The recent report on the state’s workforce development system offered some helpful suggestions to align the system and deliver better outcomes for North Carolina’s workers looking to access skills training for good jobs. One thing it didn’t have suggestions for is how to deal with the declining federal investment in workforce training.
As detailed in a story this weekend, the decline by 18 percent since 2006 in federal workforce dollars has been driven by the failure to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act and the loss of federal Recovery Act dollars. The result has meant that workers without jobs seeking retraining and those seeking to train for the jobs of the future are not being served.
In North Carolina, federal funds for workforce development programs represent about 25 percent of all dollars invested to train the state’s workforce. Without an increased commitment by the state, many programs will struggle to serve the many workers seeking to get ahead.