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Bonamici Leads 76 House Members Opposing Sequester Cuts to Workforce Training

April 24, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC—Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) this week led a group of 76 Members of Congress working to restore Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I funding cut by the sequester. In a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education, the members urged the committee to reverse sequester cuts to Title I and appropriate funding for WIA job search and job placement programs at the fiscal year 2013 level.

“Title I of the Workforce Investment Act provides funding for programs that help young people, veterans, and dislocated workers train for and find new jobs,” said Bonamici. “These programs have been cut by more than 17 percent since 2010, and the sequester has made the problem dramatically worse. With unemployment still hovering around 8 percent, the last thing we need is another cut.”

Title I of the Workforce Investment Act was funded with $5,544,875,000 in 2010 and $4,894,660,000 in 2013. The cuts in each consecutive year between 2010 and 2013 add up to a 17.5 percent inflation-adjusted reduction in funding. Additional cuts occurred as a result of the sequester, which was triggered by the Budget Control Act.

WIA Title I is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and includes funding for the Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) responsible for policy and oversight of state and local workforce investment activities. The boards oversee a system of "One-Stop" centers where state and local representatives provide WIA training and employment activities.

Title I includes separate employment and training programs for youth, adults, and dislocated workers. These programs are funded by federal-to-state formula grants based on measures of a states’ unemployment and poverty. Title I also establishes six nationally administered programs, including Job Corps, the Native American Program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program, the Veterans' Workforce Investment Program, Youth Opportunity Grants, and YouthBuild.

Cosigners of the letter include Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Madeleine Bordallo, Robert Brady, Corrine Brown, Lois Capps, Tony Cardenas, Andre Carson, Matthew Cartwright, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Steve Cohen, Gerald Connolly, John Conyers, Joe Courtney, Joseph Crowley, Elijah E. Cummings, Danny K. Davis, Peter DeFazio, Suzan DelBene, John D. Dingell, Elizabeth Esty, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Marcia Fudge, Tulsi Gabbard, John Garamendi, Al Green, Raul Grijalva, Janice Hahn, Colleen Hanabusa, Alcee Hastings, Denny Heck, Ruben Hinojosa, Rush Holt, Jared Huffman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Daniel Kildee, Derek Kilmer, Ann Kirkpatrick, Jim Langevin, Rick Larsen, Barbara Lee, Sander Levin, John Lewis, Daniel Lipinski, David Loebsack, Alan Lowenthal, Stephen Lynch, Carolyn Maloney, Carolyn McCarthy, Jerry McNerney, Gwen Moore, Jerrold Nadler, Richard Nolan, Donald Payne, Jr., Gary Peters, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Charles Rangel, Raul Ruiz, Loretta Sanchez, John Sarbanes, Jan Schakowsky, Bobby Scott, Carol Shea-Porter, Kyrsten Sinema, Albio Sires, Mark Takano, Dina Titus, Niki Tsongas, Marc Veasey, Filemon Vela, Peter Welch, Frederica Wilson, John Yarmuth, and Grace Meng.

The text of the letter follows:

 

April 22, 2013

 

The Honorable Jack Kingston                          The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Chairman                                                            Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and               Subcommittee on Labor, Health and
Human Services, and Education                                  Human Services, Education          
2358 Rayburn House Office Building              1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC  20515                                              Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Kingston and Ranking Member DeLauro:

The Workforce Investment Act has funded critically important programs to help the unemployed and underemployed get back to work.  This program is vital to Americans across the country, and we ask that you fund Title I of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) at its FY13 enacted level of approximately $4,894,660,000.

Through education and job training, WIA helps Americans learn the skills they need to find employment and achieve greater education levels.  Title I of WIA funds employment and training programs, pilot programs, and six nationwide programs and is administered by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.  WIA funds programs important to bringing citizens into the work force, including programs like Job Corps and others geared toward preparing disadvantaged youth, Native Americans and migrant and seasonal farm workers for employment.  

WIA programs are built around regional and community needs, and local control is a key attribute.  For example, Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) govern WIA programs within states, distributing funds and developing statewide plans.  Because WIBs are required to have local representatives from businesses, community-based organizations, and economic development agencies, WIA programs are tailored to the characteristics of each area where they are present.  Additionally, One-Stop centers, which provide information on employment and training programs in a single, concentrated place, and WIA’s value of universal access guarantee that its programs are available to anyone who should need them.

In 2010 alone, WIA Title I and II programs served over 8.6 million participants across the U.S. and its territories.  It is essential that WIA Title I programs are able to continue the important work they do getting people back to work.  Accordingly, we are requesting funding for WIA Title I at the FY13 enacted level of approximately $4,894,660,000.

Sincerely,

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

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