H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act

Letters to Officials

U.S. Representative Washington, D.C. 20515
March 11, 2013

Dear Representative: 

You will soon vote on H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.). This legislation would modernize and reform federal workforce development programs. On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to support this legislation.

The current convoluted structure of federal job training programs is a perfect example of waste and duplication in government. According to a 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, there were 47 job training programs in nine agencies that cost $18 billion in fiscal year 2009. Program analysis is virtually non-existent. Only five of these programs had an impact study completed since 2004 to determine whether or not participants secured a job as a result of the program itself rather than a separate cause, and about half have not had a single performance review since 2004. In other words, creating more job training programs does not create more jobs.

H.R. 803 eliminates and streamlines 35 duplicative and ineffective programs, including 27 identified in the 2011 GAO report, and creates a workforce investment fund to serve as the primary source of support for employers, workers, and job seekers. This fund will offer state and local leaders an efficient resource to deliver the support their workers need. The SKILLS Act additionally eliminates burdensome federal mandates, provides greater representation of employers on Workforce Investment Boards, and empowers state and local leaders to determine the remaining representatives.

At a time when unemployment is persistently hovering close to 8 percent, it is more important than ever that Congress reforms the broken and wasteful network of federal job training programs. I urge you to support the SKILLS Act. All votes on H.R. 803 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2013 Congressional Ratings.


Thomas A. Schatz
President, CCAGW

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