COVID-19: Our Shared Responsibility

COVID-19: Our Shared Responsibility

“Officials must recognize the need for an interrelated web of supports that provides income support, health care, child care, as well as food and housing security.”

Meanwhile, postsecondary institutions that haven’t cancelled classes altogether have had to pivot to online learning full time. Unfortunately, digital access and digital literacy aren’t ubiquitous, and the most vulnerable learners are the ones most adversely impacted by the change. Every institution of higher learning should take a page from what these colleges are doing for affected students:

  • Lorain County Community College in Ohio postponed in-person classes but is continuing to provide access to student services, including advising and tutoring — in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
  • Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington, has made laptops from its computer lab available for students to borrow, and it offers an online tutoring service.
  • Berea College in Kentucky, a federally designated work college serving economically disadvantaged students who are required to work, canceled classes and sent students home but will continue to pay them through the end of the semester.

Policymakers Must Act Now

Federal and state policymakers need to act quickly to help the schools and employers — particularly small and midsize businesses — that are taking steps to support their students and employees. We also need solutions for the individuals and families whose health and livelihoods are most at risk.

“JFF is calling on business, education, and government leaders to take proactive measures to support the most vulnerable individuals and their families during this unprecedented time.”

What JFF Is Doing

We at JFF, like people everywhere, are grappling with how to respond to the coronavirus. We have instituted a work-from-home policy to protect our employees and help “flatten the curve” while still supporting our partners.



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Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the American workforce and education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all.