Sequester Will Devastate Job Training Programs, Hurt Unemployed Workers

February 27, 2013

National Skills Coalition Releases Infograph Showing Impact of Federal Spending Cuts on Education and Training Programs

Listen to a recording of the call:

On Wednesday, National Skills Coalition (NSC) held a call with local job training providers and employers to highlight the impact that cuts under the sequester will have on job training programs. The sequester will cut more than $450 million from federal employment and training programs this year. As a result, nearly two million fewer workers will have access to critical services that would help improve their skills for jobs employers need filled.

“These across the board cuts will mean millions of workers and employers won’t be able to get the skills needed to close the skills gap, reduce unemployment, and create more jobs, “said Rachel Gragg, federal policy director of National Skills Coalition. “Jobs and employment are the American public’s number one concern, yet Congress continues to ignore their constituents’ priorities, cutting workforce training programs by more than $1 billion since 2010. ”

Local workforce providers participated in the call including Raymond Prendergast, director of the Manufacturing Technology program at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago and Abby Snay, executive director of Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) in San Francisco. Michael Tamasi, president & CEO of AccuRounds in the Boston area also joined the call.

“My company needs skilled and credentialed workers for my business to succeed,” said Michael Tamasi. “Additional cuts to federal funding that supports worker training and related services will make it even harder for companies like mine to find and maintain a highly skilled workforce, impacting our ability to expand and contribute more to the economy.”

“Jewish Vocational Service helped 1200 people start new jobs last year. One of our programs, San Francisco’s Healthcare Academy works closely with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), the largest employer in San Francisco, to train people coming off of welfare for administrative positions at UCSF,” said Abby Snay. “Close to 80 percent continue working at UCSF after the end of their internships. The demand for this program already exceeds capacity; we have 109 applications submitted for 20 training slots for a new training cycle beginning next month. If our funding is cut by sequestration, JVS would be forced to reduce or eliminate many of its services, like this program, that help people get back to work.”

“The manufacturing program prepares my students for production and automation technician jobs that are in great demand in Chicago,” said Ray Prendergast. “Without federal funding through the Workforce Investment Act, many of my students would not be able to afford the cost to attend the program, leaving them without the opportunity to get the credentials they need for a good-paying job in the manufacturing sector. Cuts will hurt our ability to provide the skilled workers today’s manufacturers are looking for.”