12 May 2020

Job Corps Included in COVID-19 Economic Stimulus, Relief Packages 

With the passage of the CARES Act and other supplemental funding, Congress is now focusing on another economic stimulus legislative package commonly referred to as Phase 4. The Senate returned to Washington on May 4, 2020, and are expected to remain in session until Memorial Day weekend. On May 12, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced The HEROES Act, which is the next round of economic stimulus funding including additional healthcare assistance, money for frontline workers and first responders, and state and local government aid. The HEROES Act focuses on retaining capacity at Job Corps Centers, supporting activities for the Centers to safely operate during COVID-19, and providing additional programmatic flexibilities for the program. The House is expected to consider the bill as early as May 15, 2020.  It is likely the Senate will not consider another economic stimulus bill until June at the earliest. Senate Republican leadership has indicated that it will not support the next economic stimulus bill unless it includes liability protections for employers.

As Congress considers plans to stimulate America’s economy, NJCA has made clear that investments in Job Corps can simultaneously meet the needs of young Americans while assisting in the economic recovery of communities nationwide. NJCA is actively working with Congress and our Job Corps champions during this crisis, educating them about the important steps the Job Corps community is taking to keep students and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, NJCA successfully secured assistance with federal contractor authority in the CARES Act. The law now ensures that federal contractors who cannot perform work at their duty-station or telework because of the nature of their jobs due to COVID-19 continue to get paid. 

Relaunching America’s Workforce Act

The House Committee on Education and Labor , the committee which authorizes Job Corps, and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA) on May 1, 2020.  The bill text and section by section can be found on the Committee’s website.  The NJCA was pleased to join numerous youth and workforce development organizations in endorsing the bill.

RAWA is the Committee’s primary bill meant to address COVID-19 related issues in workforce development and the impacted programs that the Committee authorizes, including Job Corps.  NJCA staff were fortunate to work closely with Committee staff as they developed the Job Corps section to address statutory and programmatic issues as a result of COVID-19 including IT and remote learning equipment, recruitment, eligibility, placement services, enrollment length, student pay and more.  The bill also authorizes $500 million in supplemental funding to address Job Corps related items and issues.

It remains to be seen if or when RAWA would be included in future COVID-19 packages.  However, Committee staff encouraged organizations that are supportive of the bill to promote and advocate for its inclusion to both House and Senate offices.  NJCA staff, KDCR Partners and the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Strategic Advisory Group will continue to work collaboratively with congressional champions to promote RAWA and other efforts to support Job Corps.

With the passage of the CARES Act and other supplemental funding, Congress is now focusing on another economic stimulus legislative package, commonly referred to as Phase 4. The Senate returned to Washington on May 4, 2020, and are expected to remain in session until Memorial Day weekend. The House is expected to return on May 11, 2020. It remains unclear what will be included in the next economic stimulus bill. Democratic priorities include funding for additional healthcare assistance, a heroes fund for frontline workers and first responders, Postal Service rescue, state and local government aid, and infrastructure. Congressional Republican leadership has indicated that they will not support the next economic stimulus bill unless it includes liability protections for employers.  

As Congress considers plans to stimulate America’s economy, the NJCA has made clear that investments in Job Corps can simultaneously meet the needs of young Americans while assisting in the economic recovery of communities nationwide.  NJCA is actively working with Congress and our Job Corps champions during this crisis, educating them about the important steps the Job Corps community is taking to keep students and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, NJCA successfully secured assistance with a  federal contractor authority in the CARES Act. The law now ensures that federal contractors who cannot perform work at their duty-station or telework because of the nature of their jobs due to COVID-19 continue to get paid.  

Relaunching America’s Workforce Act  

The House Committee on Education and Labor , the committee which authorizes Job Corps, and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA) on May 1, 2020. The bill text and section by section can be found on the Committee’s website.  NJCA was pleased to join numerous youth and workforce development organizations in endorsing the bill

RAWA is the Committee’s primary bill meant to address COVID-19 related issues in workforce development and the impacted programs that the Committee authorizes, including Job Corps. NJCA staff were fortunate to work closely with Committee staff as they developed the Job Corps section to address statutory and programmatic issues as a result of COVID-19 including IT and remote learning equipment, recruitment, eligibility, placement services, enrollment length, student pay and more.  The bill also authorizes $500 million in supplemental funding to address Job Corps related items and issues. 

It remains to be seen if or when RAWA would be included in future COVID-19 packages. However, Committee staff encouraged organizations that are supportive of the bill to promote and advocate for its inclusion to both House and Senate offices. NJCA staff, KDCR Partners and the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Strategic Advisory Group will continue to work collaboratively with congressional champions to promote RAWA and other efforts to support Job Corps.