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Getting Work: How Government Can Do Better Preparing Americans for Today’s Jobs

The federal government, working in partnership with various state and local bodies, operates 47 different workforce development programs with a budget of more than $18 billion annually. They are intended to provide the education and job training that will help individual Americans access good jobs. But the complexity and lack of coordination in this fragmented system wastes taxpayer dollars and diminishes the effort’s effectiveness.

The Governors’ Council of the Bipartisan Policy Center recommends changes in four areas to improve this congressionally mandated effort. Those areas are:

  1. Aligning and integrating existing programs.
  2. Strengthening educational programs other than traditional four-year college degrees.
  3. Decentralizing existing programs to more closely meet local and regional needs.
  4. Standardizing the collection of data about jobs, skills, and education.

Because of the pending reauthorization of many of these programs, this is a particularly apt time to make these improvements.

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