Federal budget affects North Central

Several key provisions of President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget could have adverse effects at the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission [NCPRPDC].Obama reportedly recommends what North Central executive director Eric Bridges calls "roughly stable funding" for the Workforce Investment Act [WIA] core formula accounts for adult, youth and dislocated workers' programs.Adult employment and training could see a decrease of $1.4 million from fiscal year 2012; likewise, youth employment and training could dip $1.5 million and with the budget plan requesting just over $1 billion for dislocated worker employment and training, that line item could see a decrease of $1.9 million."The president's budget request includes language allowing local workforce boards to transfer up to 30 percent between the adult, youth and dislocated worker assistance state grant programs, if approved by the state's governor," Bridges said.Job Corps, another aspect to workforce programs, requests $1.65 billion, at least $56 million below the level for fiscal year 2012."The Job Corps construction account is cut $29.27 million while [Job Corps] operations is reduced by $23.3 million," Bridges said.The Workforce Innovation Fund includes $125 million, with $100 million coming in from the Department of Labor and the other $25 million contribution from the U.S. Department of Education."The Departments of Labor and Education would jointly oversee this fund, which utilizes competitive grants to support innovative, systemic and evidence-based reforms in the workforce system," Bridges said. "The program was funded at $49.9 million for fiscal year 2012."Regular funding for the U.S. Economic Development Administration [EDA] is reduced by $38 million under Obama's fiscal year 2013 plan, from $257.5 million (plus $200 million for disasters) to only $219 million. The proposed total includes $182 million for economic development assistance programs ($38 million reduction) and nearly level funding of $37.7 million for salaries and expenses.Pick up a copy of the Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.