Politics

Trump’s Budget Cuts Workforce Training Essential to Blacks in Changing Economy

President Donald Trump recently released his annual budget for funding the U.S. federal government with cuts that will negatively affect African Americans and low-income and underserved citizens.

The proposed budget includes cuts of $700 million to Jobs Corps (40 percent), $14.8 million to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Reentry Employment Opportunities program (16 percent) and $86 million to dislocated worker training (6.8 percent). Despite the growing size of America’s aging population, the budget cuts $400 million from the Senior Community Service Employment Program. This effectively eliminates the work-based job training program for low-income, unemployed Americans at least 55-years-old (100 percent cut).

While the budget increases spending on the Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Program by $15 million (10 percent), it fails to meet the existing apprenticeship needs of American workers and pales in comparison to the drastic cuts of over $1.2 billion.

“A budget reflects national priorities, and unfortunately the Trump Administration’s budget does not prioritize the need to ensure the American workforce has the skills necessary to compete in the changing global economy,” said Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies President Spencer Overton.

“The U.S. already ranks second to last of 33 developed countries in government support for training, according to the OECD. The president’s cuts – particularly to programs that serve African Americans and other underserved communities – reflect a lack of commitment to prepare our workforce as technology and other factors change the nature of work. Now more than ever, it is imperative that our nation show that we can make skills accessible to all Americans to stimulate economic mobility and to ensure American companies have the talent necessary to remain competitive.”

The Joint Center recently completed the most extensive survey on race and the future of work and is currently working on research that highlights the significant impact of automation on Black communities and the importance of equity to effective workforce programs.

Founded in 1970, The Joint Center serves as a think tank that produces data, analysis and ideas to solve challenges that confront the African-American community. It collaborates with top experts, various organizations and others who value racial inclusion to maximize their impact. They are currently focused on the future of work in Black communities and congressional staff diversity.

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