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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 17, 2003
Fact Sheet: Providing Job Opportunities for America's Workers
Today's Presidential Action
President Bush traveled to Northern Virginia Community College to meet with workers involved in employment training and to discuss his plan to strengthen economic growth and create new jobs.
The President signed the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003 to provide tax relief for workers, families, seniors, and small business entrepreneurs that will increase the demand for goods and services, creating more jobs. The President will not be satisfied until every American who is looking for work can find it, every business has a chance to grow, and prosperity reaches every corner of America.
The President called on Congress to act on his budget proposal for Personal Re-employment Accounts, which will provide eligible unemployed workers the assistance and flexibility they need to find a new job right away. The President has proposed $3.6 billion for Personal Re-employment Accounts, which would help more than a million unemployed men and women across America get back to work.
The President also urged the Senate to act on the Workforce Investment Reauthorization bill recently passed by the House of Representatives that includes reforms to make the workforce investment system more flexible, accountable, and focused on results to ensure that we fund the programs that are most effective at helping Americans find work.
Administration Actions Providing Job Opportunities for America's Workers
High-Growth Job Training Initiative: While unemployment remains a top concern, there are industries, such as health care and high-technology manufacturing, which need skilled, well-trained workers now. The Department of Labor's High-Growth Job Training Initiative partners businesses looking to hire new workers with local educational and career centers to re-train unemployed workers in skills that are in high demand.
Personal Re-employment Accounts: To help people find good jobs faster, the President proposed creating Personal Re-employment Accounts and included a $3.6 billion request for FY 2003, to be spent over the next two years. Personal Re-employment Accounts would give flexibility to eligible unemployed workers by providing them with up to $3,000 to use for job training, child care, transportation, moving costs, or other expenses associated with finding a new job. Individuals who find full-time employment within 13 weeks would be able to keep any money remaining in the account as a re-employment bonus.
Workforce Investment Act Reforms: The Department of Labor annually provides states with substantial funds (over $4 billion in 2003) for employment and training programs governed by the Workforce Investment Act. The Act also establishes the One-Stop Career Center network with over 1,900 centers nationwide through which the Administration invests nearly $15 billion each year in government-wide job training and employment services. The Administration has proposed changes to the Workforce Investment Act to strengthen the One-Stop network, to give states more flexibility, to better connect the community college system and local businesses to the public workforce development system, and to make the system more accountable.
Pell Grants: More than 1.8 million community college students now take advantage of the Pell Grant program to help pay for their education and training. The President proposed more than $12.7 billion for Pell Grants for FY 2004, representing a 45% increase in funding since 2001.
For more information on the President's initiatives, visit