Economic Opportunity

Public policy should make it easier, not harder, for folks to get ahead. But Alabama’s long-standing failure to invest adequately in education, job training and other services has limited wage growth for everyday workers and has fueled a growing income gap between our richest and poorest residents. And our state’s tragic, painful history on race relations means those structural barriers often place an even greater burden on black and Hispanic residents. Arise researches the hurdles that stand in the way of shared prosperity and advocates for proven policy solutions to expand economic opportunity for everyone.

Fact Sheet

Summer EBT for 2025

A $15 million appropriation for Summer EBT would reduce hunger by providing eligible Alabama children $40 per summer month for food. 1 in 4 Alabama children are food insecure. Hundreds of thousands of Alabama children don’t know where their next meal will come from. And a disproportionate amount of food insecure children come from communities [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity
Date
April 2, 2024
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

How can Alabama ensure Summer EBT for 2025?

Inspired by Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), Summer EBT provides $120 in SNAP benefits per categorically eligible child throughout the summer months.

Issues
Budgets, Health, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity
Date
March 11, 2024
Author
LaTrell Clifford Wood
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2023

Since the 1990s, Alabama has bet big on the auto industry. It has been a high-stakes effort to rebuild the state’s economy around high-wage manufacturing, raise the wages of Alabama’s workers and reduce the economic distress so prevalent across the state. A quarter-century after the first M-Class rolled off the Mercedes-Benz assembly line in Vance, [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 30, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2023 – Section 1: Introduction

Since the 1990s, Alabama has bet big on the auto industry. It has been a high-stakes effort to rebuild the state’s economy around high-wage manufacturing, raise the wages of Alabama’s workers and reduce the economic distress so prevalent across the state. A quarter-century after the first M-Class rolled off the Mercedes-Benz assembly line in Vance, subsidized by [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 30, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2023 – Section 2: The high stakes and big bet on Alabama’s auto industry

Since the early 1990s, Alabama has bet big on the auto industry, and the stakes have always been high. At the time the state succeeded in recruiting Mercedes in 1993, Alabama’s economy was headed in the wrong direction. Alabama was lagging because policymakers failed to modernize state laws by shifting away from centuries of persistently anti-worker [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 30, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2023 – Section 3: The ways the bet on auto benefited Alabama

The auto industry plays a crucial role in Alabama’s economy. In many stakeholders’ views, the industry has benefited the state in the 30 years since Mercedes moved to town. State media outlets routinely report glowing headlines like: “Alabama's modern auto industry becomes state’s top export 25 years after its birth.”[51] “Alabama’s auto industry looks to add more than [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 30, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2023 – Section 4: A wheel in the ditch — Autoworkers see falling pay

Auto plants in Alabama have made a significant contribution to the state’s economy. But the big bet and significant investment in the form of corporate subsidies has only partly paid off. This is in part because the state’s weak worker protections have not mandated employment standards that would ensure better work conditions and equitable pay for workers despite [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 30, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2023 – Section 5: A wheel in the ditch — Pay gaps and occupational segregation

Alongside the 20-year decline in earnings paid to workers, Alabama’s auto companies also are falling short by paying staggeringly unequal wages across race and gender lines. Men earn significantly more than women, and white workers earn significantly more than Black and Hispanic workers. These pay gaps are driven largely by occupational segregation: the fact that Black, Hispanic and female workers are disproportionately employed [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 30, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2023 – Section 6: A wheel in the ditch — Economic impact of falling wages and the pay gap

Alabama’s autoworkers are living through a 20-year story of wage loss and unequal pay. This trend doesn’t harm only the individual auto employee who earned less this year than last. It also impacts employees across the entire industry and holds back Alabama’s overall economy. Unequal pay and declining wages take money out of autoworkers’ pockets that they otherwise would spend [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 30, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2023 – Section 7: A wheel in the ditch — Working conditions worsen

Aside from declining wages and occupational segregation, some of Alabama’s auto employers are falling short with conditions on the factory floor. Specifically, media coverage and interviews with autoworkers at numerous facilities revealed the following problems with working conditions in Alabama’s auto plants: - The tiered wage system. In an effort to reduce costs and increase profits, [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 30, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
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