Workforce Funding Avoids Damaging Cuts

Jan 03, 2012


By Neil Ridley

Congress recently settled its extended sparring over Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations, resulting in some cuts to workforce programs that are far less damaging than those originally proposed by the House. So, what will the rest of FY 2012 look like for workforce programs?

The Consolidated Appropriations Act reduces funding for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) dislocated worker programs by about $55 million and cuts the Workforce Innovation Fund, which was established in the FY 2011 appropriations legislation, from $125 million to $50 million. Funding for WIA adult and youth programs is maintained at current levels. Adult education and career and technical education programs are also flat-funded.

Although the cuts to some programs will adversely affect workers, the final bill avoids making deep and counterproductive cuts to most workforce programs. In today's down economy, this is especially critical. Workforce services play an important role in the nation's economic recovery by helping many unemployed workers, low-income adults and disadvantaged youth prepare for work, build skills and find jobs. As the economy continues to recover, the nation needs solid, real investments in the workforce system.

See related article: Congress is Going the Wrong Way on the Road to Investing in America's Future >>

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