The National Skills Coalition (NSC) has released a report on the impact of sequestration on America’s workers and employers, Disinvesting in the Skills of America’s Workforce: The Potential Impact of Sequestration on Key Federal Employment and Training Programs, along with state-specific fact sheets about the impact of sequestration. National Skills Coalition is a broad-based coalition of employers, unions, education and training providers, and public officials working toward a vision of an America that grows its economy by investing in its people so that every worker and every industry has the skills to compete and prosper.  

“These across the board cuts will mean millions of workers and employers won’t be able to get the skills needed to close the skills gap, reduce unemployment, and create more jobs, “said Rachel Gragg, federal policy director of National Skills Coalition. “Jobs and employment are the American public’s number one concern, yet Congress continues to ignore their constituents’ priorities, cutting workforce training programs by more than $1 billion since 2010.”  

The sequester will cut more than $450 million from federal employment and training programs this year. As a result, nearly two million fewer workers will have access to critical services that would help improve their skills for jobs employers need filled. These cuts will hurt individuals most in need of skills training:  

  • The federal program that re-trains the long-term unemployed will be cut by almost $80 million, denying services to nearly 30,000 individuals.
  • Adult Basic Education programs have a waiting list of more than 160,000 people . Over 40,000 additional learners won’t be served.
  • High risk students in grades 11 and 12 are 8 to 10 times less likely to drop out if they are enrolled in a Career and Technical Education program, but with these cuts nearly 750,000 fewer students would be served.  

Local workforce providers participated in a call with the NSC to discuss the impact of sequestration in their areas. “My company needs skilled and credentialed workers for my business to succeed,” said president & CEO of AccuRounds. “Additional cuts to federal funding that supports worker training and related services will make it even harder for companies like mine to find and maintain a highly skilled workforce, impacting our ability to expand and contribute more to the economy.”  

“Jewish Vocational Service helped 1200 people start new jobs last year. One of our programs, San Francisco’s Healthcare Academy works closely with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), the largest employer in San Francisco, to train people coming off of welfare for administrative positions at UCSF,” said executive director of Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) in San Francisco. “Close to 80 percent continue working at UCSF after the end of their internships. The demand for this program already exceeds capacity; we have 109 applications submitted for 20 training slots for a new training cycle beginning next month. If our funding is cut by sequestration, JVS would be forced to reduce or eliminate many of its services, like this program, that help people get back to work.”  

“The manufacturing program prepares my students for production and automation technician jobs that are in great demand in Chicago,” said Ray Prendergast, director of the Manufacturing Technology program at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago. “Without federal funding through the Workforce Investment Act, many of my students would not be able to afford the cost to attend the program, leaving them without the opportunity to get the credentials they need for a good-paying job in the manufacturing sector. Cuts will hurt our ability to provide the skilled workers today’s manufacturers are looking for.”  

The NSC has also released an infograph that illustrates the impact of federal funding cuts over the last decade on employment and training programs, and how sequestration will only deepen this disinvestment in America’s workers.  

The economic future of our workers, employers, and country depend on, in part, having a skilled workforce. Workforce programs cannot afford more cuts. NSC urges the President and Congress to find a permanent, balanced solution that invests in our workers and employers to grow our economy.  

For more information on impact of sequestration on the workforce, see the report National Skills Coalition released last week, Disinvesting in the Skills of America’s Workforce: The Potential Impact of Sequestration on Key Federal Employment and Training Programs.