Public Papers - 1989 - July
White House Fact Sheet on Proposed Legislation to Amend the Job Training Partnership Act
Although the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) has been highly successful (the Nation's most distinguished employment and training program ever), it can be made even better. Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole has proposed changes that will maintain the successful cornerstones of the current JTPA program while targeting assistance and training to those least skilled and most disadvantaged.
Enrollment in JTPA will target those most at risk among the disadvantaged. All youth and 50 percent of adult participants will be eligible only if they face additional barriers to employment, such as lack of basic skills, illiteracy, homelessness, and teen pregnancy. Youth and adult programs will direct funds to geographic areas with higher numbers of economically disadvantaged persons. A strengthened local partnership will be established between education, the job training system, and other local agencies serving the disadvantaged.
The quality of JTPA services will be enhanced by providing a support system to enable our most disadvantaged citizens to become employable. Services will be individualized and substantially intensified. Participants will be assessed to determine their specific education and training needs, and effective program strategies for helping at-risk youth will be put into practice. Followup support services may be provided for 1 year after graduates enter the labor market.
New provisions to increase accountability will be established. Specific performance standards will be set to evaluate each participant's progress based on the achievement of basic skills.
Five Basic Principles Guide the Job Training Partnership Act Proposal:
1. Maintaining the successful cornerstones of the current JTPA delivery system.
-- The highly successful private-public partnership will continue, with private industry councils responsible for planning and oversight of JTPA programs.
-- States and local service delivery areas will continue to have the flexibility to design programs tailored to their labor markets.
2. Targeting on youth and adults most at risk of failure in the job market by:
-- Focusing on those most at risk among the disadvantaged. In addition to being economically disadvantaged, as required by the current law, all youth and half of adults will be enrolled only if they face additional barriers to employment, such as being basic skills deficient, having a poor school record, being a teen parent or homeless.
-- Authorizing a new challenge grant program to stimulate communitywide action targeted on youth in our country's most problem-ridden inner city neighborhoods and poor rural areas.
-- Creating new youth and adult programs, with separate formulas to direct funds to areas with large numbers of economically disadvantaged youth and adults.
3. Achieving a comprehensive, coordinated human resource program.
-- New State linkage and coordination grants will promote institutional change and leverage resources from other programs to better serve economically disadvantaged youth and adults. These grants will be awarded only to States that are willing to bring funds and systems to bear on achieving measurable goals, such as increasing high school completion rates.
-- A strengthened local partnership will be established between education, the job training system, and other local agencies who serve the disadvantaged.
4. Enhancing program quality.
-- JTPA services will be individualized and substantially intensified.
-- Participants must be assessed to determine the services they want and need.
-- Local JTPA programs will be encouraged to invest in program strategies and practices that are known to be effective in helping at-risk youth and experiment with new approaches as well.
-- Followup will be available for a year after a participant enters the labor market.
-- Youth will participate in year-round programs, and summer work experience will be available only to youth in those programs.
-- Support services will be enhanced to ensure participants can successfully complete training.
5. Increasing accountability.
-- Basic skills achievement will be an important part of performance standards for youth and adults.
-- Local programs will establish achievement objectives for participants in the program.
Note: This is an excerpt of a White House fact sheet released by the Office of the Press Secretary.