Earlier this week, Donald Trump submitted his detailed budget proposal to Congress. Trump’s ‘Skinny Budget’ from March highlighted the President’s goal of adding nearly $55 billion to the Department of Defense budget at the expense of equal cuts to federal domestic programs.

It is important to note that politically, the President’s Budget is non-binding. This is not only true for this budget but others historically; President Obama had budgets defeated in 2013 and 2015, with a House vote of 414-0 and Senate vote of 98-1, respectively. Trump’s budget signals the official beginning of appropriations season in Washington and with a wide-ranging impact of federal spending cuts, it is critical to continue to educate congressional members and staff of the impact of federal job training dollars to businesses in your local area.

The cuts to workforce training accounts are significant (detailed spreadsheet included) –
• 40% cut to WIOA Adult, Youth, and Dislocated Worker Accounts (~$1.5 billion cut)
• 15% cut to Perkins-CTE funding (~$168 million cut)
• 35% cut to Wagner-Peyser (~$255 million cut)
• 12% cut to TANF Block Grants (~$2.2 billion cut)

The justification given for cuts to the WIOA programs specifically is that state, local, and employer partners can make up the difference. The National Governor’s Association just submitted a letter stating that this, in fact, is not the case. You can read the NGA Approps Letter here.

Stabilizing and growing the economy were a central part to the Trump presidential campaign and since taking office, there have been mixed messages coming from his administration on job training programs and vocational education. These dramatic cuts to the federal workforce investment send a strong signal that they do not believe in these programs.

Ultimately, Congress makes the decision on the funding levels for these programs. We need to engage our private sector employer partners to deliver our message that the federal workforce system is playing a critical role in their talent development, retention, and growth.