U.S. senators call for increased workforce funding

By Katie Spiker, March 17, 2016

Today, 27 Senators sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education & Related Agencies urging them to ensure that their Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill invests in job training and adult education programs. 

The letter emphasizes the work that states and localities are doing to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), passed in 2014 in a bipartisan vote and urges increases in funding to support key requirements under the law, including industry and sector partnerships and career pathways.  
The letter advocates for the following investments:

  • Funding for WIOA – including state formula grants for Title I youth, adult and dislocated worker programs and Title II adult education programs at their authorized levels.
  • Funding for WIOA Title III Wagner-Peyser Employment Services at $680 million, the level included in the Administration’s FY 2017 Budget request.
  • Renewing Congress’ $90 million investment in Apprenticeship Grants funded in FY 2016 and requested again in the President’s FY 2017 request.
  • Funding for two new initiatives in the President’s FY 2017 request –$5.5 billion for the Opening Doors for Youth Initiative, which would target job and skills training opportunities for youth, and $3 billion for America’s Talent Compact, which would support competitive grants to increase collaboration between employers, Career and Technical Education programs, workforce boards, community colleges, and economic development organizations.

The Senators who signed the letter are listed below:

  • Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
  • Bernard Sanders (D-VT)
  • Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)
  • Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
  • Al Franken (D-MN)
  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Edward J. Markey (D-MA)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Christopher A. Coons (D-CT)
  • Michael F. Bennet (D-CO)
  • Tim Kaine (D-VA)
  • Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)
  • Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
  • Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR)
  • Christopher S. Murphy (D-NY)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Gary C. Peters (D-MI)
  • Joe Donnelly (D-IN)