Business leader, MOCs oppose cuts.

July 26, 2012


On July 25, National Skills Coalition joined more than 300 individuals representing dozens of national coalitions on Capitol Hill for the Rally to Restore Balance: Protect America’s Families! The rally, led by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), also featured Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Congressman George Miller (D-CA), and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton who all spoke about how cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs—including workforce development programs—would inflict serious harm on our nation. 

NSC reached out to business leader Martin Knott to be one of the featured speakers at the rally. Knott is the President of Knott Mechanical, a family-owned commercial HVAC company that employs more than 50 people in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Knott told the crowd that he has jobs available, but consistently has trouble finding workers with the skills to fill them. For his business, workforce education and training programs are a critical part of the equation.  He stated,

“Our number one growth impediment is finding skilled workers… I have become a workforce expert not by choice, but because in order for me to grow my business I need to find out a way to work with the education system and the existing important programs that we’re here discussing today, workforce development programs, so that I can find and create a pipeline for workers into my company…

[Employers] spend a great deal of money training our workforce, but we cannot do it alone. We need to have a partnership with the education system so that we can build a world-class workforce education system… It’s time to invest in workforce training. It’s time to ensure the business community and the education system are talking to each other so that we can reassure through outputs in the education system that people are going to be able to go out there and get jobs…

This to me is not a Republican-Democrat issue. This is an education issue. This is a skills issue. This is a competition issue that we have between us and those that are out there competing against us in the global marketplace. We need a competitive workforce…

If we cut these programs and they are gone and we inhibit them in any way, it’s just going to have a dramatic impact on our ability to… do the important work we need to do to kick-start this economy… If you don’t have the skills to go and get a job, how do you expect for us to make the recovery we need to make in this country?”

The Budget Control Act (BCA), legislation enacted in 2011 to increase the national debt ceiling in exchange for more than $2 trillion in funding cuts over the next 10 years, will force $109 billion in automatic cuts to both defense and non-discretionary defense (NDD) spending at the beginning of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.

The resulting workforce education and training cuts would be devastating – particularly as workforce programs has already lost more than $1 billion in funding since FY 2010.   

National Skills Coalition has joined forces with more than 60 other coalitions in an effort to save NDD programs from more devastating cuts. NDD programs are core functions government provides for the benefit of all, including medical research, public health, and education, among others. Every day these programs support economic growth and strengthen the safety and security of every American in every state and community across the nation. Find additional information on the “NDD Summit,” as well as actions you can take to help protect these critical investments.