Chronicle of Higher Education: Equity should be top priority for Biden’s jobs plan, says NSC’s Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield

By Ayobami Olugbemiga, April 07, 2021

NSC’s Senior Fellow Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield was quoted in a recent story – featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s The Edge newsletter – about The American Jobs Plan. What factors should guide who gets Biden’s proposed billions for education and training?

“No. 1,” said Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, senior fellow at National Skills Coalition, should be a focus on a racial and economic equity, because as the fallout from Covid-19 has shown: “The economy is pretty inequitable.” Affordability, too, needs to be paramount, Duke-Benfield said. Three other priorities she highlighted include:

  • A focus on teaching digital literacy…To equip people to advance at work, Duke-Benfield said, a lack of digital literacy is “a bigger barrier than a lot of folks are aware of.”
  • Serving people at all stages of their working lives, not just younger people entering the workforce.
  • A strong “data component” to assess which programs work best for learners from various backgrounds.

“We can’t afford to mess this up,” Duke-Benfield added.