The U.S. Conference of Mayors


WHEREAS, the Workforce Investment Act, the law creating nation's largest program for providing skills training, can provide training for less than one percent of the nation's workforce; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has cut funding for job training programs by over $1 billion since FY 2002; and

WHEREAS, the Administration has proposed an additional $950 million in funding cuts for job training programs in the FY 2008 budget; and

WHEREAS, the current federal restrictions on training do not allow for a variety of training tools and strategies necessary for individuals to gain skills to advance beyond entry level positions; and

WHEREAS, the nation faces the prospect of acute skills shortages, with one estimate indicating that the United States faces a shortfall of 14 million workers for skilled jobs by 2020, as job demands continue to rise but the education level of the workforce remains static; and

WHEREAS, the building trades continue to provide a steady supply of good paying jobs, often on projects which positively impact local economies, yet sufficient training and apprenticeship programs which prepare workers for jobs in the building trades are lacking; and

WHEREAS, local governments together with the business community and the workforce and education systems must identify strategies needed to address the skills requirements demanded by the local labor market; and

WHEREAS, comprehensive skills training and education strategies must be part of local job training systems that align with the labor market demands of local economies where businesses - the end users of the system - are located,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the federal government to: Strengthen the Workforce Investment Act by increasing funding, improving regional and private-sector coordination, and expanding outreach to immigrants; Provide incentives for public-private partnerships in workforce development; Provide additional training and apprenticeship programs which prepare workers for jobs in the building trades; Enlist regional employers as partners having a vested interest in the success of workforce development programs; o Provide adequate funding for federal programs which have demonstrated success in developing a competitive workforce, such as summer youth employment, Youth Incentive Entitlement Pilot Projects, adult education/G.E.D, literacy, Pell grants, TRIO, vocational education, and incumbent worker programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors calls on business leaders to: Invest in workforce education and career exploration counseling for high school students; Encourage employees (especially within large businesses) to participate in workforce development programs available in high schools, particularly those with lower college placement rates; Work with educators and local leaders to develop appropriate curriculum that is responsive to regional workforce trends; Collaborate with state education and workforce leaders to identify key regional job trends; Support federal and state standards-based education. Projected Cost: Unknown

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352