Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Supporting young workers is crucial to economic recovery

May 7, 2020 – Older Youth

A new report from Brookings experts covers the importance of supporting young workers—millions of whom were already among the most economically vulnerable before the pandemic. Many do not have a college degree and work in the industries hit hardest by coronavirus shutdowns. Less experience and lower levels of education likely mean these young workers will have difficulty finding new employment if they lose their job. Expanding service programs aimed at young adults—such as YouthBuild, AmeriCorps, and other models—could be influential in providing new opportunities. Additionally, federal initiatives could hire workers to provide services related to the pandemic relief effort. #covid-19 #workforce See related bill in the Senate put forth by Chris Coons (D-DE) proposing to increase AmeriCorps enrollment and stipends:

Guide for child care professionals navigating new unemployment programs

May 6, 2020 – Families

The Center for Law and Social Policy has created a guide for child care stakeholders navigating unemployment compensation during the pandemic. The guide explains new pandemic unemployment insurance (UI) programs that provide compensation for many child care workers who previously did not qualify for benefits, such as those who are self-employed or work part-time. The document also covers the limitations and challenges of accessing unemployment programs. Recommendations for federal and state policy actions are also included, such as expanding UI eligibility, increasing maximum duration and amount of benefits, and clarifying the process for home-based providers. #covid-19 #workforce #childcare

Higher shares of job or income losses for low-income, Hispanic adults

April 28, 2020 – Families

The Urban Institute reports the results of their nationally representative survey of adults ages 18-64 conducted between March 25 and April 10, 2020. They found that 41.5 percent of nonelderly adults were in families where someone had lost a job, work hours, or work-related income due to the coronavirus pandemic. When these data were stratified by family income and race/ethnicity, authors found that shares of adults 18-64 whose families suffered job or income losses were especially high for those who are low-income (at 51.1 percent) and for those identifying as Hispanic (at 56.9 percent). Additionally, one-third of adults 18-64 reported that they experienced serious material hardships such as not being able to pay rent, mortgage, or utility bills; food insecurity; or forgoing medical care due to cost in the last 30 days. #covid-19 #workforce #foodsecurity

Universal basic income as a potential policy response to the pandemic

April 28, 2020 – Families

The Basic Income Lab at Stanford University makes the case that a universal basic income (UBI) program is a smart policy response to the pandemic. Specifically, because precise targeting of assistance is difficult (risking omitting those who really need help), because pandemic financial shocks can come on very suddenly (means-tested programs are slow), and because financial assistance should allow for proactive exit of the workplace (whereas unemployment insurance is reactive), authors argue that UBI is an attractive option. See also: #covid-19 #workforce

Twice as nice: Fundraisers help restaurants, feed health-care workers

April 26, 2020 – General

Several efforts in New England and around the nation are aiming to support both local restaurants and health care workers by using donations to purchase restaurant food for delivery to health care workers. #covid-19 #workforce

The $600 Unemployment Booster Shot, State by State

April 23, 2020 – General

A New York Times analysis looks at the differentiated impacts of the federal $600/week increase to unemployment benefits across the 50 states. Specifically, they rank states based on their ‘replacement rate’—the share of a worker’s average weekly wages that average weekly unemployment benefits replace. Interestingly, Maine and New Hampshire were on the opposite ends of the spectrum. In Maine, workers will receive an average of over 120% of their normal wages in unemployment benefits (the highest replacement rate). In contrast, New Hampshire workers had the lowest replacement rate at a bit over 80% of their average normal wages. #covid-19 #workforce

Maine Data Glimpse: April 2020 Unemployment Figures

April 22, 2020 – Families

Compiled for the John T. Gorman Foundation by the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH, this analysis provides details on Maine’s unemployment situation through mid-April, drawing heavily on new data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 17, 2020. #covid-19 #workforce #jtgfunded

Taking advantage of unpaid leave can increase the chances that workers will face economic hardship

April 22, 2020 – Families

Using her recent research on paid sick leave, a researcher from Brandeis University summarizes economic challenges that the pandemic poses for workers who become sick or need to care for a family member. The patchwork of sick leave policies through employers, local, state, and now federal law (through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) are largely capped at two weeks, which would be insufficient for those with long hospital stays, more severe symptoms, or multiple cases in the household. More importantly, sick leave is unaffordable for most workers: six weeks of unpaid leave would cost workers more than twice in wages what it would cost their counterparts with paid leave. #covid-19 #workforce

About Half of Lower-Income Americans Report Household Job or Wage Loss Due to COVID-19

April 21, 2020 – General

The Pew Research Center reports the results of their national survey of U.S. adults conducted in early April 2020. They find that the economic toll from COVID-19 is hitting lower-income adults harder than their middle- and upperincome peers. While 43% of adults overall said that they or someone in their household has either lost a job or taken a pay cut due to the pandemic, this share was 52% among lower-income adults. When stratified by age, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment, results show higher shares of household job loss or pay cuts among those identifying as Black, Hispanic, young adults (ages 18-29), and those with a high school education or less. #covid-19 #workforce

Poverty in the United States could reach highest levels in over 50 years

April 16, 2020 – Families

New research from Columbia University’s Center on Poverty & Social Policy uses a new application of the Supplemental Poverty Measure framework to estimate poverty trends at varying levels of unemployment. The authors suggest that if unemployment reaches 30 percent in the coronavirus pandemic’s aftermath, poverty could increase to nearly 19 percent. #covid-19 #workforce

A coronavirus recovery: How to ensure older workers fully participate

April 16, 2020 – Seniors

Once the worst of the outbreak is over and social distancing measures are relaxed, policies to help older workers will be needed to ensure they share in the recovery. Older workers who lose their jobs in a recession are more likely to be unemployed for long periods. The Economic Policy Institute posits a detailed list of actions to be taken to protect older workers. #covid-19 #workforce

Your Unemployment Call Could be Answered by the National Guard

April 16, 2020 – General

Pew Trusts reports that states are struggling to process the high volume of unemployment calls, particularly with departments’ outdated technology. Many states, including Florida and Texas have transferred staff from other state agencies and hired new workers, New Hampshire and West Virginia have requested call center support from the National Guard, Georgia and New Jersey have asked retired state employees to return to work, and New York has shortened forms to speed processing time. A summary of changes to unemployment compensation rules and administrative responses by state is available from the National Conference of State Legislatures. #covid-19 #workforce