(June 14, 2022 4:15 PM) Today, Michigan Works! Southeast (MWSE) issued an appeal for community support against a federal proposal that would significantly reduce funding for staff and programs. The United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (USDOL) has proposed a Wagner-Peyser Staffing Act Rule that MWSE says would have catastrophic consequences for the state’s businesses and talent. Services would be reduced or eliminated for local veterans, refugee and immigrant services, career seekers and businesses that currently rely on MWSE services.
In the appeal, MWSE says the proposed rule change would impact Michigan residents by reducing services to veterans, refugees, and immigrants; eliminating or reducing Clean Slate (Expungement) Services, and a massive reduction of Career Awareness events for high school students.
According to the MWSE, business impacts include a reduction of Going PRO Talent Fund training, on-the-job training opportunities, apprenticeship programs, and other services for employers, while employer services would be totally eliminated.
“The proposed federal rule change isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and will negatively impact the communities we serve,” said Shamar Herron, Executive Director, Michigan Works! Southeast. “You are talking about services that help local families take the next step towards a better future for themselves or their families,” said Herron. “We need you to take action. We need your voice to be heard! We have until June 21st, 2022 to provide public comment to the USDOL and demonstrate your opposition to this proposed rule change,” said Herron.
Michigan Works! Association, along with several other Michigan Works! agencies issued similar appeals, writing to legislative leaders and economic development officials. The Association says the rules change would force the elimination of 75% of staff at 16 Michigan Works! agencies throughout the state.
The Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor invites public comments on the proposed rule here.
The rule change, along with the Labor Department’s budget is being debated by the Education and Labor Committee of the U.S. House. Today, Republican Committee Leader Rep. Virginia Foxx announced her opposition to the rule change to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh: ”DOL has proposed a rule to end flexibility for Employment Service staffing models funded through the Wagner-Peyser Act. This will have serious consequences for numerous states that use private-sector employees, local public sector merit staff, or other staffing models to administer services for job seekers and employers, such as job placement and recruitment. This rule will only do harm, increasing costs at a time of already record-high inflation and removing a crucial tool states use to hire staff who deliver these critical services to job seekers.”