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- Skills Mismatch
On February 13, President Obama submitted his Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget request to Congress, providing the Administration’s appropriations requests for federal programs and activities beginning October 1, 2012. National Skills Coalition has just released an analysis of key workforce and education programs included in the President’s request.
The FY 2013 budget request arrives at a critical time for the workforce field. Despite continued high unemployment—and clear evidence that U.S businesses are struggling to find qualified workers to sustain economic growth—Congress has cut more than $1 billion from workforce development programs over the last two appropriations cycles. With further budget reductions required as part of last summer’s debt ceiling compromise—enforced through strict caps on discretionary spending and automatic spending cuts known as “sequesters”—workforce programs likely face additional cuts in FY 2013 as Congress begins the budget and appropriations process.
Against this backdrop, the President has increasingly focused on the importance of training and education. The “American Jobs Act,” a $447 billion job creation bill proposed by the White House in September 2011, included major new investments in training to help low-skilled and long-term unemployed workers reenter the labor market. Similarly, the President’s “Blueprint for an America Built to Last”—released in conjunction with the recent State of the Union—identified a skilled workforce as one of four pillars of a strong economy, and called for a new national commitment to train two million skilled workers. The Administration’s FY 2013 budget builds on these initiatives, expanding proposals from the American Jobs Act and proposing new education and training initiatives that would provide billions of dollars in new training funding, while largely sustaining workforce existing funding streams.
Highlights of this year’s budget include:
NSC looks forward to working with the Administration and Congress to support workforce policies and investments that expand access to job training and education for all U.S. workers and businesses.