National Day of Workforce Action Update, Next Steps

On March 24, the National Workforce Day of Action, the Workforce Solutions Group and SkillWorks organized a meeting in Senator Scott Brown’s office with his State Director, Jerry McDermott. Twelve representatives of the workforce development community, representing business, training participants, workforce boards, career centers, and community-based and philanthropic organizations spent over an hour discussing the devasting impact of eliminating workforce services and programs to our state’s businesses and working people.

Boston Centerless, Backstaff Associates and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center addressed the  business benefits of the workforce system, and how the system contributes to economic recovery and growth.  A training graduate from the Hotel Training Center shared her story–and how training enabled her to find a new job at the Westin Copley Hotel.

The group asked Senator Brown to stand up in support of workforce programs and oppose the cuts the public workforce system proposed in HR 1.

Let’s keep our Senator accountable.  Call today, even if you’ve called before, and let him know how important workforce training and job placement programs are to your community and your local businesses.

Here’s what’s happening next, and why it’s so important to stay engaged in this issue:

  • This continuing resolution expires on April 8, 2011.  If the House and Senate cannot reach a compromise spending bill before then, we will face government shut down.
  • Congressional Democrats and the White House will be introducing a new budget proposal soon.  The Wall Street Journal reports that this will include $20 billion in cuts, which, together with the $10 billion that has already been cut in the continuing resolutions, will meet the Republicans half-way.
  • It’s unclear what programs will see cuts under this scenario, and workforce programs remain vulnerable.

Members of Congress and the White House need to hear from all of us today on the importance of preserving job training and placement programs.

Here’s what you can do in under 5 minutes:

If you have 60 seconds: Tell the White House to Oppose Workforce Funding Cuts. The National Skills Coalition has put together a simple Action Alert to help you tell the White House to support workforce programs.

If you have 2 minutes: Add a call or email to Senator Scott Brown

Senator Brown’s staff has asked for more information on the performance and effectiveness of career centers and other parts of the workforce system in Massachusetts. Tell the Senator about the experiences and outcomes of your clients, participants and partners.

If you have 4 minutes: Also call your Member of Congress.

The White House and Democrats in Congress will propose a new FY11 budget any day.  Their budget is predicted to “meet the Republican cuts part way.”  Request that your Member of Congress support funding for the public workforce investment system in the FY11 budget.

Click on these Fact Sheets for some useful talking points!

Thank you again for all you do.


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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