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National Election and Federal Policy Update. What’s Happened, What’s Next and Where We Go From Here. The 2008 Election: What it Meant for Workforce Issues. White House: Candidate Obama on Skills. Job Creation : Investments in Clean Energy, Infrastructure

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national election and federal policy update

National Election and Federal Policy Update

What’s Happened, What’s Next and Where We Go From Here

white house candidate obama on skills
White House: Candidate Obama on Skills
  • Job Creation: Investments in Clean Energy, Infrastructure
  • College Access: American Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Education Reform: Range of K-12 proposals, including for college prep
  • Urban Poverty: Career Pathways, Transitional Jobs, Ex-Offenders
  • Job / Technical Training: Reauthorize WIA; Community College Partnerships
president obama the first 100 days
President Obama: The First 100 Days
  • Cabinet and Departmental Appointments: Labor, ETA; Education, OVAE
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Middle-Class Task Force (OVP)
  • FY2010 Budget Proposal
111th congress unfinished business
111th Congress: Unfinished Business
  • FY09 Appropriations 
  • WIA
  • TAA
111 th congress new business
111th Congress: New Business
  • Economic Recovery Bill 
  • Financial System
  • Health Care, Energy, Education Reform
  • FY2010 Budget, Appropriations
purpose of the bill
Purpose of the Bill
  • To create or save between 3-4 million jobs
    • Emphasis on infrastructure, green jobs, health care
  • Jump start the economy (short-term)
  • Rebuild economy (long-term)
basic structure of the bill
Basic Structure of the Bill
  • $790 billion total cost (down from high of $940B in Senate version)
  • Roughly 2/3 spending, 1/3 tax cuts
  • Focuses on funding existing programs

The Challenges

Funds are Short-Term: Funds to remain available “only as long as the other funds [PY08] allotted in that program year.”

Huge Expectations: The anticipation of “Transformative Change” is being shouldered by the workforce system.


The Challenges

A Monumental Shift from Contingency Planning to Capacity Building: an unanticipated turnabout after years of disinvestment in the country’s workforce system.

infrastructure and energy efficiency
Infrastructure and Energy Efficiency
  • Focus on infrastructure and clean energy projects
  • Opportunities to coordinate (ETA TEGL)
  • Examples of funding
    • $27.5B for highway infrastructure
    • $8B for high-speed rail
    • $5B weatherization assistance fund
    • $3.2B for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG)
    • $4B for public housing capital fund
american opportunity tax credit
American Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Amends Hope Higher-Education Tax Credit for tax years 2009, 2010
  • Worth up to $2500 per year
  • 40% refundable
taa reauthorization
TAA Reauthorization
  • Expands coverage
  • Increases training funds to $575M for FY09 and FY10
  • $40M in FY09 and FY10 (plus $10M for balance of 2010) for sector partnership
  • $40M to community colleges in FY09 and FY10 (plus $10M for balance of 2010)
  • Fixes the 8/16 rule, shifts to a straight 26 weeks
  • Allows more flexible training options including part-time, long-term, and pre-layoff training options.
taa sector partnership grant program
TAA Sector Partnership Grant Program
  • Up to $2.5M over 3 years to “strengthen and revitalize industries and sectors and create employment opportunities for dislocated workers”
  • Mandatory Partners
  • Allowable activities
unemployment insurance ui
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • Continues current extension of unemployment insurance
  • Increases (through December 31) average benefit by $25 per week, to $325
  • Allows up to $7B to be transferred to state account to incentivize modernizing UI system
next steps
Next Steps
  • IMMEDIATELY: A lot of money is to pouring down—need to be acting now to shape how its spent
    • Organizations should be talking to partners in the workforce system now
    • Demonstrate training capacity, job placement
  • LONG(ER)-TERM: Critical that workforce community be able to show effective use of funds for positive outcomes
fy 2009 appropriations omnibus
FY 2009 Appropriations Omnibus
  • $410 billion total
  • Basically level funds workforce, employment services at FY08 levels, about $3.6 billion
  • Funds to be used simultaneously with recovery funding
fy 2010 budget proposal
FY 2010 Budget Proposal
  • Summary released February 26th, Details released May 7th
  • “Strong support” for federal workforce training programs
  • Interest in promoting transitional jobs and career pathways programs
  • Expands on the significant support for green jobs training under the recovery bill
  • Calls for Pell Grant funding to be mandatory, increases maximum award to $5,500, eliminates lender subsidies under current Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). House budget resolution includes reconciliation language
wia reauthorization
WIA Reauthorization?
  • House Education and Labor Committee hearings – most recent May 5th
  • Senate HELP staff “Listening Sessions” in November 2008, April 2009
sectors act
  • S. 777 introduced by Sen. Brown (D-OH), Sen. Snowe (R-ME), Sen. Murray (D-WA)
  • H.R. 1855 sponsored by Rep. Loebsack (D-IA), Platts (R-PA)
  • Establishes designated capacity for sector partnerships under WIA
key messages
We need new attention on the forgotten middle of the skilled labor market

The workforce of today is the workforce of tomorrow

There are multiple pathways to good jobs

We need a 21st-century skill guarantee

Key Messages
presidential signals
Presidential Signals

Joint address to Congress on February 24th:

"It is our responsibility as lawmakers and as educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. So tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.“


Jessie Hogg Leslie

Senior Regional Field Director

The Workforce Alliance