Program: Employment placement and training services

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$58,111,900

Special Revenue Funds:

$4,811,500

GF/GP:

$7,913,100

Total:

$70,836,500[9]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds a large array of programs financed primarily by the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, as well as by funding from the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture. 

Workforce Investment Board. (WIB) After the federal Workforce Investment Act took effect in July 1999, the governor’s Workforce Commission assumed the role of advice, oversight, and research.[10] In March 2002, a state Workforce Investment Board replaced the commission; the WIB which more closely met the requirements of WIA.[11]  The WIB oversees the statewide “career development system,”[12] which includes the programs described below. We recommend that the Workforce Investment Board be eliminated. 

Michigan Works! Association. The Michigan Works Association offers policy guidance to the Michigan workforce development system. This body is a holdover from the federal Job Training Partnership Act, and attendant Private Industry Councils established at the local and regional levels. 

The Michigan Works! Association has assumed the lead role in planning the workforce system over the years.  It sets the direction for Michigan’s regional “Michigan Works! Agencies” (also known as  “regional workforce development boards”).  In effect, the Michigan Works! Association directs how the local workforce development officials should carry out implementation activities pursuant to the Workforce Investment Act. 

Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs). There are 25 MWAs in Michigan. These agencies are required under the terms of WIA (Title 1) if the state wishes to accept federal funding.  MWAs plan services for the unemployed, as well as for employed adult workers, disabled workers, young people, and poor, divorced or widowed older female homemakers without children, often called “dislocated homemakers.”  Some agencies serve several counties while others may just serve just one.  These agencies do not provide local or regional services directly. The services are provided through Michigan’s 104 Michigan Works! Service Centers, or “one-stops.” 

Michigan Works! Service Centers.  There are 104 one-stops or Michigan Works Service Center across the state, all governed by MWAs. These one-stops provide the federal government’s workforce development services, and offer three basic services: 1) “core services” (e.g. job search and placement services for all adult worker applicants, as well as the unemployed “dislocated workers”); 2) “intensive services” (intensive counseling, case management for those who cannot get new jobs on the first round of core services), and 3) “training” (in-depth occupational training, skill and job upgrading for those unable to get jobs as a result of intensive services).

Michigan Works! Service Centers effectively duplicate services already provided by the private sector, either by the private staffing services industry or nonprofit organizations, and thus create unfair, subsidized competition against the private sector.  Some Michigan Works! Agencies and their one-stops have engaged in very aggressive, anti-competitive behavior by giving away their services “for free;” that is, by providing recruiting and placement services to large corporations at no charge.[13]

All 25 Michigan Works! Agencies and their 104 Michigan Works! Service Centers should be eliminated. They operate in direct and unfair competition with Michigan’s private staffing services industry and serve no unique purpose. 

Michigan Rehabilitation Services.  This item is found within the Employment Training Services program.  It provides administration funding for the Michigan Rehabilitation Services program, which is addressed below.  It should be eliminated with the rest of the MDCD.

Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC).  This appropriation funds administration of the MCSC.  The MCSC coordinates and markets volunteerism in Michigan.  Ironically, nearly all the funding for a commission dedicated to voluntary association is funded by involuntary tax revenue.  Ninety percent of the MCSC’s 2002 and 2003 funding of approximately $8.5 million is derived from federal and state taxation.[14]  The commission was created in 1991 and has redistributed more than $40 million to organizations that work to “engage thousands of Michigan citizens in volunteer service.”[15]  Government-directed, involuntarily funded “volunteerism” actually harms the charitable ethic of our state by making organizations dependent on government funding rather than true community support and voluntary involvement.  It creates the false impression that civic institutions need government support and direction.  Administrative support for this program should be eliminated with the MCSC itself.

Recommended Action:
 
As described above, the Employment Placement and Training Services appropriation funds programs that either duplicate the services provided by, and in many cases actually harm, private for-profit and nonprofit organizations.  These programs should be eliminated.  Savings:
$70,836,500.

Program: Michigan career and technical institute

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$8,152,800

Special Revenue Funds:

$1,693,600

GF/GP:

$1,147,200

Total:

$10,993,600[16]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI), whose mission, according to the MCTI web site, is “to provide technical training and support services to prepare Michigan residents with disabilities for employment in today’s competitive job market.”[17]

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  Like many other programs it is well intentioned and addresses an important need.  These services, however, are best provided and funded by local community organizations and businesses, not the federal or state government.  Recycling community funds through expensive and bureaucratic state and federal programs, returning a portion back to the community with strings attached, crowds out the private, nonprofit and for-profit efforts.  Many fine private organizations are working today to meet this need.  Indeed, persons with disabilities are often sought by firms for their skills, and for the good public relations that can result from employing disabled citizens.  The MCTI web site, “www.abletowork.org” even provides a link to a consortium of Fortune 1000 companies that are voluntarily facilitating their own hiring and training of the disabled.  Savings: $10,993,600.