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Talent | Workforce News

  • Wed, February 12, 2020 2:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 federal budget and appropriations process has begun with the release of the President’s budget request to Congress. The president’s budget proposal is not binding, but rather a reflection of the Administration’s priorities for the year and can serve to inform congressional negotiations over spending decisions and new policy proposals.  With respect to CTE, the budget proposal included nearly $900 million in additional funding directed to career and technical education (CTE). This is composed of a $680 million increase (53%) for Perkins Basic State Grants, approximately $83 million increase (1112.8%) for Perkins National Programs (with a focus on competitive grants for innovation and modernization of programs), and over $100 million in additional funds that could be generated for Perkins through changes to the H-1B visa program. The AP reported in part the CTE spending: “would be a historic federal infusion into a spending area that’s been stagnant for years” . . . (giving what the President believes are strong career paths) . . . “for students as alternatives to a four-year degree.”  However, these spending levels were paired with some decreases to both the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Labor (DOL), wherein the President’s ED budget came in 7.8% lower than the enacted FY 2020 level, while the DOL budget came in 10.7% lower. [Much of the proposed cuts will not likely be included in the final appropriations as they wind through Congress, even if some are warranted given the programs are either outdated, redundant, or ineffectual]. 

    Nevertheless, the new budget request signals a large shift toward prioritizing CTE for the current Administration, (something the Opportunity America Jobs and Career Coalition, including CIRT have advocated). However, as noted both historically and in the current political environment Presidential budgetary requests have not fared well in Congress. Further, the two-year budget deal that was signed into law last year provided only a small increase in Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) funding for FY 2021 (which includes the Departments of Education and Labor). This will make it difficult for Congress to give any NDD program a significant increase. Within this context, the community will need to continue to fight hard, be vocal, and press for CTE spending at levels not seen during the appropriations process.

  • Tue, February 11, 2020 2:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Opportunity America, (of which CIRT is a member), is working on a new project with the Urban Institute and a team of consultants whose business is to help companies stand up youth apprenticeship programs. Technical assistance of the kind these consultants provide is usually a fairly pricey option for an employer. But thanks to a generous grant from the US Department of Labor, these consultants are in a position to provide their services for free.  The question is: are any companies interested in the kind of assistance these consultants can provide?  If so, they will work with CIRT to inform our members about what services are available and recruit them for regional meetings with the consultants to explore it further. [NOTE: See the attached one-pager for more detail].

  • Mon, September 30, 2019 1:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The overall demographics of the nation’s workforce continues to age, with the number of workers aged 55 and over increasing, while at the same time the number of workers under the age of 25 is decreasing, according to the 2018 Current Population Survey. A recently released report by the National Association of Home Builders confirms that this trend is more acutely affecting the construction industry due to the fact its workforce is older than those in other industries. Workers under the age of 25 represent only 9% of the construction workforce in 2018, whereas workers age 55 and over increased from 17% in 2011 to a staggering 22% only seven years later in 2018.

    With this aging workforce, member firms must keep in mind the application of: The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), as well as requirements imposed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), [in addition to any similar state law].

    The ADEA prohibits discrimination in the workplace of employees who are aged 40 or older; while The ADA prohibits discrimination in the workplace against qualified employees who have a physical or mental impairment. The ADA also require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to allow disabled employees to perform the essential functions of their job. Reasonable accommodations under the ADA may include reducing or having flexible hours or restructuring workload and job duties. Such accommodations can help encourage skilled and talented age-protected employees to remain with their employer longer.

  • Wed, September 25, 2019 1:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NAC Safety White Paper No. 48, “NAC Recognizes Known Contractors Achieving One Million Workhours with Zero OSHA Recordable Injuries” was recently released showing the firms reaching this impressive milestone according to OSHA records.  (See, Safety White Paper No. 48).

  • Wed, March 06, 2019 12:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “Safe + Sound,” OSHA's year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to have a safety and health program, includes both employers and workers.  Employers are encouraged to participate in quarterly events to develop effective safety and health programs in their workplaces. Participants can learn about best practices during webinars and put them into action during the 30-day challenges. These events also focus on management leadership, worker involvement, as well as finding and fixing hazards. CIRT member firms can share their safety successes during Safe + Sound Week (August 12-18, 2019).  If interested, sign up on the Safe + Sound website.

  • Tue, January 01, 2019 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The goal of Build Your Future (BYF) is to change the perceptions that parents, teachers, counselors, and other influencers have about careers in construction with the ultimate goal being to recruit more young people into the community/industry. To accomplish this, BYF seeks to use non-traditional but proven media methods to push out and spread messages: social media and YouTube; geo-targeting; and behavior targeting.  Check out www.byf.org

    As interest is generated by  Build Your Future (from a robust social media campaign/videos, etc.), a website is needed -- www.discovery.byf.org -- to drive people to it that contains the key concepts the BYF is trying to instill about construction careers. The website was designed specifically for parents, teachers, counselors and others to provide information on careers in construction in a way that resonates with them.

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