New support for long-term unemployed.

January 31, 2014

Today, at a White House event with national corporations, small employers, training providers and workforce boards, President Obama announced $150 million in federal support for “Ready to Work" partnerships to "prepare and place the long-term unemployed into good jobs." More than 30 National Skills Coalition (NSC) members and allies attended the event, including employers from Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU) and members of NSC’s Leadership Council. 

This announcement comes on the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union speech when he shared his vision with Congress and the American people: “Train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.” In the last two days, the President and Vice President Joe Biden visited successful sector partnerships in Waukesha, WI and Rochester, NY. 

Prior to today’s announcement, the President hosted a CEO roundtable to discuss how employers can help the long-term unemployed get back to work. Participants included two leaders of Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU):  Michael Mandina of Optimax, Inc. and Michael Tamasi of Accurounds, both smaller manufacturers. Also participating was Larry Zimpleman, CEO of Prudential Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company that participates in a local sector partnership organized by Central Iowa Works.

Following the event, NSC Executive Director Andy Van Kleunen and NSC Leadership Council members, along with leaders from the federal workforce system, also met with Vice President Joe Biden. President Obama has charged the Vice President with overseeing a cross-agency review of federal workforce programs to ensure they align with employer needs. We’ll continue to carry the message that sector partnerships are an effective, proven strategy.

The White House also released a report focused on the long-term unemployed. It includes examples of sector partnerships serving the long-term unemployed and others who need new skills for a good-paying job. A number of NSC Leadership Council members and partners are featured.

NSC congratulates all of its members, funders and allies who participated in today’s event. The list below is just a partial accounting. Now the real work starts! Over the coming weeks, watch for continued analysis about the rollout of the USDOL long-term unemployed grants, and of the Vice President’s government-wide review of workforce training programs. We’ll need your input! 

Thank you to all NSC members and allies who attended today’s White House event! They included:

NSC Members

Abby Snay, Executive Director of Jewish Vocational Services – San Francisco and NSC Board Chair
Plinio Ayala, CEO, Per Scholas
Earl Buford, Executive Director, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership
Harry Holzer, Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown Public Policy Institute and NSC Board member
Guy Loudon, Executive Director, Jane Addams Resource Corporation
Cheryl Feldman, Executive Director, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
Sherry Marshall, CEO, Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board
Bill Rayl, Executive Director, Jackson Area Manufacturers Association

Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships

Rebecca Aguilera-Gardiner, Vice President, Sales/Marketing, Diego and Sons
Erick Ajax, Vice President and co-owner, E.J. Ajax and Sons
Liza Alvarez, Human Resources Manager, Vi-Chem Corporation
Armando Chapelliquen, Director of Operations, Jos. H. Lowenstein & Sons, Inc.
Scott Ellsworth, Vice President-US operations, Tipco Punch, Inc
Kerry Gumm, Human Resources Manager, Principal Financial Group
Paul Hoffman, President, New Haven Manufacturers Association
Rick Jordan, Vice President, LSI Industries, Inc.
Michael Kenig, Vice Chairman, Holder Construction Company
Mike Mandina, President, Optimax Systems, Inc.
Sandra Myler, Educator, Dignity Health
Jeanette Nigro, Vice President, Public Programs and Development, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Lynn Pecora, Director-Training & Development, Inglis
Angel Pineiro, Senior Vice President, ASI System Integration, Inc.
Alma Salazar, Vice President of Education and Workforce Development, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Anette Smith-Dohring, Workforce Development Manager, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region
Liza Smitherman, Vice President Professional Development, Jostin Construction
Susan Swanton, Executive Director, Maine Marine Trades Association
Michael Tamasi, President and CEO, AccuRounds