Step Nine

Help shape policy


Public policy is an important lever to help your community boost attainment and develop your workforce talent. As you work to change systems, collect data, and test out initiatives, you can also work to change laws and policies that help or hinder that work. Your partners can have more influence on policymakers by working together than they can alone. Here are some ways that talent-building communities are working to shape relevant public policy:

  • Los Angeles is addressing the policy frameworks that could help California colleges function more as an integrated system than as separate operations. UNITE-LA has also helped grantees develop a common federal policy agenda, educating stakeholders in Washington, D.C. about such matters as federal privacy laws and limits to data collection. Also engaging policy leaders in Sacramento, they have advocated for a student longitudinal data system, for which the state has allocated funds. Los Angeles has also partnered with Shasta County and Fresno on these efforts.
  • Las Vegas has celebrated legislative successes that will benefit its work and ensure sustainability. One new Nevada law, aimed at reducing high unemployment in certain areas, creates a pilot program to improve service delivery in those areas with a more comprehensive, holistic approach. United Way of Southern Nevada is collaborating with partners on implementation strategies. The community also supported a state-wide student success initiative that promotes college-going and seeks to close equity gaps by placing more minority students in rigorous coursework. The legislature also approved funding for new college facilities that will allow for higher enrollments in high-demand healthcare programs. These legislative wins have helped position Las Vegas as a trusted partner and strengthened its role as a convener. To further advocate for systems change, the United Way is active in the City of Las Vegas’s “Innovations in Education” subcommittees, whose findings and outcomes often translate into legislation.