SCSEP Targeted in Workforce Investment Act Proposal
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SCSEP Targeted in Workforce Investment Act Proposal

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April 20, 2012

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A bill in Congress to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) proposes eliminating 27 federal job training programs, including the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

On April 17, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012. In the name of consolidation, the bill repeals the job training programs and replaces them with a single Workforce Investment Fund.

The WIA, which governs the national workforce development system and authorizes funding job training and placement activities, expired at the end of FY03. Congress is renewing efforts this year to reauthorize the statute.

Debate about the number and overlap of workforce investment and job training programs is not new. In 1998, WIA replaced the Job Training Partnership Act and proposed new systems and means of coordination.

However, in its latest analysis of federal employment and training efforts, the General Accountability Office (GAO) singled out SCSEP and two other programs as ones that do not overlap other workforce initiatives.

Reports by the Urban Institute also continue to highlight SCSEP as the only training and placement program serving low-income older adults.

Protecting special populations

NCOA has signed onto a joint letter to the Committee, written by Wider Opportunities for Women, which expresses concerns about the implications of H.R. 4297 for special populations, including the repeal of SCSEP and Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations, also recognized as a non-duplicative program by GAO.

The Committee is expected to mark up the bill shortly, but a date has not been scheduled. It is unclear what proposals, if any, authored by Committee Democrats might be debated.

In addition, no timetable has been announced for the legislation to come before the full House for approval, and consideration by the Senate seems unlikely. Senate action on its own version of WIA reauthorization has been stalled for months.

In the meantime, NCOA continues to tell the story of SCSEP and advocate for restored funding.

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