Governors Urged To Coordinate Training Funds

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Washington--In the absence of a coherent federal industrial policy, one of the biggest challenges facing the nation's governors in the coming year is to develop state policies that coordinate resources available through the educational system with federally funded employment and training programs, Gov. Richard F. Celeste of Ohio said here last week.

Speaking at a policy conference on employment and training sponsored by the National Governors' Association, Governor Celeste asserted that the states have been "left holding the bag" without a federal policy. "My sense is there's not much interest in forging a coherent [national] policy that encourages economic development," he added.

The Job Training Partnership Act, which was enacted by the Congress in October 1982 to replace the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, forces state and local governments to coordinate their training efforts to eliminate program duplication, Mr. Celeste continued. But in the face of structural unemployment caused by major shifts in the economy, he said, "job training is an essential ingredient and not a sufficient strategy alone."

In the challenge to meet the training and retraining needs of some 9 million unemployed workers, the Ohio Democrat said the states must also find ways of involving small businesses that studies show will be hiring the bulk of workers in the future. And they must explore ways of making support services available to those participating in education and training programs.

A limited amount of money is available for stipends to trainees under federal law, but few states are taking advantage of that provision, according to Congressional aides attending the conference.

Other speakers were scheduled to address such topics as "education for economic growth" and mainstreaming youths into jobs. A discussion of the states' implementation of the Job Training Partnership Act, which officially took effect on Oct. 1, was also planned.

According to Susan Grayson McGuire, staff director of the House Subcommittee on Employment Opportunities, many states are adhering to the new legislation's requirement that training efforts be coordinated and are using it as a way to find new approaches to employment and training. She suggested that the program is improving because states are making more effective use of their own resources at a time when federal support is declining.

Jan Lilja, an employment, education, and social-services analyst for the Senate Budget Committee, predicted that the declining unemployment rate will lead to less emphasis on employment and training in the fiscal 1985 budget.

A reduction in next year's appropriations, added Richard Praeger Jr., human-resources analyst for the House Budget Committee, could also result from the budget deficit.

Vol. 03, Issue 15

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