Educational Institutions

Good Jobs First

  • Washington, DC
  • www.goodjobsfirst.org

Mission Statement

Good Jobs First is a research and policy resource center for constituency-based groups, public officials and journalists seeking to make the >$70 billion spent annually by states and cities on economic development subsidies more transparent, accountable and cost-effective. We also promote smart growth for working families. Founded in 1998, we are based in Washington DC and work in all 50 states plus DC. We are home to Subsidy Tracker, the only national database of state, local and federal economic development subsidy awards.

Main Programs

  1. Good Jobs First - general mission
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

We have issued numerous "report card" studies grading all 50 states plus DC on various economic development incentive accountability metrics. Our website has a 50-states-plus-DC interactive map with lengthy web pages devoted to each state and DC. We have spoken and/or trained on-site more than 1,000 times in locations in at least 42 states.

ruling year

2003

Executive Director since 1998

Self-reported

Mr Greg LeRoy

Research Director since 2001

Self-reported

Mr. Philip Mattera

Keywords

Self-reported

Economic Development Subsidy Accountability

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Also Known As

Corporate Research Project, Good Jobs New York

EIN

82-0542649

 Number

6812225442

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (J01)

Economic Development (S30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Transparency is the cornerstone reform that makes all forms of analysis possible, no matter what one's concerns are about economic development subsidies, estimated to total more than $70 billion annually. We have become the de facto arbiters of how states and localities should best disclose recipient, deal-specific data online about economic development subsidy awards. In response our books, studies and collected best practices, the number of states disclosing has grown from none to 23 (by 2007) to 37 (by 2010) to 50 plus DC (today). We have since 2010 captured those records in our Subsidy Tracker data base that now includes more than 450,000 awards from more than 740 state, local and federal economic development programs.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Good Jobs First - general mission

We are a research, technical assistance and policy resource center for constituency-based groups, public officials and journalists seeking to make economic development programs and deals more transparent, accountable and cost-effective.

Category

Community Development

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$1,000,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Empower constituency-based groups, public officials and journalists seeking to make economic development programs and deals more transparent, accountable and cost-effective.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We publish 50-state "report card" studies on key accountability metrics such as online transparency, job creation and job quality standards (wages, benefits, full-time hours, etc.) and monitoring and enforcement (clawbacks, rescissions, recalibrations, etc.). We have published more than 120 additional studies: on specific kinds of subsidy programs (e.g., tax increment financing), on specific aspects (including more analyses of the geographic distributions of subsidies that any group in the world), on specific states and/or groups of states, and on current issues (e.g., state agency privatization). We actively train, speak, publicize and testify about our findings; provide active assistance to diverse organization; and continuously grow and improve Subsidy Tracker.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    We are uniquely qualified to perform this work and have long been recognized as the nation's leading policy resource center on economic development accountability reforms such as disclosure, job quality standards and clawbacks.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    By the number of states and localities embracing the best practices we promote and by the increasingly diverse base of organizations using our resources, as reflected in metrics including but not limited to our website traffic, training calendar, and news media citations.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    As described elsewhere, we have won far greater disclosure by states than ever existed before, and that public data has in turn enabled all kinds of reform debates over clawbacks, job quality standards and other best practices.

    We have not yet accomplished implementation of Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 77. As of this writing (early 2016) the statement is just taking effect and will be reflected in Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports issued by state and local governments in mid-2017. We are working both with GASB (around its implementation guidance) and with partner groups in many states to ensure that the data is uniform, accessible and rapidly analyzed when it is published.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

We have issued numerous "report card" studies grading all 50 states plus DC on various economic development incentive accountability metrics. Our website has a 50-states-plus-DC interactive map with lengthy web pages devoted to each state and DC. We have spoken and/or trained on-site more than 1,000 times in locations in at least 42 states.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

GOOD JOBS FIRST
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Good Jobs First

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Mr Greg LeRoy

Research Director

Mr. Philip Mattera

BIO

Dubbed “the leading national watchdog of state and local economic development subsidies" and “God's witness to corporate welfare," Greg LeRoy @GregLeRoy4 founded and directs Good Jobs First www.goodjobsfirst.org a national resource center promoting accountability in the >$70 billion spent annually by states and cities for economic development. Good Jobs First also promotes smart growth for working families.

Good Jobs First is home to Subsidy Tracker, the only national database of economic development subsidy awards (480,000 state, local and federal deals captured from more than 740 programs). It is also home to Violation Tracker, the only national search engine on corporate misconduct, combining data from multiple federal regulatory agencies.

Greg LeRoy is the author of two books on incentive reform: The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation (Berrett-Koehler, 2005 and free online at www.greatamericanjobsscam.com) and No More Candy Store: States and Cities Making Job Subsidies Accountable (1994).

Good Jobs First was honored by State Tax Notes magazine as one of two organizations of the year in 2015 for its victory winning a new accounting rule from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB Statement No. 77 on Tax Abatement Disclosures). “Good Jobs First took the lead in pushing for the rules to be strengthened and approved. It rallied its supporters and like-minded organizations, coordinating a massive letter-writing campaign in support of the new standards," the weekly of record on state tax policy reported. GASB Statement No. 77 will for the first time require most states and localities to report how much revenue they lose to economic development tax expenditures.

In 2014, GIS Planning, Inc. and fDI Intelligence (a division of the Financial Times in London) gave Greg LeRoy an Economic Development Leadership Award as “a recognized and committed leader in educating and informing decision makers and communities on the 'truth' of incentives based on in-depth research, case studies and white papers."

In 2013, the U.S. Library of Congress notified Good Jobs First that the Library would begin permanently archiving the content of Good Jobs First's website as a historically significant public policy record.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"Good Jobs First welcome inquiries from anyone seeking to make economic development deals and programs more transparent, accountable and cost-effective. Whether you are a public official, belong to a grassroots group (community, environmental, labor), or work for a news organization or a policy coalition, we have research tools and studies, collections of best practices, and thousands of connections to help. We pride ourselves in being user-friendly and "ecumenical." "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Tim Frank

Self-Employed Planning and Development Consultant, founding chair, Sierra Club Challenge to Sprawl

Term: Nov 2015 - Nov 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?