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Training: A Targeted Policy Proposal - page 9 / 23

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One of the original goals of WIA was to make it convenient for participants to receive a variety of services, so under the auspices of WIA, states have created onestop centers at which unemployed workers can access job search services and other assistance programs.6 WIA, TAA, and ES offices are located together in most onestop centers, and applicants can be referred to other programs depending on their characteristics and the availability of funds.

A final federal government program that provides training is the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program, which provides grants to states to administer GED programs and English language programs for immigrant workers.7 Unlike the WIA, TAA and ES programs, ABE programs are administered at the federal level by the Department of Education. In FY 2010 states received $553 million in federal dollars for ABE programs. ABE offices are also located in onestop centers.

By far the largest amount of government funded job training is done by community colleges. In the fall of 2008 there were over 12.4 million students enrolled in community colleges nationwide, of whom 7.4 million were taking courses for credit (according to figures from the American Association of Community Colleges). According to GoldrickRab et al (2009), community college receive about $2 billion per year in support from the federal government (aside from Pell Grants). Community colleges are also an important component of training provided through WIA and TAA since community colleges are often the entity where the actual training occurs. This means that many of the participants in WIA or TAA also show up in community college enrollment numbers.

Finally, states also fund a variety of job training programs run by private firms for their employees (often with funding from employer taxes), though there is little data collected on a regular or systematic basis about these programs.

As this brief overview of job training programs makes clear, job training in the United States is a disjoint effort funded through a variety of sources. As noted by GAO (2011), having

6 Unemployment Insurance offices are also located in onestop centers as are offices that administer the states’ welfare programs.

7

States can also appropriate additional funds to ABE programs.

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