Washington Updates 2019


The Trump Administration’s Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program Regulations drew an outpouring of praises and criticisms.

The proposal laid out the most specific details about how the program will operate. Third party groups responsible for approving programs will be called Standards Recognition Entities. Recognition by these agencies will not equal registration, rather it will be an additional step.

While Republicans welcomed the policy, Congressional Democrats called the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program regulations ‘’a violation’’ of the National Apprenticeship Act. 

Read more about the proposed Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program here.

Adult Education

A new guidance clarifies when Federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act funding may be used for credentialing costs in integrated education and training.

Certifications such as occupational safety and health will be allowed, while others such as work readiness will be disallowed.

The new guidance states that adult education funding cannot pay for costs related to general skills certificates that are work readiness credentials.

Contact here, to obtain a copy of OCTAE 19-2, the Allowable Use of Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Funds for Integrated Education and Training Programs.

Future of Work

Cities with educational attainment deficits and large shares of jobs held by African Americans and Latino workers are at risk of Automation, finds a report issued by groups representing minority elected officials.

The report investigated the communities of Columbia, S.C.; Gary, Indiana.; and Long Beach, California.

The researchers identified a range of forecasts., in the three cities, predicting that 32 percent to 46 percent of the jobs held by African Americans are risk of Automation, as are 41 percent to 50 percent of the jobs held by Hispanics.

Find the report here.

Workforce Development Month

September is Workforce Development Month and the Senate will soon consider a funding bill that would invest in workforce and education programs that help workers prepare for jobs at the backbone of our economy – those that require some postsecondary education but not a four-year degree. These programs have helped prepare millions of nurses, carpenters, computer support specialists and machinists across the country for their careers.

Nonetheless, Congress has, since 2001, passed spending bills that have cut funding for our public workforce system by 40 percent, for career and technical education by nearly 30 percent and for adult basic education by nearly 15 percent.

Read more here.

Washington Updates August 2019

Youth Labor Force Participation Surged this Summer

In August 16, The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual report on seasonal employment among 16-to-24-year-olds. BLS reported 9.1 percent youth unemployment rate, its lowest level since 1966. From April through July, 21.2 million young people were employed and 2.1 million unemployed.

Looking at demographics, the July 2019 labor force participation among young men, at 63.2 percent, was up by 2.1 percentage points over the year. The rate for women, at 60.4 percent, was little changed over the same period. By race, unemployment rates were little changed over the year for whites, at 8 percent; Asians, 8.2 percent; and Hispanics, 11.3 percent. Black and African American youth unemployment was 14.6 percent.

Looking at the distribution of employed young workers by industry or sector, 24.9 percent worked in the leisure and hospitality sector; 17.2 percent worked in retail; 13.4 percent worked in education and health services; 8 percent in professional and business service…

Read the report here.

Families Provided Care for Education, Training Vary

The Urban Institute has been researching state Child Care and Development Fund policies, examining the intersections of childcare with workforce development and postsecondary education, for more than half a decade. The recent research briefs provide a first look on the actual use of CCDF-subsidized care by parents enrolled in education and training and an update on state policies in this area.

Coverage levels and eligibility policies vary significantly across states. Generally, care that is subsidized by the federal block grant must be provided to low-income families. Most states prioritize recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits and working families. States, however, have discretion in providing care to parents who are enrolled in education or training, or are searching for jobs.

Find the research briefs here.

Public Charge Rule to Expel Legal Immigrants Based on SNAP

The Department of Homeland Security published final rules of an immigration regulation advanced by the Trump Administration that will deny admission to the United States for immigrants who have used certain public benefits, such as nutrition and housing assistance, when it takes effect on October 15. The regulation is formally titled Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds, but it is commonly referred to as the Public Charge rule.

The Immigration and Nationality builds off the Immigration and Nationality Act. The regulation allows the Department of Homeland Security to deny admission to anyone who is “likely at any time to become a public charge.” This prevents people without wealth or advanced education from achieving legal immigration status.  Its policies make holding down a job important for people seeking permanent admission. The law states that age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status as well as education and skills shall be considered but does not specify how.

To learn more, click here.

Washington Updates July 2019

Career and Technical Education

The National Center for Education Statistics defined Career and Technical programs (CTE) as “a sequence of courses at the high school level that provides students with the academic and technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions.”

In the Spring of 2017, the center conducted a survey on the execution of CTE programs. 1,800 school districts across the country were asked how the CTE programs were structured, as well as the challenges they face, level of employer involvement, and the criteria for which programming decisions are made.

To request a copy of the report, contact service@miipublications.com


Plano, Durham Lead Metro-Level Analysis of Senior Workforce

On July 8, Provision Living released an analysis of the senior workforce and growth within metropolitan areas across the country. Plano, Texas, occupies the top of the list with 25.4 percent of its senior population ages 65 or older remaining in the workforce. The metros with the next highest rates of labor force participation among seniors were Washington, D.C. and Anchorage, Alaska.

Analysts also documented senior workforce population growth from 2009 through 2017. Durham, N.C., leads the nation with a senior workforce growth of 109 percent. The next highest senior workforce growth rates were found in Plano and Austin, TX.

For more information, visit



2020 Election: Skills Training Support

According to the National Skills Coalition it is likely that there will be overwhelming support for skills training and government training in the 2020 elections. ALG Research conducted a research poll under the NSC in January.

These polling results found that ninety three percent of respondents said that they would support investments in skills training.

Read more about the poll here.


White House – Hill Leaders Agree on Two-Year Budget Deal

President Trump announced a two-year budget agreement is in place – the compromise would increase fiscal 2020 spending limits on non-defense programs by about 4% over current levels to $621.5 billion. In addition, it would provide an extra $2.5 billion to account for a census funding adjustment. Another $8 billion in non-defense spending would continue for the Overseas Contingency Operations account in both fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021.

For fiscal 2021, which begins Oct. 1, 2020, non-defense spending limits would be raised to $626.5 billion. The agreement also contains a two-year extension of the debt limit.

Assuming the agreement stays in place, a vote will take place before Members depart for the August recess.

For more information, click here.


Trump to Nominate Eugene Scalia as Secretary of Labor

President Trump took to Twitter to announce is intention to nominate Eugene Scalia as secretary of labor, following the resignation Alexander Acosta. Here is what you should know about Scalia.

Scalia is now a partner in the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher with specialization in employment law and administrative and regulatory law. His past federal government service includes working as a former solicitor for the Department of Labor and as a speechwriter for Education Secretary Benentt.



Washington Updates February 2019

Washington Updates February 2019

Workforce Congressional Committees

The 116th Congress has new members on committees and subcommittees which brought significant changes. These committees and subcommittees govern employment and training along with social services, education, and economic security policies and lastly program funding.

The House Committee on Education and Labor is chaired by Representative Bobby Scott (D) of Virginia and Representative Virginia Foxx (R) of North Carolina. 

The House Committee on Education and Labor has jurisdiction over workforce development programs. This committee also oversees the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Read more about the committees and new members here.


Skillspan: Job Training and Skills

The National Skills Coalition has plans to implement a network of state-level nonpartisans coalitions that will focus on skills and job training. This project is called the “Skills State Policy Advocacy Network” or in short, “Skillspan”. The objective is for these non-partisans coalitions to be in 25 states for the next five years.

Those who will be included in the Skillspan state-level coalitions are policy organizations along with other stakeholders including workforce development organizations.

Read more about Skillspan here.


2020 Election: Skills Training Support

According to the National Skills Coalition it is likely that there will be overwhelming support for skills training and government training in the 2020 elections. ALG Research conducted a research poll under the NSC in January.

These polling results found that ninety three percent of respondents said that they would support investments in skills training.

Read more about the poll here.


Veterans: Expansion of Eligibility

According to new federal guidelines Vietnam-era veterans can now be served by Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialists. These new federal guidelines have broadened the eligibility categories of those who can be served by outreach programs.

The eligibility extension includes transitioning members who need individualized career services. This also includes members and spouses of members who are ill, injured, wounded and are receiving care at military hospitals.

Read more about the eligibility here.

Washington Updates December 11, 2018

Washington Updates December 11, 2018

Short Term Spending Deal

A short-term spending bill was passed by the Senate and has been sent to the White House for the presidential signature. The bill would avoid a partial government shutdown and temporarily fund agencies that are still awaiting a final approved budget. In addition to Homeland Security, Department of Interior and Agriculture, the Justice Department, NASA, the Commerce Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Transportation Department, as well as other smaller agencies would be affected. With over 600,000 employees these agencies now await a final budget resolution before the end of December. Major debates include $5 billion in funding for a border wall between Mexico and the United States.

Read more about the bill here.


White House STEM Strategic Plan

A five-year strategic plan was released by the White House for the future of STEM education. Titled Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for Stem Education, the plan is a report by the Committee on STEM Education of the National Science and Technology Council. The plan envisions access to high quality STEM education. In the report there is an emphasis on partnerships between industry and community organizations to train workers for an increasingly high-tech world. The plan emphasizes the importance of developing holistic STEM learning experiences. That would entail blending the arts, social sciences and other fields beyond computational literacy. The federal commitment to equity and diversity is also mentioned in the five-year plan.

Click here to read the full report.


Technical Education to Meet Workforce Needs

A new study comparing vocational programs in the United States to those in Germany, suggest a need in vocational education to meet the needs of the United States. Joshua Aizenman, Yothin Jinjarak, Nam Ngo and Ilan Noy conclude that vocational training or CTE, that is resourced and targeted can be a better long-term investment in skill acquisition for those whose jobs are disappearing with an emerging high-tech world. With employment in U.S. manufacturing declining it is important to think of solutions for those who are already suffering the ramifications.

Key aspects that allow Germany’s system to do so well, is the process in which students are identified and directed to succeed in CTE programs. They start identifying students who are struggling in academics as early as seventh grade. The study also points to the large U.S. student debt of $1.2 trillion in the aggregate, which they calculate as being much larger than any returns.

Click here to read the full working paper.


Labor Department Launches Apprenticeship Website

Berkshire Eagle (October 9, 2018)

A no-cost tool to employers or career seekers, the Apprenticeship Finder tool is addressing a need shared by employers who are looking to promote their apprenticeship opportunities and career seekers searching to access them. The tool will not only make it easier for career seekers to find apprenticeship opportunities, it will also help employers promote apprenticeships across new or nontraditional industries where apprenticeships may be less common.

Read the full article here


U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Drop To A Near 49-Year Low

CNBC (October 4, 2018)

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 49-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength, which should continue to underpin economic growth.

The labor market, which is viewed as being near or at full employment, is steadily boosting wage growth, which could help to support consumer spending as the stimulus from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package fades. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended Sept. 29, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Read the full article here


Alexander Acosta On Future Of Work

Bloomberg (October 1, 2018)

“One big idea that we need to rethink is how do we recognize businesses investment in people?” Acosta said, “When you invest in a person, you’re building up an asset and you’re helping to educate that person. Is there a way to reflect that on the balance sheet? Is there a way to recognize that a better workforce makes a better company on the balance sheet, so that businesses that reflect in their workforce are not penalized for doing so?”

The labor secretary has been pushing these questions in public speaking engagements around the country, but the answers are probably outside the DOL’s purview. The balance sheet approach also seems to shift the training responsibility from companies who choose machines over workers to businesses who are actually hiring real, live humans. That’s not to mention what Acosta calls the “free rider” problem.

Read the full article here


Legislation Lowering Labor Department Funding Advances

Bloomberg (September 18, 2018)

In a 93-7 vote, the Senate passed the House-merged version of the package legislation (H.R. 6157) to fund the DOL, the National Labor Relations Board, the Defense Department, the Health and Human Services Department, and related agencies for the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

The bill includes $12.1 billion for the DOL, down $128 million from FY 2018 funding. The measure keeps NLRB funding at $274 million, unchanged for the current fiscal year for the agency tasked with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act.

Read the full article here


Rosen Introduces Bill To Create Federal Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program

The Hill (September 13, 2018)

The bipartisan bill, known as the “Cyber Ready Workforce Act,” would establish grants to help create, implement and expand registered apprenticeship programs for cybersecurity.

Under the bill, the programs would be required to offer certain cybersecurity certifications and help connect participants with local businesses or other entities for apprenticeships in hopes to boost the number of qualified workers for federal cyber jobs.

The proposed grant program is based on Nevada’s own cybersecurity apprenticeship program, the first in the country, according to a release from Rosen’s office.

Read the full article here


New Federal Website Links Jobseekers With Apprenticeships

Newsday (September 5, 2018)

On apprenticeship.gov, people can search for apprenticeship opportunities by city, state and occupation. The listings are from the National Labor Exchange database from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said the website “offers the first step in better online resources for apprenticeships across all industries.”

Read the full article here

Washington Updates December 11, 2018

Washington Updates August 7, 2018

Workers Hardest Hit By Recession Are Joining In Recovery

New York Times (August 3, 2018)

The unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma fell to 5.1 percent in July, the Labor Department reported Friday, the lowest since the government began collecting data on such workers in 1992. At the economy’s nadir in the summer of 2009, the unemployment rate for high school dropouts hit 15.6 percent, more than three times the peak unemployment rate for college graduates.

Read the full article here


July Jobs Report: Payrolls Rise 157,000 And Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.9%

Fortune (August 3, 2018)

Healthy consumer spending and business investment, supported by tax cuts and a bump in federal spending this year, are resulting in job gains that continue to be more than sufficient to accommodate population growth in the 10th year of the economic expansion. While the data mark a solid start to the quarter and should keep the Fed on track for an interest-rate hike in September, a widening trade war threatens to curb growth in the labor market.

“Right now, concerns about tariffs are just that: concerns,” said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Plc in New York. “There’s no evidence that businesses are changing the way that they’re hiring and spending.”

Read the full article here


DOJ, Labor Dept To Target Employers That ‘Discriminate’ Against Americans By Hiring Foreign Workers

The Hill (July 31, 2018)

The Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Labor announced an agreement Tuesday to work together in cracking down on companies that “discriminate” against U.S. workers by hiring foreign workers.

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and the Labor Department will start sharing information on employers, refer issues to the appropriate officials at each department and offer training to each other’s staff under the agreement.

Read the full article here