Stimulus Learning Series

Stimulus Learning Series

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address the systemic inequities laid bare by the pandemic and reshape the public systems that support vulnerable families. The GPL recently hosted a series of learning sessions with state and local governments, seeking to better understand how they intend to use ARPA to drive impact in areas such as benefits & economic mobility, workforce, early childhood, behavioral health & homelessness and procurement

Explore the materials from each session in the Stimulus Learning Series schedule below: 

Stimulus Learning Series Schedule

August 25, 2021: Workforce Development

On August 25 at 3:00pm EST, the GPL explored how governments can use ARPA to make transformative investments in their workforce. The learning session, entitled “Developing a durable workforce system for the future,” featured short presentations from select governments about what they are planning in this space, such as reforms designed to streamline application and enrollment processes, invest in employer-focused partnerships, and experiment with ways to more effectively help job seekers connect to, and persist along, good-paying career pathways. The session featured short presentations from:

  • Heather Johnson, Commissioner, Maine Department of Economic Community Development

  • Angela Carr Klitzsch, President and CEO, EmployIndy, Marion County’s Workforce Development Board

  • Catherine Moga Bryant, Director, Policy and Strategic Planning, North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office & Jonathan Meyer, Senior Analyst, North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management

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August 10, 2021: Using Procurement to Advance Innovation

On August 10 at 1:00pm ET, the GPL facilitated a deep dive into how procurements can amplify governments’ ARPA system transformation efforts. The learning session, entitled “Using procurement to advance innovation,” shared best practices, tools, and examples designed to help jurisdictions use procurement and contracting to achieve better outcomes for residents, including strategies to: use procurements to advance departmental and jurisdiction-wide goals; make procurement processes efficient, inviting, and transparent; and lay the foundation for measuring progress and driving continual improvement.

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August 2, 2021: Behavioral Health and Housing

On August 2 at 2:00pm ET, the GPL explored the different ways governments are planning to use ARPA funds to strengthen behavioral health and housing systems. The learning session, entitled “Behavioral Health & Housing: Developing more equitable, preventative and holistic supports,” featured short presentations from select governments about what they are planning in this space, such as expansions of community-based and rapid-response supports; implementation of criminal justice diversion and crisis response programs; and investments in long-term supportive housing and affordable homeownership options for historically disadvantaged populations. The session included presentations from:

  • Mark Attia, Assistant Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance

  • Tyler Jaeckel, Chief of Staff, Colorado Office of State Planning & Budgeting

  • Stephanie Welch, Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health, California Health and Human Services Agency

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July 29, 2021: Guaranteed Income Programs

On July 29 at 3:00pm ET, the GPL facilitated a deep dive into guaranteed income programs and important design decisions. As jurisdictions explore ways to use American Recovery Act Plan (ARPA) funds to transform benefits delivery systems and advance economic mobility, many are considering experiments with direct cash assistance to support those most in need. This learning session explored upfront implementation decisions for such initiatives, including program goals, eligibility determinations, and evaluation design, and featured insights from jurisdictions currently piloting direct cash assistance programs, including initial findings from the Chelsea Eats Guaranteed Income Program - the largest guaranteed income experiment in the country.


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July 15, 2021: Early Childhood and Families

On July 15 at 1:00pm ET, the GPL explored the different ways governments are planning to use ARPA funds to support children and families. The learning session, entitled “Early Childhood & Families: Transforming early supports to enhance lifelong opportunity,” featured short presentations from select governments about what they are planning in this space, such as investments in home visiting services, development of resource hubs for families, and efforts to improve childcare service quality and delivery. The session sought to identify common opportunities, challenges, and questions across participating jurisdictions. Short presentations were provided by the following practitioners:

  • Beth Bye, Commissioner, Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood

  • Sarah Abrahams, Deputy Associate Commissioner of Prevention and Intervention, Texas's Department of Family and Protective Services


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July 9, 2021: Benefits and Economic Mobility

On July 9 at 2:30pm ET, the GPL explored the different ways governments are planning to use ARPA funds to improve benefits delivery. The learning session, entitled “Benefits and Economic Mobility: Building more coordinated, responsive supports for those most in need,” featured short presentations from:


  • Duke Storen, Commissioner, Virginia's Department of Social Services discussing the state's plans to use this moment to transform the customer experience for benefits programs.

  • Margo Fudge, Deputy Director and Alfredo Guardado, Assistant Director for Departmental Operations, San Diego's Child Welfare Services talking about the county's plans to use cash transfers to support families at risk of entering foster case.

  • Rachel Wright and Carl Sims from The Council on State Governments sharing the latest trends in planned ARPA benefits investments nationwide.


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