The House is currently debating a new FY11 Continuing Resolution, HR 1, which would cut over $2 billion from workforce development programs. This measure would eliminate all new WIA Title I funding for Adult, Youth and Dislocated Worker programs. It rescinds $175 million from national emergency grants and the Dislocated Worker Reserve. The bill eliminates funding for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

Many legislators are under the false impression that the WIA system is not spending its money wisely since some funds are carried over from year to year. The fact is that most of these carry-over funds have been obligated at the local level to support multi-semester training for current participants. These are not funds that are available to serve new participants.

Action Needed:

While the Senate is unlikely to agree to the zeroing out of all new WIA funding, they also are under significant pressure to make spending cuts. The entire workforce development system, customers and supporters need to quickly, actively, and persuasively educate all members of the Senate about the impact such cuts would have on our ability to serve job seekers and employers. If you do not know how to contact your senators, you may find their contact information at www.senate.gov.

Provide your Senators with specific information about your program, your customers, your effectiveness, and what specifically would happen if they eliminate FY11 funding. If these cuts are accepted by the Senate, many services in our one stop centers and programs that serve older workers will be halted.

Our national job seekers will not have access to assistance to help them obtain training, nor will they have assistance in identifying or securing employment.

Our national employers will lose a critical partner that helps them fill their workforce needs at the very time that many are considering adding new positions.

For the 14 million unemployed US citizens, the elimination of funding for job training and workforce development is not a job creation strategy. This is a strategy that will lead to higher unemployment rates, more dependency on entitlement programs, and more barriers to economic recovery.

For more information, visit the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP)