On Wednesday 18th April President Obama was once again in Lorain County, Ohio to promote the Workforce Investment Act program.
“This is not a redistribution argument: taking money from the rich to give to the poor. This is about us making investments in our country so everyone has a better shot, and that will make everyone better off,” he said in a 21-minute speech at Lorain County Community College.
The WIA was first passed in 1998 and supports employment services and training programs serving millions of workers each year. It has three annual grant programs designed to fund local and state efforts to serve workers who have been laid off or dislocated, a general program for adults looking for work, and tackling youth unemployment.
For the period April 2010 through March 2011 the number of workers receiving services through these programs reached almost 1.8 million.
The Obama administration is proud of its record in making investments in building American’s skills.
In 2011, the Administration invested $500 million through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative to support partnerships in all 50 states connecting community colleges, employers, Workforce Investment Boards, and other stakeholders.
They also launched Skills for America’s Future last year and created the Workforce Innovation Fund, which later this will award grants worth $125 million to improve employment and training outcomes.
He has noted that tax cuts proposed by the House of Representatives would enrich millionaire families while making deep cuts to successful training programs like those in Lorain County.
The House Republican Budget would cut services to almost 60,000 youth nationwide, and eliminate federal job search assistance for 4.9 million job-seekers in 2013 and 2014 combined.
Instead Obama wants to build on the success of current investments and has proposed: a new Community College to Career Fund that would train two million workers for good-paying jobs in high-growth high-demand industries; a Universal Displaced Worker program which could provide a million displaced workers with job search assistance; creation of an American Job Center network to improve administration; and a Pathways Back to Work Fund.