programcover2Click for the agenda, presenter biosand to download the KRC20 Conference Book.


Innovative Unionism in a Broken Economy: Towards a PA Workers Lab. Kicked off by plenary speaker Carmen Rojas of The Workers Lab, this session will offer a dynamic roundtable discussion of innovative worker organizing techniques and how to bring it to scale. Alex Wallach-Hanson of Pittsburgh United will share how his community-labor partnership has supported a network of organizers from multiple unions. The goal of this workshop is to catalyze ongoing strategic networking among organizers, union leaders, and supportive researchers and policymakers Pennsylvania. With Carmen Rojas, The Workers Lab; and Alex Wallach Hanson, Pittsburgh United

CcowHikW4AAtjUZ-1Community Schools. High poverty levels, parents with inadequate resources, inequitable education funding and starving schools – these trends are particularly stark in too many Pennsylvania communities. As an alternative to privatization and charters that undermine public schools, some cities are now embracing a different strategy that is gaining traction in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the Lehigh Valley. The community schools strategy invests in children through quality teaching, challenging and engaging curricula, wrap around supports, positive school climate, strong ties to family and community and a clear focus on results. Moderated by Elaine Weiss, Economic Policy Institute; with Susan Gobreski, Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Education; Kyle Serrette, Center for Popular Democracy; and Nina Esposito-Visgitis, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers


Promoting High Road Insourcing. Low-wage subcontracting is widespread in Pennsylvania, even within schools and state and local government. Pennsylvania unions have developed contract language that limits low-wage outsourcing, including by requiring greater transparency, a credible demonstration of likely savings before outsourcing, and an opportunity for bargaining unit employees to offer counterproposals that keep work in house. In some states, unions and allies have also advocated for legislation with similar provisions that covers state and local government. In this workshop, representatives of Pennsylvania unions will talk about their efforts to fight low-road contracting as well as the potential for legislation and other initiatives that could reduce contracting out and lift wages for contract workers and impacted public sector workers. Moderated by Dave Wazeter, PSEA; with Nate Greenawalt, PSEA; Kimberly Davanzo, AFSCME Council 13; and Tom Herman, SEIU Local 668


Rural Pennsylvania’s Choice After 2016. A decade ago, in The State of Rural Pennsylvania, Keystone Research Center documented that rural Pennsylvania never fully recovered from the economic decline of the 1980s, called for the development of a vision and plan to revitalize rural PA and pointed out that economic policies that boost the middle class — such as minimum wage, manufacturing, community college and school funding, taxation — would particularly benefit rural Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, rural Pennsylvania has remained conservative on economic as well as social issues, with no clear rural revitalization vision or agenda emerging. The differences between working-class and establishment conservatives exposed by the 2016 Presidential primary raise the question of whether Pennsylvania is now more ripe for a political realignment that increases support in the “T” for economic policies that benefit working families, reshaping the overall balance of power on economic policy in the state legislature. This workshop will include a roundtable discussion of the potential of a strategic, multi-year effort to increase support for progressive economic policies in the “T.” What practical next steps could be taken that might “flip the T” within the next decade? Moderated by John Hanger, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Policy and Planning and Secretary of Environmental Protection; with Mark Critz, PA Rural Development Council; Dan Surra, former state legislator from Elk County; and Sylvia Allegretto, Institute for Research on Labor & Employment, University of California, Berkeley


Are Americans Overtaxed? Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously observed, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but they aren’t entitled to their own facts.” The 2016 presidential campaign season raises the question of whether facts even matter to a substantial portion of the American public. In a highly interactive workshop, urban policy consultant David Rusk will seek your responses to the best analyses available on such issues as comparative levels of taxation, inequality of income distribution, and social and economic mobility on an international, state and regional level within Pennsylvania. With David Rusk, urban policy consultant

Sustainable Unions in Home Care and Child Care Post-Harris vs. Quinn. The home care and child care fields have experienced union and state legal innovation for two decades, in part thanks to high-road approaches in which unions allied with consumers and advocates to champion better jobs and quality care. In these fields, state Executive Orders and laws have established procedures for area- or statewide union elections among caregivers funded and/or regulated by the state. But in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Harris vs. Quinn that unions representing home care workers cannot require non-members in the bargaining unit to pay “fair share” agency fees. In this session, representatives of SEIU Healthcare PA and AFSCME will reflect on the challenges of organizing sustainable high-road unions with a distributed workforce and without access to fair share. Workshop leaders will share best practices from Pennsylvania and beyond and lessons learned for area-wide sector unions. With Denise Dowell, New York State Civil Service Employees Union; Jesse Wilderman, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania; and Fernando Bribiesca, AFSCME 

2014_PHL_YOUTHBUILDPCS (1)Building a Diverse, High-Skill, Unionized Construction Industry. In the past 25 years, Pennsylvania has significantly increased the diversity of its unionized construction workforce, but there’s more work to be done. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney agrees, and said recently he plans to ensure that at least 45 percent of workers on city-funded construction projects are African-American. In this workshop, presenters will describe efforts to diversify the pipeline to unionized construction in Philadelphia and to expand opportunities for predominantly Hispanic youth in Reading. Philadelphia efforts include construction career education and skills training for young women of color at YouthBuild Philly. Presenters will also reflect on how state government could capitalize on the recovery of the construction industry and emerging skill shortages to diversify the pipeline to construction jobs in all of Pennsylvania’s regional labor markets. Moderated by Roger Cohen, PENNDOT; with Ashley Chambers, United Community Services for Working Families; Marty Molloy, YouthBuild Philadelphia; and Mike Neill, Director of Apprenticeship Training for IBEW Local 98


Pennsylvania’s Shale Industry: the Facts, the Opportunities, and the Risks. While concerns about the health and environmental impacts of shale drilling have been voiced since the dawn of fracking, the narrative that the “mighty Marcellus” would bring huge economic benefits has led to policies strongly supportive of extraction. In partnership with think tanks from five other Marcellus/Utica Shale states brought together under the banner of the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative (MSSRC), KRC and its Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) have sought to balance this narrative with a series of studies that accurately assess the (modest) economic benefits of drilling for local residents and the (significant) social and infrastructure costs. This research has been used to encourage Marcellus/Utica states to reorient themselves towards state and local gas industry policies that benefit the public good not just the industry. The workshop will provide an overview of the latest MSSRC products that support such a reorientation – a new handbook for local governments and a “Report Card” evaluating state natural gas policies in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. With Jan Jarrett consultant; and Jordan Yeager, Partner, Curtin & Heefner


Preventing Wage Theft and Improving Labor Law Compliance — Strategic Industry-Specific Approaches. Research by David Weil and others established in the 2000s that strategic, industry-specific labor law compliance is more effective than complaint-driven enforcement. The Obama Administration – including Weil, now Wage and Hour Administrator at USDOL – has worked with states to promote the spread of more strategic industry-specific enforcement. Janice Fine of Rutgers has further highlighted that effective enforcement requires agencies to create systems of triage for prioritizing complaints and to see workers, worker organizations and high-road firms as essential to strategic enforcement because they provide government with information about violations that is essential to effective enforcement. This workshop will explore the implications of USDOL’s efforts and Fine’s research for enforcement in Pennsylvania and describe the Workers Lab’s efforts to develop an “app” that facilitates enforcement. Moderated by Bryan Smolock, Pennsylvania Department of Labor; with Janice Fine, Rutgers University; and Carmen Rojas, The Workers Lab


Building Agendas and Advocacy for Manufacturing in Multiple States (EARN/AMM). Keystone Research Center and similar think-and-do tanks in five other states (Maine, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Washington) – all of which are members of the Economic Analysis Research Network (EARN) — have come together with the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) and the Economic Policy Institute to develop and advance policy agendas for advanced manufacturing. In this workshop, staff from the six state groups will come together with AAM and EPI for a project and peer learning meeting at which others interested in manufacturing are also welcome. Each state group will provide an update on its manufacturing agenda development and coalition building. AAM’s Brian Lombardozzi will provide an overview of international trade agreements and the scope each state retains to favor in-state or American manufacturers in its procurement. Stephen Herzenberg of KRC will moderate the workshop and present a template state manufacturing agenda that can be customized by any state. Rob Scott of the Economic Policy Institute will discuss a forthcoming book on promoting U.S. manufacturing aimed at the next Presidential administration. Moderated by Stephen Herzenberg, Keystone Research Center; with Brian Lombardozzi, Alliance for American Manufacturing; and Rob Scott, Economic Policy Institute


imgresFight for $15 and a Union. The national “Fight for $15 and a Union” has been the most dynamic and large-scale worker organizing movement in the United States since the wave of public sector union drives in the 1960s and 1970s. In Pennsylvania, Fight for $15 has fueled public campaigns to lift wages among non-union workers (e.g., among fast-food workers and at the airport in Philadelphia), framed demands to lift wages among already unionized workers (e.g., at nursing homes), and fueled innovative union recognition for new industry-wide area unions (e.g., security guards in Pittsburgh) that leverage community and political support in new and creative ways. Leaders of Pennsylvania “Fight for $15” campaigns will share their stories and reflect on how to build on this success. Moderated by Reesa Kossoff, SEIU State Council; with Dennis Short, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania; Yetta Okoth; Gabe Morgan, 32BJ SEIU; and Gabby Jones-Casey, Fast Food Workers

Taking Pennsylvania’s High-Road Sector Strategies to the Next Level. In Pennsylvania’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) plan, Governor Wolf outlined an ambitious vision for strengthening Pennsylvania’s national-model sector strategy. This workshop will outline that vision and the status its implementation. The workshop will also profile manufacturing partnership managed by the Manufacturers’ Association of South Central Pennsylvania, as well as a new model apprenticeship being implemented by labor-management partnerships. We’ll also consider how workforce advocates can partner with the Wolf Administration to engage business through dynamic sector partnerships that help create more jobs that pay. Moderated by Howard Wial, Pennsylvania Governor’s Policy and Planning Office; with Carrie Amman, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry; Tammy Marcase, Manufacturers’ Association of South Central Pennsylvania; and John Tkach, Keystone Development Partnership



What Do You Mean, Jobs That Pay? How do we create jobs that pay? Income inequality and a presidential race that underscores the economic frustration of working families and young people makes this one of the central policy questions of our age. Moreover, while it may seem difficult now, it could become more difficult if robots and artificial intelligence eliminate big chunks of today’s paid employment. This workshop will look at what state agencies can do in the next 30 months to put more meat on the bones of the slogan “jobs that pay” and instill greater confidence among Pennsylvania working families that better days lie ahead. We’ll also explore whether robots really are coming — and how Pennsylvania can prepare. What policies could prevent them from causing widespread joblessness and transform their arrival into a cause for celebration and a more humane society? With Rick Bloomingdale, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; Charlie Bacas, former Secretary for Policy and Planning; and Irwin W. Aronson, Willig, Williams and Davidson


The State of Budget Negotiations in Harrisburg. A panel of legislative staff, lobbyists, & journalists will discuss the status of efforts to enact a state budget for 2016-17. The panelists will talk about key issues at the center of negotiations, what’s at stake for the state and its residents, and prospects for an on-time, responsible budget that invests in Pennsylvania’s future. With Marc Stier, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center; Ted Mowatt, Wanner Associates, Inc.; and Liana E. Walters, Pennsylvania Senate Aging & Youth Committee

Philadelphia-Joins-the-Growing-List-of-State-Local-Governments-Passing-Paid-Sick-Days-Laws_blog_listing_fullWidth21st Century Work Time Standards.  Some U.S. cities have begun to enact new labor standards geared to the realities of the modern high-inequality, technology-based service economy and dual earner or single parent families. These standards include paid sick leave, paid family leave, predictable scheduling as opposed to “just-in-time scheduling,” and $15 per hour minimum wage. In 2015, Philadelphia became the first Pennsylvania city to enact paid sick leave legislation; Pittsburgh is the second, although implementation is being held up by a court challenge. What opportunities exist in Pennsylvania to advance 21st century labor standards over the next three to seven years – a period ending with the year following the next legislative reapportionment? How can state and local groups work together to maximize our progress? Erica Smiley will share the story of San Francisco’s retail worker bill of rights, which includes predictable scheduling and full-time hour provisions, and David Cooper will discuss the $15 per hour minimum wage movement. Moderated by Mark Price, Keystone Research Center; with Erica Smiley, Jobs With Justice; and David Cooper, Economic Policy Institute




Contingent Faculty Organizing. Contingent faculty in higher education are hired off the tenure track and often earn less than a living wage. In response to low pay, lack of affordable health care and job security, and inadequate institutional support, contingent faculty organizing has taken off recently in southwestern Pennsylvania, led by the United Steelworkers’ Academic Workers Association, and in the Philadelphia metro area, led by United Academics of Philadelphia. These regional efforts point to the potential of area-wide multi-employer unions to achieve family supporting wages for all higher education teachers. This workshop will provide an update on Pennsylvania higher education organizing, share best practices and consider the potential for research, legal innovation, community and political support to further advance organizing that lifts wages, benefits and institutional support among all Pennsylvania contingent faculty. Moderated by Ken Mash, Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF); with Katie Dalby, American Federation of Teachers and United Academics of Philadelphia; and Robin Sowards, United Steelworkers and New Faculty Majority

images-1Made Right Here — Towards an Innovation Ecosystem. Fueled by an explosion in new computing capabilities, a new era of small-batch manufacturing is taking shape as part of what Jeremy Rifkin calls the “Third Industrial Revolution.” Community workshops known as makerspaces also support this trend. What started with hobbyists has now become a movement where thinkers and tinkerers share resources and ideas – and create the potential for jobs and innovation. In partnership with the PA AFL-CIO, CMU, Keystone Research Center and others, Bernie Lynch of Strategic Development Solutions, Inc. is leading a Pittsburgh-based effort to create an innovation eco-system that helps new startups thrive and grow locally, placing and training participants in a new U.S.-DOL registered Maker Professional Apprenticeship program. Lynch will profile this approach, now being incorporated as the Made Right Here Alliance® which has engaged partners and champions in 20 cities across the country. With Bernie Lynch, Strategic Development Solutions; Uri Shatten, Made Right Here; and Steve D’Ettorre, PA Department of Community and Economic Development

The Pennsylvania’s Choice Campaign. Led by a diverse coalition of education advocates, community service organizations, faith-based groups, environmental groups and labor organizations, Pennsylvania’s Choice is a non-partisan campaign for a state budget that serves the people of the commonwealth. Pennsylvania faces a stark choice in 2016. If we continue to enact unbalanced state budgets, the commonwealth will run a deficit that grows every year. Without new tax revenues, we cannot maintain current levels nor attain an adequate and equitable level of funding for education, human services, the environment, or community and economic development, and we will have to make devastating cutbacks to government programs in these and other areas. Facilitated by Jeff Garis, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center; with representatives from organizations supporting Pennsylvania’s Choice

treetrenchdiagramBuilding a Green Infrastructure. Led by the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is in the forefront in integrating green stormwater infrastructure into local water and wastewater systems. This approach is based on the potential of multiple bottom-line benefits: including for people (jobs and lower costs), planet, place, and profits. Some of the jobs and profit potential could result if green infrastructure businesses win market share back from multi-state and national (grey infrastructure) engineering firms. Alongside Philadelphia, Lancaster has become an early adopter and now the Clean Rivers Campaign in Pittsburgh has encouraged inclusion of green infrastructure within a modification of a compliance plan required under Alcosan’s (Allegheny County Sanitary District’s) consent decree with EPA. This workshop will profile green infrastructure efforts in Philadelphia and Lancaster including their impact so far on jobs and their lessons for other Pennsylvania communities, including Pittsburgh. Featuring Patrick McDonnell, Department of Environmental Protection. Moderated by Jennifer Rafanan Kennedy, Pittsburgh United; with Jessica Noon, Philadelphia Water Department; Charlotte Katzenmoyer, Lancaster Public Works; and Anna Shipp, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia




Fairer Taxation for a Better Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has long suffered from a Constitutional “uniformity clause” that prohibits taxing any class of income at more than one rate, thus prohibiting a graduated income tax and other forms of progressive taxations. This panel will examine the inequities in Pennsylvania’s tax system created by the uniformity clause and other policy decisions and recent efforts by analysts to develop new policy ideas that can create more equitable taxation and legislators to implement those ideas in legislation. With Aidan Davis, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP); Marc Stier, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center; and Pennsylvania State Senator Art Haywood



Media Roundtable: The Economic Conversation. Veteran news reporters discuss the changing economic conversation in Pennsylvania and the nation. Wages have begun to rise for the first time in nearly 20 years, and Pennsylvania has seen a scale of private-sector worker organizing not seen in a half century. But at the same time, economic anxiety remains pervasive, and we’re seeing a push for a Wisconsin-style anti-worker approach. Are the choices widely understood? How are people feeling about their educational and career opportunities? Family-friendly work time policies? Retirement security? What economic policy stories could help broadly shared prosperity win out long term? Moderated by Corinna Vecsey Wilson, Wilson500, with John Micek, PennLive/The Patriot-News; and others

Long-Term Campaigns That Help Build Permanent Community Coalitions. In a growing number of cities, partnerships of community, labor, faith and environmental groups have played a crucial role in campaigns for community benefits agreements, environmental sustainability and union recognition. In some cases, what began as tactical and transactional alliances among previously silo’ed progressive groups can evolve into more permanent coalitions united behind a more integrated vision. This workshop profiles the emergence and application of a community coalition in Pittsburgh under the Pittsburgh United banner. Lois Campbell of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN), Lisa Frank of SEIU Healthcare PA, Barney Oursler of Pittsburgh United, will use the multi-year effort to organize Pennsylvania’s largest private employer, UPMC, to explore the dynamics of campaigns and community coalitions. The workshop also considers the potential of similar coalitions to advance economic, social and environmental justice in other Pennsylvania cities. With Barney Oursler, Pittsburgh United; Lois Campbell, Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network; and Lisa Frank, SEIU Healthcare PA

Retirement Security for All. The real pension crisis in Pennsylvania and nationwide is the collapse of retirement security in the private sector. About half of private sector workers do not even have a lousy 401(k) savings plan, and many of the rest have high-cost, low-return plans into which neither employees nor employers significantly contribute. Low-income workers and minorities have even less adequate retirement savings plans. California, Illinois, and Connecticut are today at the forefront of a national movement for 21st century private sector retirement security using approaches advocated by KRC since the early 2000s – including state-managed individual retirement accounts to which workers would automatically contribute and put their money into carefully vetted high-quality savings options. This workshop will offer an overview of state-level innovation to bolster private-sector retirement security and explore the potential for implementing this approach in Pennsylvania. Moderated by Bailey Childers, National Public Pension Coalition; with Angela Antonelli, Georgetown University; Matthew Brokman, Connecticut House of Representatives; and Luc Miron, Pennsylvania Senate


imgresBest Practices for Budget Advocacy. Leading advocates from the Pennsylvania’s Choice campaign will present best practices for individuals and organizations engaged in advocating for responsible budgets. Presenters will discuss effective strategies for advocacy communications (including both traditional and social media), grassroots mobilization (including phone and email campaigns), and meeting with legislators. Tested and proven tactics and strategies for budget advocates will be followed by an open question-and-answer period. Moderated by Jeff Garis, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center; with Susan Spicka, Education Voters of PA; and John Neurohr, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

An Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Agenda for Pennsylvania. Though its employment share has fallen, manufacturing still accounts for a significant portion of gross state product and most private sector research and development, and manufacturing jobs still pay somewhat better than in other sectors. Manufacturing is especially important to some rural Pennsylvania counties. In the early 2000s, KRC and its partners advocated for what became Governor Rendell’s highly successful “Manufacturing Innovation” strategy. These days, if Pennsylvania is to take advantage of the reshoring movement and win its share of jobs in the next round of manufacturing innovation, manufacturing stakeholders must come together again. This workshop will lay out a state agenda for advanced manufacturing and explore how stakeholders can effectively advocate for manufacturing at a time of scarce state resources. With Tom Croft, Steel Valley Authority; Frank Snyder, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; and Tom Palisin, Manufacturers Association of Southcentral Pennsylvania


Affordable-Housing-GraphicAffordable Housing: Building a Bigger Toolbox for Cities with Growing Housing Markets. Reversing a trend going back decades, Pennsylvanians young and older are moving into Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and some smaller Pennsylvania cities. This welcome sign of city revitalization brings with it rising housing prices and the reality of gentrification and displacement. Philadelphia’s housing market is increasingly hot and some Pittsburgh neighborhoods are beginning to attract new jobs and develop luxury rental and owner-occupied market-rate housing. In response, vibrant and politically well-connected coalitions have designed new tools for managing growth so that moderate and low-income families and communities can share in the benefits. Some tools already have been implemented in Philadelphia while in Pittsburgh the Mayor established an affordable housing task force that includes the Pittsburgh United coalition. This task force has proposed policies to keep the city affordable including by building an additional 20,000 deeply affordable housing units. In this workshop, Beth McConnell of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Coalitions and Celeste Scott of Pittsburgh United will profile the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh housing coalitions as well as their policy goals, tactics, progress and next steps. The end of the workshop will include facilitated discussion of the applicability of the big-city toolbox for smaller cities and the potential for state policy to strengthen the fight for affordable housing in older communities on the rebound. Moderated by Senghor Manns, Harrisburg Housing Authority; with Beth McConnell, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations; and Celeste Scott, Pittsburgh United