THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
CLOSING THE SKILLS GAP: PRESIDENT CLINTON'S ADULT EDUCATION AND FAMILY LITERACY, RE-EMPLOYMENT, AND YOUTH EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVES January 28, 1999 |
Today, President Clinton Announces A $965 Million Three-Part Initiative To Close America's Skills Gap. Last year, President Clinton signed the Workforce Investment Act transforming the job training system by streamlining services and empowering workers with a simple skills grant so that they can choose the training they need. However, more work needs to be done because America still faces a skills gap. Today, President Clinton is announcing that his FY2000 budget includes a $965 million three-part initiative to address the skills gap.
The President's Budget Includes a Comprehensive Package to Help Us Educate and Train American Workers to Fill the Jobs of the 21st Century. This comprehensive strategy includes:
$95 million -- or 25 percent -- more for adult education grants and challenges state and local governments to join with us to raise program quality. $70 million for an English literacy/civics initiative; $20 million to help develop technology for adult learners; New 10% tax credit to employers who establish certain workplace literacy programs; and New initiative to mobilize state and local communities to implement strategies to promote adult education and lifelong learning.
2. A $368 Million Increase for Universal Re-employment Initiative.
The President's FY2000 budget makes a five-year commitment to our Nation's reformed job training system. Specifically, President Clinton proposes to put us on a path that ensures that within five years: All displaced workers will receive the job training they want and need -- after nearly tripling funding for dislocated workers since 1993, initiative makes first-year commitment of additional $190 million; All people who lose their jobs due to no fault of their own will get the re-employment services -- e.g., job search assistance -- they need; and All Americans will have access to One-Stop Career Centers, including a nationwide toll-free telephone system so that all workers will be able to find out what services are available and where they can go to receive them; job search information at 4,000 Community-Based Organizations; 100 mobile One-Stop Career Centers; and increased access for the disabled and the blind.
3. A $405 Million Increase for Youth Employment Initiative. The
unemployment rate among African American teens is 6.5 times higher than the national average. In addition to an increase in JobCorps and the $250 million for the new Youth Opportunity Areas, the initiative includes: 75-percent increase in YouthBuild, from $42.5 million to $75 million. New $100 million "Right-Track" Partnership initiative to help lower drop-out rates; Doubles the funding for GEAR UP -- which helps mentor children and prepare them for college -- from $120 million to $240 million; New $50 million initiative to help link Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/ECs) to their broader metropolitan regional economies in order to increase the employment of disadvantaged youth; and $65 million more to prepare disadvantaged youth for success in college, including $30 million increase in outreach, counseling, and educational support through TRIO program, and new $35 million initiative to help disadvantaged students stay in college. ###