Policy Priorities for 2020
Making college affordable, accessible, and equitable are top policy priorities on Women Employed’s agenda for 2020. We are prepared for another year with a relentless focus on influencing systems that have the largest impacts on economic equity for women—especially women of color and women in low-paid occupations.

 Our policy recommendations include: increasing funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP); ensuring higher education supports single mothers; and establishing statewide post-secondary equity targets and goals to close our racial achievement gaps and position Illinois as a visible leader for educational equity.

At the same time, we will continue to strengthen career pathways to family-sustaining wages, smooth transitions to post-secondary education for low-skilled adults, and expand pathway programs—like bridges, integrated education and training programs, and Career Foundations.
To read about all our 2020 priorities, click here .

Bridge Curricula: New, Improved, Available to You
In partnership with City Colleges of Chicago, WE has posted new bridge lesson plans for manufacturing. The lesson plans are a collection of sequenced, detailed reading and writing lessons that can help an instructor without industry experience deliver a contextualized bridge class for a specific sector.

These and additional lesson plans contextualized to information technology; healthcare; early childhood education; transportation, distribution, and logistics; and hospitality and culinary professions for both the adult basic and adult secondary level are available at:  womenemployed.org/adult-education-lesson-plans
For questions about the lesson plans and to discuss integrating them into your college or organization programs, contact Christina Warden at cwarden@womenemployed.org or (312) 782-3902 ext. 228.

Expanded Assistance for Child Care!
Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services have expanded eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Now, families with income of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or lower will now be able to receive childcare assistance.

This Eligibility Calculator can help determine if you or someone you know qualifies for child care financial assistance. CCAP recently launched a Facebook page with updates and promotional information. 
College Changes Everything Conference
This may just be our favorite conference of the year—and it’s back! The 10 th annual College Changes Everything (CCE) Conference will take place on July 9, 2020 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. You can play an active role in shaping this conference by submitting a proposal by March 13!

Proposals should showcase programs, resources, and partnerships impacting student success and feature: college and career readiness; student retention, persistence, and completion; education, business, and the economy; and college costs and affordability.

An online session proposal form can be submitted via the conference web page .
New Work Requirements for SNAP
New work requirements for SNAP (food benefits) recipients are discussed in a Pathways to Careers Network webinar, hosted by the Chicago Jobs Council. Please share this link and additional materials below if you know a student or someone who may be impacted by these new rules:

WE Paid Internship Opportunity
Applications are open for Women Employed’s paid summer internship program, The Pattis Family Foundation Summer Leadership Program! The program will introduce students and recent graduates to nonprofit work through workshops, guest speakers, and projects; provide practical experience through team projects; and expand their awareness of gender equity in the workplace and the barriers that women in low-paid jobs experience. Deadline to apply is March 22!
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