The Fight Continues to Protect Workforce Programs Funding for FY2018

Congress recently approved an omnibus spending package for the remainder of FY2017 which will continue to fund the government though September 30, 2017. Despite an overall reduction in the Department of Labor, many of the federal workforce programs of interest to local Goodwill® organizations saw sustained funding or had a slight increase.
One exception is the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which was reduced by $34 million (or 8 percent).  Twenty autonomous and community-based Goodwill® organizations across the United States rely on SCSEP funding to help older job seekers learn new skills that lead to employment.
Our advocates worked hard to protect this funding during our recent Goodwill Industries International (GII) Advocacy Event — we sent numerous letters to members of Congress and made many visits to the Hill. If you have not had a chance, you can take action now and tell your Senators to support job and career training for older workers.
With the funding deal behind them, Congress will now turn its focus on the FY2018 budget and appropriations process, which is expected to be contentious. The budget is essentially an outline of how much money is available which the appropriations process divides up the money to be spent.
The details of President Trump’s full budget request are expected the week of May 22nd.  As previously reported, the “skinny budget” contained a number of proposed cuts that are of concern, including a proposed 21 percent cut in the Department of Labor.
The House and Senate Budget Committees plan to mark up their FY2018 resolutions after the Memorial Day recess. Appropriators will not wait for the House and Senate to agree on a budget to begin moving their next round of bills.  House Appropriations Committee leaders hope to start their process in late May.
The GII government relations team will continue to keep you – our advocates – informed of new developments of interest throughout the budget and appropriations process, and how you can support our efforts to protect funding to help advance our mission.