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Addressing America’s poverty crisis

Thursday June 19–Friday, 20, 2014

Millions of people in the United States—roughly one-in-seven adults and one-in-five children—live in poverty. Childhood poverty often means growing up without the advantages of a stable home, high-quality schools, or consistent nutrition. Adults in poverty are often burdened with inadequate skills and education, leading to limited wages and job opportunities.

On June 19–20, The Hamilton Project at Brookings brought together leading scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and business and labor leaders for a two-day summit to discuss a range of policy approaches for combating poverty in the United States.

The Hamilton Project released 14 new policy proposals, written by academic experts, offering pragmatic, evidence-based strategies for combating poverty. They include proposals to promote early childhood development, support disadvantaged youth, build skills for American workers, and improve safety net and work support.

Day One: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day one of Addressing America’s Poverty Crisis focused on new approaches to building skills, through both a CEO-level conversation on the demand for high-skill training and apprenticeship programs, and a roundtable of scholars and practitioners discussing the three new workforce training proposals. The agenda for day one also included a roundtable to discuss the three new proposals for supporting disadvantaged youth, and a roundtable to discuss the three new proposals to promote early childhood development.

Day Two: Friday, June 20, 2014

Day two of Addressing America’s Poverty Crisis focused on new policies to improve the safety net and work support, including a roundtable to discuss new proposals for a refundable child-care credit, an expansion to the Earned Income Tax Credit, and opportunities to harness innovative capacities to improve the administration of social services. The agenda for day two will also include a roundtable that will focus on opportunities to strengthen minimum wage and work-share policies to benefit low-wage workers.


Day 1

8:15 a.m. Registration Opens

A light breakfast served.

9:15 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Robert E. Rubin
Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

9:25 a.m. Framing Remarks

Melissa S. Kearney
Director, The Hamilton Project

9:35 a.m. Roundtable: View from the Private Sector on High-Skill Training and Apprenticeship

Discussant: Mike Petters
President and CEO, Huntington Ingalls Industries

Discussant: Klaus Kleinfeld
Chairman and CEO, Alcoa

Facilitator: Sudeep Reddy
Economics Editor, Wall Street Journal

10:30 a.m. Roundtable: New Approaches to Building Skills

Author: Harry Holzer
Professor of Public Policy, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Author: Robert Lerman
Professor, Department of Economics, American University

Author: Sheena McConnell
Vice President and Director, Human Services Research, Mathematica Policy Research

Discussant: Rhandi Berth
Vice President, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership
Chief of Staff, North America’s Building Trades Unions

Moderator: Ralph Schlosstein
President and CEO, Evercore

11:45 a.m. Lunch Break

Boxed lunches provided.

12:15 p.m. Keynote Address

The Honorable Bill Clinton
Founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States

1:15 p.m. Roundtable: Supporting Disadvantaged Youth

Author: Phillip Levine
Katharine Coman and A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Economics, Wellesley College

Author: Amy Ellen Schwartz
Professor of Public Policy, Education, and Economics; Director, Institute for Education and Social Policy, New York University

Author: Bridget Terry Long
Academic Dean and Xander Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Discussant: Linda Gibbs
Former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, City of New York

Moderator: Cecilia Rouse
Dean, Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education; Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

2:30 p.m. Break

Light refreshments provided.

2:45 p.m. Roundtable: Promoting Early Childhood Development

Author: Ariel Kalil
Professor, Harris School of Public Policy; Director, Center for Human Potential and Public Policy, University of Chicago

Author: Isabel Sawhill
Co-Director, Center on Children and Families; Co-Director, Budgeting for National Priorities; Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

Author: Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
Associate Professor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University

Discussant: Linda Gibbs
Former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, City of New York

Discussant: JoAnn Hsueh
Deputy Director, Family Well-Being and Children’s Development Policy, MDRC

Moderator: Glenn Hutchins
Co-Founder, Silver Lake; Founder, the Hutchins Center for Fiscal and Monetary Policy, The Brookings Institution

4:00 p.m. Day One of the Summit Concludes

Day 2

8:30 a.m. Registration Opens

A light breakfast served.

9:30 a.m. Opening Remarks

Roger C. Altman
Founder and Chairman, Evercore

9:45 a.m. Roundtable: Improving Social-Program Design and Delivery

Author: Scott Cody
Vice President and Director, Cambridge Human Services Research, Mathematica Policy Research

Author: Hilary Hoynes
Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Author: James Ziliak
Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics; Department of Economics, University of Kentucky

Discussant: Gordon Berlin
President, MDRC

Discussant: Robert Greenstein
Founder and President, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Moderator: Melissa Kearney
Director, The Hamilton Project

11:00 a.m. Break

Light refreshments served.

11:15 a.m. Roundtable: The Role of Work-Sharing and Minimum Wage Policy in Supporting Workers

Author: Katharine Abraham
Professor, Department of Economics and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland

Author: Arindrajit Dube
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Discussant: Jared Bernstein
Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Discussant: Gregory Mankiw
Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Moderator: Christopher Edley, Jr.
The Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. Distinguished Professor; Faculty Director, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, Boalt School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

12:30 p.m. Closing Remarks – Day Two of Summit Concludes

Event Forum

Washington Court Hotel


Follow @hamiltonproj and see the conversation using #AddressingPoverty


Events Inquiries

Melanie Gilarsky
Phone: (202) 540-7780
[email protected]

Media Inquiries

Marie Wilken
Phone: (202) 540-7738
[email protected]