Sign-On Letter: House WIA Bill Threatens Education and Employment Programs for Low-income and Disconnected Youth
Apr 25, 2012
On March 29, 2012, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Rep. Joseph J. Heck and Rep. Howard P. McKeon introduced the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297), which among other things, consolidates 27 federal programs into a single workforce investment fund, devolves more power and decision making to state and local boards, eliminates many of the requirements and mandates that governed the consolidated streams, and increased the role of employers on state and local boards.
HR4297 - the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 would likely dismantle the current youth education, employment and training system for low-income and disconnected youth. It consolidates federal youth funds into a predominantly adult focused workforce investment fund, and provides no real requirements for state and local areas to provide youth with current level of services. The youth funding streams slated for consolidation in this bill served over 370,000 mostly low-income and mostly minority youth. At a time when youth employment is at the lowest level in 60 years, when fewer than one in five minority teens found work last summer, when 40 to 50 percent of youth in high poverty communities are dropping out of school, we need to strengthen our federally funded youth employment system and programs to provide young people with the education, labor market options and wrap-around supports they need to succeed in a 21st century labor market.
The House Education and Workforce Committee will soon mark-up HR 4297. Join CLASP in sending a strong message on behalf of youth.
For a discussion of youth provisions in H.R. 4297, see Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization May Move Youth Development Field Back a Decade