National Partnership for Reinventing Government|
NEWSFor Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 6, 1999
Contact: Kelly Paisley
Tel.: (202) 694-0051
NEW "UNIFIED PLAN" OPTION CUTS RED TAPE, SPURS STATE AND LOCAL COLLABORATION
WASHINGTON, DC (October 6, 1999) - New Federal guidance published in today's Federal Register will make it easier for States to access funds for a broad array of education, training and related programs. This Unified Plan guidance cuts 400 pages of planning requirements for 15 Federal program down to just 70 pages, a reduction of over 80%.
The new guidance implements the unified planning provision of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA). It creates a new opportunity to maximize joint planning and coordination among programs that help improve the skills and abilities of the Nation's workforce. Signed into law last year by President Clinton, WIA is a major reform of our nation's job training, adult education, and vocational rehabilitation systems.
By streamlining overlapping Federal requirements, this guidance reduces the burden placed on States by reinventing the existing, fragmented planning process.
An interagency working group made up of representatives from the Office of Management and Budget, National Economic Council, and the Departments of Labor; Education; Health and Human Services; Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government (NPR) developed the Unified Plan guidance. The document is available on-line for review and comment at http://www.usworkforce.org.
"Across the nation, states and local governments are working hard to revitalize our collective commitment to the American worker, and to ensure that employers have the skilled workers they need," said Ray Bramucci, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training. "At the federal level, we are working arm-in-arm to ensure that states and local communities are empowered to move forward as easily as possible. At the local level, the new Unified Plan will help workforce investment boards and elected officials receiving federal funding develop and oversee the one-stop delivery system by working with designated partners."
NPR recommended the nation's job training system for reinvention in its original 1993 report, From Red Tape to Results: Creating a Government That Works Better & Costs Less. One-stop centers, the cornerstone of the Workforce Investment Act, will offer skills assessment, job information, and access to education and training - everything people need to make career decisions. The centers will link multiple federal, state, and local workforce development programs.