Workforce Bulletin - November 22, 2013

This edition of Workforce Bulletin contains articles including:

EUC Extension Proposed Through 2014
On Wednesday, November 20th, House Committee on Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced identical legislation, (H.R. 3546 and S. 1747) to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) programs through the end of 2014. EUC is set to expire at the end of 2013. The bill would also maintain the current tiered structure of EUC and extend funding for Reemployment Eligibility Assessments (REAs) and Reemployment Services (RES) to EUC claimants through fiscal 2015.

NASWA Members meet with Senate Committee on Finance Staff on Challenges Facing UI System
On Thursday, November 21st, several states, led by the Chair and Vice Chair of NASWA’s Unemployment Insurance Committee Bruce Madson (OH) and Jay Rowell (IL), respectively, met with Congressional staff on the Senate Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.

NASWA Sends Letter to Senate HELP Committee on WIA 15 Percent Allocation in Reauthorization Legislation
On Monday, November 18th, NASWA sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member, along with three other members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) requesting the Senate WIA reauthorization bill, the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356), include a change in current WIA law ensuring that Governors receive 15 percent of the state allocation. The letter comes as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) placed S.1356 on the Senate Calendar to be considered by the full Senate.

NASWA Partners with LEAD Center of the National Disability Institute
On Friday, November 15, 2013, NASWA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD Center).

Construction Association Seeks Injunction against OFCCP’s Final Disabilities Regulation
The Associated Builder & Contractors, Inc., a national construction trade association filed a lawsuit on November 19 against the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to prevent new utilization goal and data collection requirements in final regulations pertaining to the hiring of individuals with disabilities from applying to construction contractors.

NASWA Participates in NGA Licensing and Certification Academy
The National Governors Association (NGA) hosted the NGA Veterans’ Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy this week at the U.S. Department of Labor. Six states – Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin - were selected to participate in the Academy to assist states in easing veterans’ transition from military service to civilian life and meaningful employment.

NASWA Attends Data Users Advisory Committee Meeting
NASWA staff recently participated and attended in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) twice a year meeting of the Data Users Advisory Committee (DUAC) Meeting on November 15th held in Washington, D.C.

ETA Announces Youth CareerConnect Grants
The Employment and Training Administration earlier this week announced the availability of approximately $100 million in funding for the Youth CareerConnect grant program. This program is designed to provide high school students rigorous academic and technical preparation for occupations using H-1B visas to hire foreign workers and increase the employability of those students in H-1B in-demand industries.

President Signs Bipartisan Bill to Increase Efficiency Under Davis-Bacon Act
On Thursday President Obama signed into law the Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act (H.R. 2747). Introduced by Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Ranking Member Joe Courtney (D-CT), the bill moves responsibility for wage claims adjustments for federally-contracted workers from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to the Department of Labor.

Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims Decrease, Continued Claims Increase
The U.S. Department of Labor reported for the week ending November 16, 2013 seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance initial claims decreased by 21,000 to 323,000 from last week’s revised figure of 344,000.

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