This week, Congress has been working to adopt a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will finalize government funding for the remainder of FY 2014. The bill has advanced in an uncharacteristically bipartisan manner, without finger pointing, bickering or threats of a government shutdown. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill will not trigger another painful round of automatic spending cuts.
With certainty in the budget process somewhat improved and another crisis averted, these developments are cause for advocates representing a broad range of constituencies to sigh with relief. However, proponents of job training are quickly shifting their focus to what lies ahead.
First, efforts to determine funding for FY 2015 will commence very soon. In addition, the Senate may consider a long-overdue job training bill early in the session. These debates could help or harm the nation’s job training system.
In the meantime, more than 10 million people remain unemployed, including more than half a million people who served in the military during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Congress prepares to debate decisions that have important implications for job training and placement, Goodwill and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are partnering to help veterans who seek jobs now.
In fact, today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Goodwill Industries International will host Hiring Our Heroes – Milwaukee, a veteran and military spouse hiring fair. More than 60 employers are expected to participate with jobs available for veterans and military spouses of all ranks and levels of experience.
Since Hiring Our Heroes began in March 2011, more than 1,500 companies have hired 21,600 veterans and military spouses as a result of more than 660 hiring fairs.
As the nation continues to slowly recover from the Great Recession, Goodwill continues to work in communities all across the country to help people find jobs and advance in careers, from Milwaukee to Miami to Seattle to Portland (ME) and all communities in between .