Statement on the White House Summit on Working Families

Carla D. Thompson, vice president for program strategy, says families need greater access onto and up the ladder of economic and social mobility

Contact: Wade Nelson
269.969.2166 
wade.nelson@wkkf.org

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) applauds the White House Council on Women and Girls, the U.S. Department of Labor and WKKF grantee Center for American Progress for discussing how we can ensure the success of all families at The White House Summit on Working Families. WKKF believes that if more workers – especially women – can achieve economic security and stability, they can gain opportunities that help their entire families reach their full potential now and in the future.

The conversations brought up at this summit are a critical step in the right direction toward figuring out how additional families can gain skills and support for better-paying jobs. These include skills that make their families more economically secure and policy changes that would give families greater access onto and up the ladder of economic mobility, such as giving equitable pay, advocating for livable wages and keeping workers in good jobs.

In addition to these issues, it is also important for the nation to consider how interlocking supports and strategies can move working families from poverty to prosperity. This includes investing in proven, community-based workforce development programs that meet workers where they are and help create meaningful employment opportunities, as well as programs that encourage entrepreneurship and savings among low-income earners. Such efforts will allow families to deliver on the promise of tomorrow for their children and ensure that this generation will be better off than the last.

The foundation is also pleased with the summit’s call for families to have greater access to high-quality preschool and child care, which helps workers focus on their careers while allowing their children to be ready for school and achieve early success from birth to age 8 and beyond. With child care costs exceeding the cost of college in 31 states, and with plentiful research showing the value of investing in early childhood education, we must do more to give families opportunities that help their children succeed in school, work and life.

Many Kellogg Foundation grantees are participating in the summit, including the Center for American Progress, The Aspen Institute, Family Values at Work, Families and Work Institute, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Partnership for Women & Families and National Women’s Law Center. Other WKKF grantees are also focused on similar efforts as discussed at the summit, including helping parents and families access promising career pathways and achieve financial independence and freedom from economic barriers based on race. Roca, which works in Chelsea, Revere and East Boston, Massachusetts, works with at-risk young mothers to build the skills they need to become good parents capable of achieving economic stability for themselves and their families over time. And Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), which works with communities across the country, is currently collaborating with employers, consumers, labor groups, policymakers and other community leaders in more than 20 states to implement sustainable changes in workforce policies and practices in the home care industry – the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy.

These and WKKF’s other Family Economic Security grantees are making efforts to strengthen two generations – both children and their parents – simultaneously. We believe that if all workers have a fair chance to advance and succeed in the workplace, with support and flexibility to improve themselves and give their children a strong start, we can strengthen more families and, in turn, the entire U.S. economy.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to help break the cycle of poverty by removing barriers based on race or income that hold back children, so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. 

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

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WKKF Headlines
Nov. 21, 2014

Putting Children First

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“Empleen el dinero del modo en que crean conveniente, siempre y cuando promueva la salud, la felicidad y el bienestar de los niños.” - Will Keith Kellogg

“Sèvi ak lajan an jan w vle depi se sante timoun, byennèt timoun ak kè kontan pou timoun w ap ankouraje.” - W.K. Kelòg