Take Action: Tell Congress Not to Slash Workforce Training

A recent OpEd in the Worcester Telegram-Gazette by Roger Herzog (Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation) and Ann Donner (Commonwealth Workforce Coalition) talks about the role of workforce training in our region’s economic recovery.

Today, on the National Day of Workforce Action, their points are especially salient and helpful as we reach out to policymakers to educate them on the impact of this system and the critical services it provides to employers and job seekers alike.

  • Climbing out of a jobless recovery is not an easy task. For college-educated men and women who are out of work, it requires diligence. It is even more of a challenge for lower-income residents without the professional networks or skill sets that will make them competitive in the workforce.
  • That makes the work of employment counselors and job training center professionals all the more important. They are the individuals on the front lines connecting job seekers with potential hiring managers.   They help employers find employees and the unemployed find jobs.
  • Productive, appropriately trained employees are necessary for the long-term growth of businesses in New England.
  • The U.S. House proposes eliminating nearly $3 billion from the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in the FY11 and FY12 budgets.
  • These cuts threaten the very existence of career centers and workforce development agencies, which served over 211,000 people and more than 12,000 businesses in MA alone in 2010.
  • Cuts to job training on the federal level will have a strong, and potentially devastating, impact on local employment and economic recovery.

The calls for shared sacrifice in a challenging economic environment are understandable. But it makes little sense to defund workforce training and leave those on the front lines of economic development with even fewer resources.

Call your members of Congress today and urge them to stand up in support of workforce training.


Author: SkillWorks

SkillWorks is a nationally recognized workforce funder collaborative, launched by the Boston Foundation in 2003 to improve workforce development in Boston and across Massachusetts. SkillWorks brings together philanthropy, government, community organizations and employers to address the twin goals of: 1) Helping low-skill, low-income individuals attain family-supporting jobs; and 2) Helping employers find and retain skilled employees.

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