NSC submits letter to appropriators asking for increased funding for workforce and education programs in FY2016

By Katie Spiker, November 09, 2015

Last week, National Skills Coalition submitted a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees urging them to ensure that key workforce and education programs are adequately funded in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016..

With passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 last week, lifting the overall budget caps for non-defense discretionary programs for FY 2016, appropriators are now responsible for establishing new top-line funding levels – known as 302(b) allocations– for each of the twelve annual appropriations bills. The allocations that were established earlier this year for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill (Labor-HHS) were nearly $4 billion below FY 2015 levels, and NSC strongly encourages the committees to ensure that new allocations take advantage of increased budget caps and allow for additional investments in job training and education. 

Specifically, NSC urged that Labor-HHS allocations must provide sufficient resources to achieve the following:

  • Fund WIOA Title I employment and training programs at statutorily authorized levels so states, local areas and other partners in the public workforce system can fully realize the bipartisan vision outlined by WIOA
  • Fund adult education and literacy programs under Title II of WIOA at least at authorized levels to ensure that the 36 million Americans with low basic skills are able to strengthen their educational levels in order to take advantage of emerging economic opportunities.
  • Fund Wagner/Peyser Employment Service (ES) activities under Title III of WIOA at least at current levels to ensure that job seekers can access these key labor exchange services and support greater alignment between the ES and other federal workforce investments.
  • Fund WIOA youth programs to train the next generation of workers so they can become productive citizens, achieve their career goals, and contribute to their local community.
  • Fund job training and employment services for older workers and veterans authorized through the Older Americans Act and other laws at no less than level funding.
  • Restore funding for the Perkins basic state grant program to pre-sequester levels to support our nation’s high schools, technical centers and community colleges in developing the highly skilled workforce demanded by employers.


Congress must make final FY 2016 funding decisions by December 11, when the current Continuing Resolution expires. National Skills Coalition will continue to monitor the appropriations process and provide updates to the field.