Lifeline

February 17, 2011

HONORABLE CONGRESSMAN GEORGE MILLER
U.S. House of Representatives
2205 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

RE: Potential Purging of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

Dear Honorable Miller:

Founded in 2001 by human resources and community outreach specialists, we operate a nonprofit agency that produces the POWER Collaborative Network, a cluster of human social service and economic development providers working in the County of Los Angeles.  Our understanding is that the House Appropriations Committee is considering the removal of the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which in view of our work product, the elimination of the WIA program does not coincide with viable community development activity.

The cohesive vision for helping people in the region emanates from the spirit and intent of the WIA, which gives guidance on the importance of collaborating to deliver more efficiently and effectively essential life needs throughout the community.  The outcome from this collaborative work makes a critical difference in helping some of the most vulnerable segments of the Los Angeles populace. Thus, the acronym P.O.W.E.R. represents Promoting Opportunities With Essential Resources.

This is a regional outreach effort working well in areas such as job referrals, community job fairs, affordable housing, local hiring, green space development and human services training/education processes. As we collectively strive to improve the content and delivery of our respective responsibilities, we look ahead to our WIA member’s continued participation toward expanding, retaining and attracting employers for highly valuable to residents in the region.

Should WIA funding go away, it is nearly impossible to envision how our community could make any sort of positive impact on helping residents obtain jobs that pay a living wage? Particularly, in light of the construction jobs and permanent career positions coming on line with the anticipated economy recovery, WIA funded agencies contribute significantly with coordinating the labor pool critical for community growth.

WIA funds are the integral resource that makes identifying and training candidates to qualify for hiring into these needed positions. Accordingly, we support the continuance WIA program initiatives and the efforts all WIA staff in terms of training and preparing workers and youth for the workforce.

Sincerely,

Dean L. Jones, C.P.M.

CEO

Cc: Charles Woo, Chair
City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board
1200 West 7th Street, 6th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017