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Appropriations Committees Release Final Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Omnibus; Workforce and Education Programs Largely Maintained

  ·   By Kermit Kaleba
Appropriations Committees Release Final Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Omnibus; Workforce and Education Programs Largely Maintained

Late last night, Congressional appropriators released the final version of an omnibus spending package that would set final funding levels for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. Congress is expected to vote on the bill later this week, bringing an end to an unusually long appropriations process and setting the stage what is expected to be a contentious FY 2018 process.

Overall, the Labor-HHS-Education section of the bill largely sustains or increases investments in federal workforce and education programs (see detailed chart below). The bill would increase funding for apprenticeship programs at the Department of Labor from $90 million in FY’16 to $95 million in FY’17, with language directing DOL to build on the agency’s ApprenticeshipUSA initiative and particularly to focus on expanding opportunities for women in apprenticeship. The Job Corps program, which provides training and education services to young adults, receives an increase of $15 million over FY’16 levels. The package also calls for the restoration of “year-round” Pell, which allows low-income students to access a second Pell award in a calendar years in order to accelerate their studies.

For most other programs, the bill maintains spending levels, including state formula grants under Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), adult education grants under Title II of WIOA, and Perkins career and technical education (CTE) state grants. The bill does include some modest cuts to certain programs, including zeroing out funding for the Women in Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program and $34 million in cuts to the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

Appropriators had delayed a final bill at the request of the incoming Trump Administration, voting in December on a stopgap bill that extended funding for federal operations until the end of April. The administration had pushed for significant cuts to FY 2017 spending, but ultimately Congress appears to have rejected most of the Administration’s proposals and instead focus on completing the current bill in order to avoid a potential government shutdown. It is unclear, though, whether this support will carry over into the FY 2018 appropriations process, where the President has suggested cuts of around 21 percent to the DOL budget and about 13 percent for Department of Education programs, including deep reductions in Pell Grant funding.

National Skills Coalition worked closely with other national organizations as part of the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW) to advocate for strong workforce and education investments, submitting a joint letter to the committees in February to encourage maintaining or increasing federal support. NSC also submitted organizational sign-on letters in November and December urging appropriators to make sure that workforce programs were protected from any potential cuts. We applaud Congressional leaders for sustaining our nation’s investments in skills, and we look forward to working with our national, state, and local partners to continue the fight for necessary funding in FY 2018.

Training and Employment Services

FY 2016 – Current Funding Levels

FY 2017 – Authorized Levels

FY 2017  – Omnibus

Difference

Department of Labor

 

 

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I – State Formula Grants[1]

$2,709,832,000

$3,078,720,000

$2,709,832,000

-

WIOA Adult

$815,556,000

$842,376,000

$815,556,000

-

WIOA Dislocated Worker[2]

$1,241,719,000

$1,334,205,000

$1,241,719,000

-

WIOA Youth

$873,416,000

$902,139,000

$873,416,000

-

Wagner-Peyser/Employment Service Grants

$680,000,000

NA

$671,413,000

-$8,587,000

Workforce Data Quality Initiative Grants

$6,000,000

NA

$6,000,000

-

Apprenticeship Grants

$90,000,000

NA

$95,000,000

$5,000,000

Native American Programs

$50,000,000

$50,671,000

$50,000,000

-

Ex-Offender Activities

$88,078,000

NA

$88,078,000

-

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers

$81,896,000

$90,052,000

$81,896,000

-

Youth Build

$84,534,000

$85,256,000

$84,534,000

-

Department of Education

 

 

Career and Technical Education State Grants

$1,117,598,000

NA

$1,117,598,000

-

Adult Education and Family Literacy State Grants

$581,955,000

$635,198,000

$581,955,000

-

 

    

Posted In: Federal Funding