This week, Congress reconvened in a lame-duck session in order to wrap up unfinished business. Its most pressing responsibility is finding a solution to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years in order to avoid automatic spending cuts that will otherwise take effect at the beginning of next year.
If Congress fails to act and sequestration takes effect, non-defense discretionary spending would be cut by nearly $40 billion in the 2012 fiscal year. An additional $15 billion dollars in non-defense funds would be cut from some mandatory spending programs.
Such cuts would have a significant impact on Goodwill’s efforts to help people find jobs and advance in careers. Job training programs for youth, adults, dislocated workers, and older workers, among others, could be cut by approximately 8 percent – more if Congress decides to limit potential cuts to defense spending by increasing cuts to non-defense discretionary programs.
Last year, more than 127,000 people were referred to Goodwill for employment services through the Workforce Investment Act. In addition, the Senior Community Services Employment Program (for older workers) helped workers who are 55 years of age and older to learn new job skills while working in a variety of organizations in their communities. Without appropriate funding levels, the restrictions placed on these programs and others would greatly reduce Goodwill’s ability to provide job training services and support services for people with disabilities and disadvantages.
Goodwill is asking for a balanced and bipartisan approach to deficit reduction, and urges Congress to develop an agreement that protects key community programs and services — including programs that help people find jobs and advance in careers — while growing stronger more vibrant communities.
Click here to tell Congress to support a balanced and bipartisan approach to deficit reduction.