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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 5, 2004

Fact Sheet: Better Training for Better Jobs


Today's Presidential Action

President Bush has an agenda for creating more jobs for America's workers and ensuring that workers have the training and education they need to compete for the best-paying, highest-growth jobs. Today, he traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to announce a new initiative to provide America's workers with better training for better jobs.

America's growing economy is a changing economy, and some workers need new skills to succeed. Today's economy is an innovation economy. Two-thirds of America's economic growth in the 1990s resulted from the introduction of new technologies - and 60% of the new jobs of the 21st century require post-secondary education held by only one-third of America's workforce. We need to close the skills gap in America. Not enough workers are being trained quickly enough to take advantage of many of the new jobs that are being created. The Federal government provides state and local governments over $4 billion through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), but only 206,000 adults were trained through these programs last year.

President Bush proposed significant reforms to Federal worker training programs to double the number of workers receiving job training, to ensure those programs work better for America's workers, and to close the skills gap so we fill every high growth job with a well-trained American worker. The President proposed:

Background: Making Federal Job Training Work Better for America's Workers

The Problem: Currently, the Federal government spends almost $23 billion for more than 30 programs spread across 9 departments and agencies. The result is a confusing hodgepodge of programs, some of which have remained fundamentally unchanged for decades, and administrative costs that prevent too many dollars from getting to the workers who need training the most.