80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, the policy of investing in employment, training and career development is crucial to the nation’s economic strength and global competitiveness; and

WHEREAS, the investment of federal funds into adult and youth training, employment and career development has a positive impact on private enterprise within the local and national economy, tax-base and global competitiveness; and

WHEREAS, Congress has cut more than $1 billion in funding for national workforce programs over the last two years, including support for an array of  programs targeting dislocated workers, low-income adults, veterans, disconnected young adults and other highly labor market vulnerable groups; and

WHEREAS, over 9 million people were served nationally last year by the public workforce system, funded through WIA Title I programs - a 248 percent increase in participation rates in just two years – and over 4.5 million WIA participants found jobs through the system; and

WHEREAS, any further cuts to funding will seriously impact the ability of the workforce system to respond to immediate and long-term labor market demands, disrupting business growth and slowing our economic recovery efforts; and

WHEREAS, while the national economy is beginning to expand, 12.8 million Americans remain unemployed, 40 percent of whom have been looking for work for six months or  more; and

WHEREAS, a recent Manpower survey found 52 percent of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling critical positions within their organizations—up from only 14 percent in 2010; and

WHEREAS, despite an 8.1 percent unemployment rate, many employers in health care, advanced manufacturing, and other high-growth sectors report that they cannot find the skilled workers needed to fill up to 3.5 million current job openings across the country; and 

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has long promoted an agenda of smart, sustainable investments in the nation’s workforce to put us on a solid path to economic recovery and growth.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges  Congress to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act this year, in order to modernize the current workforce investment system to provide Americans with a competitive edge to compete in a global economy by acquiring the skills that growing industries desire; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to:

  • Maintain funding for WIA Title I Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth state formula grants programs at FY12 pre-rescission enacted levels, and fund national programs under Title I at the levels recommended in the Administration’s FY13 budget request; and

  • Maintain FY2012 pre-rescission funding levels for adult basic education state grants under Title II of WIA, consistent with the Administration’s FY13 budget; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on businesses and private enterprise to:

  • Invest in workforce education, training and career exploration counseling to create a world-class competitive workforce;

  • Encourage employees to participate in workforce development programs assisting students to achieve life-long learning and careers;

  • Collaborate with education, state and local leaders to build a responsive education system including career information and curriculum reflective of current and future business needs, based upon high-growth job trends.