Earlier this year, a group of state administrators appealed to congressional leaders to keep the free online job site from shutting down in June. But the group’s executive director doubts Congress will heed the call.
In February, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies sent letters to Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. David Obey, D-Wisconsin, asking for continued funding for
“NASWA believes Congress should provide a ‘line item’ of $6 million for continuing AJB in a supplemental appropriation for another year starting July 1, 2007,” NASWA president Roosevelt Halley wrote in the letter.
But Rich Hobbie, NASWA’s executive director, has little hope at this point. He says the best chance for the additional $6 million was getting the request included in a military appropriations bill. But neither the House nor Senate version of the bill—both of which sparked controversy because of timetables for withdrawing troops from Iraq—include the America’s Job Bank funding, Hobbie says.
“It appears unlikely now,” he says.
Harkin did not immediately return a call requesting comment. An aide to Obey did not return a call seeking comment.
NASWA is a group of state administrators of programs and services provided through publicly funded state workforce systems.
But the decision to shutter the site has raised a number of questions, including how companies will meet compliance needs. There’s also concern about possible harm to smaller employers and lower-skilled job seekers.
At least two organizations have announced services intended to replace
The association’s site, dubbed JobCentral National Labor Exchange, won an endorsement in late March from NASWA. Hobbie said NASWA will play a role in governing the exchange, along with the DirectEmployers Association and participating states.