“Relaunching America’s Workforce Act” Proposes $15 Billion in Workforce Funding

“Relaunching America’s Workforce Act” Proposes $15 Billion in Workforce Funding

Legislation to Fund Workforce Introduced 

The “Relaunching America’s Workforce Act” (RAWA), was introduced this afternoon, by Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee Bobby Scott along with Representatives Andy Levin, Susan Davis, Suzanne Bonamici, Joaquin Castro, Marcy Fudge, Lucy McBath, Susie Lee, Haley Stevens, Joe Courtney, Steven Horsford, and Angie Craig and co-led in the Senate by Tim Kaine, Tammy Baldwinm and Tina Smith.  RAWA intends to provide both immediate and long term supports to the U.S. workforce. The proposed funding structure in the legislation mirrors The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the stimulus bill passed in 2009 to address The Great Recession. Funding for the workforce system will be funneled through existing channels, to get resources to the local level as quickly as possible. RAWA aims to keep people on the job now, while also putting people back to work when necessary. RAWA focuses on maintaining core elements of WIOA and CTE by focusing on the most vulnerable populations and, while recognizing the definition of this will change due to the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring supports will be provided to those most effected. This Act increases flexibility so more funding can be used for training, supportive services, and career services.

A section by section summary can be found here.

Top Level Funding:

  • $500 million for National Dislocated Worker Grants
  • $2.5 billion for State Dislocated Worker Grants
  • $2.5 billion for Youth Workforce Investment Activities
  • $2.5 billion for Adult Education and Training Activities
  • $1 billion for Wagner- Peyser/Employment Services
  • $500 million for JobCorps
  • $150 million for Native American Programs
  • $150 million for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers
  • $250 million for YouthBuild
  • $350 million for Reentry Employment Opportunities
  • $500 million for Registered Apprenticeships
  • $1 billion for Adult Education and Literacy
  • $2 billion for Community College and Industry Partnership Grants (TAACCCT Grants)

Flexibilities and Legislative Takeaways:

  • Provides eligibility flexibility and maintaining eligibility for use. This legislation expands on increased eligibility offered in the CARES Act, ensuring that all individuals in need of WIOA services are able to access them.
  • Expands eligibility so anyone can access individualized career services
  • This eligibility extends to all in the labor force, including the “gig” or independent contract worker.
  • Expands the allowable amount of funds used on incumbent workers to 40%.
  • Makes allowable 40% of funds for transitional jobs, including public sector jobs.
  • Allows 75% of employee wages eligible to be reimbursed for on the job training.
  • Allows for an additional 10% of allocated funds for governor’s reserve to be used for COVID-19 response.
  • Requires states to deliver a COVID-19 recovery plan within 60 days of funds being distributed.
  • Requires that at least 50% of dislocated worker grants to be distributed in 60 days.
  • Makes allowable 1/3 of adult education funds to be used on incumbent worker training and employer supports.
  • Native American Grants expanded eligibility to individuals at up to 150% of poverty line.
  • No funds for this act may be used for IRAPs or SREs.

NAWB is thrilled to support his legislation, which is in line with the funding requests we have made to Congress. NAWB has collaborated with National League of Cities, National Association of Counties and, the United States Conference of Mayors to present a unified voice of support for this legislation. For questions, comments, or concerns please reach out to Matt Bandstra at bandstram@nawb.org

(Source:  National Association of Workforce Boards; 5/1/20)