Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Workforce Development Opportunities in the President’s FY 2012 Budget

A skilled workforce is critical to economic recovery. Now more than ever before, Americans are paying close attention to funding opportunities that support workforce development. Recently, President Obama’s FY2012 budget proposes a $12.82 billion budget for the Department of Labor, a reduction from the FY 2010 level funding level of $13.55 billion.  Although the administration makes difficult cuts to the Department of Labor, the President does make room for new programs like the Green Jobs Innovation Fund that helps workers receive job training in green industry sectors.
Below is a list of additional workforce related budget priorities from several agencies that we believe are of particular interest to the communities we serve: 

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)- $350 million to provide funds to lessen poverty in communities. Grant amounts are determined by a formula based on each State's and Indian Tribe’s poverty population. Funds provide a range of services and activities to assist the needs of low-income individuals including the homeless, migrants and the elderly.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)-$3.7 billion to support community development projects that will renovate streets, sidewalks, housing construction/renovation, and loans for small businesses. Part of these funds are set aside for a range of human service activities, including social services, education and job training.

Green Jobs Innovation Fund (GJIF)-$60 million to support competitive grant opportunities to help workers receive job training in green industry sectors and occupations and access green career pathways.

Job Corps- $1.69 billion to support Job Corps, an education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through vocational and academic training.

Second Chance Act/ Offender and Re-Entry- $100 million to improve outcomes for people returning to communities from prisons and jails. This first-of-its-kind legislation authorizes federal grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring, victims support, and other services that can help reduce recidivism.

Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program- the program provides $500 million annually for competitive grants to eligible institutions of higher education. The program aims to improve education and employment outcomes for community college and other students.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)- The President’s proposal continues level funding for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) entitlement to the states.  The budget does not set forth a legislation reauthorization proposal.  The document expresses a willingness to discuss a variety of proposals and approaches. 

YouthBuild- $155 million to support YouthBuild, a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development.

WIA Innovation Funds- $379 million to support the Workforce Innovation Fund, a partnership between the Department of Labor and the Department of Education that would support competitive grants to test and replicate innovative research-based strategies to improve the skills and employment outcomes of adults and youth. 

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