76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008



WHEREAS, the unemployment rate is currently 5.1 percent, and long-term unemployment is higher than it has ever been at this point in the economic cycle; and

WHEREAS, in the month of April 2008, the nation suffered a loss of 80,000 jobs and almost 20 percent of all unemployed have been out of work for six months or longer; and

WHEREAS, the Workforce Investment Act, the law creating the 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 $1 billion in funding cuts for job training programs in the FY 2009 budget; and

WHEREAS, other developed countries now invest more per capita in workforce skills, have created new entitlements for technical education, and are graduating more people from college; and, asa result, they are growing promising industries, spreading prosperity, and threatening to displace the U.S. as the world’s future economic leader; and

WHEREAS, one of America’s greatest challenges is to maintain its prosperity, standard of living, and competitive position in the current world economy; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. must create a workforce system that supports businesses to compete effectively by providing talent to fuel an innovative economy and enabling businesses to grow and create jobs; and

WHEREAS, an effective workforce system should serve as the lynchpin to identify where businesses have needs for labor an dhow to array workforce assets to meet these needs,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the federal government to strengthen the Workforce Investment Act by significantly increasing its funding to adequately reflect its importance; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the federal government to strengthen the Workforce Investment Act by:

  • improving regional and private-sector coordination, and expanding outreach to immigrants;

  • Providing incentives for public-private partnerships in workforce development;

  • Providing additional training and apprenticeship programs which prepare workers for jobs in the building trades;

  • Enlisting regional employers as partners having a vested interest in the success of workforce development programs;

    • Providing adequate funding for federal programs which have demonstrated success in developing a competitive workforce, such as summer youth employment, 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.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to ensure that public workforce development resources are accessible to all workers in need of assistance—including adults and youth who have been subject to decreasing investments by the Department of Labor, as well as low-income workers, whose access to Pell grants has been restricted; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that within the context of a business-driven, locally-controlled workforce system, data systems admeasures must be developed to accurately reflect local service strategies, economies, and business metrics. Additionally metrics should include not only the measure of an individual’s success but also the business’s success; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors encourages local workforce systems to have leveraged partnerships with multiple stakeholders allowing local areas to bring more to the workforce system thereby strengthening it to provide comprehensive, cohesive services to job seekers.