and inspire change for workforce development, economics, and education.

Representing diverse economic, ethnic, education, and work backgrounds from across the nation, the council consists of 18 working learners aged 19 to 29 who were nominated by colleagues and associates for their hard work, leadership, and commitment to personal and professional development. The WLAC meets monthly to address topics such as learning opportunities for low-income working learners, systemic barriers that exist for working learners in work and in learning, the perspectives of working learners to inform the foundation’s programmatic activities, and investment work currently under way at ACT Foundation. Members are also engaged in digital storytelling projects designed to bring working learners to life and inform the design of innovative solutions that support working learners everywhere.

Speakers for the two day leadership meeting included: Juleanna Glover, Global Managing Partner, Teneo Holdings, and Former Aide to Vice President Cheney, Rudy Guiliani, and Senator Ashcroft;Kyle Lierman, Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement and President Obama’s Liaison to Young Americans; Scott Cheney, Policy Director, Workforce and Economic Development, Senate HELP Committee; and Vikrum Aiyer, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Commerce.  The WLAC members also visited the 1776 Global Incubator in downtown D.C. that is helping working learners and others develop new technology solutions and services for transforming industries.