NY Times denounces workforce funding cuts.

April 10, 2012

On April 8, New York Times reporter Motoko Rich took up the issue of workforce development funding in her article “Federal Funds to Train the Jobless are Drying Up.” While recent political debate has primarily surrounded extensions and unemployment insurance, Rich points out, cuts to training programs have gone virtually unnoticed. Economic recovery continues at a sluggish pace, and yet “with 12.7 million people still searching for jobs, the country is actually spending less on work force training than it did in good times.”

NSC Executive Director Andy Van Kleunen is directly quoted on this point: “We should be spending significantly more than we were spending five years ago, and even then we would not be catching up to the demand.”

A Times editorial, “A Rockier Pathway Back to Work,” soon followed Rich’s critique of the deterioration of job skills training, delving deeper into the 2013 budget resolution, written by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and recently passed in the House, which would reduce spending on education, training, employment and social services by $16 billion. The proposal is described as an attack on job-training programs and neglectful of the over 12 million unemployed who continue to seek assistance from already overstretched and underfunded training and education services. Noting likely GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s alliance with Rep. Ryan and his support for the House budget resolution, the editorial observes that “Mr. Romney, Mr. Ryan and their party have made it clear that giving the unemployed a pathway back to work is an extremely low priority.”