Skip to main content
Resolutions & Amendments

29th International Convention - Miami, FL (1990)

National Employment and Training Policy

Resolution No. 20
29th International Convention
June 25-29, 1990
Miami, FL


The need for training and retraining of our nation's workforce is critical if we hope to compete in today's world economic market. Millions of Americans are unable to earn a decent living and need assistance in finding jobs and in boosting their productivity. Many others have lost their jobs due to plant closings. These dislocated workers need retraining to make the transition to a new career; and


Despite the obvious need for an adequately funded employment and training system, the federal government has cut funding for employment and training programs from $18 billion in 1978 to less than $5 billion today, including a more than 20 percent reduction in funding for the Employment Service over the last decade; and


This lack of funding has forced states to combine and curtail services so that they are unable to provide adequate services to either the unemployed who need training or those who simply need help finding a job. In addition, the reduction of funds has forced states to close more than 600 Employment Service offices and cut staff by more than 30,000 workers; and


AFSCME members work in public agencies which serve the unemployed and underemployed. Further, AFSCME members, including 25,000 in the Employment Service, provide employment and training services to those in need to work.


That AFSCME work closely with other labor unions, advocacy groups, governmental associations and members of the academic community to develop a comprehensive employment and training system which provides adequate assessment, referral, training and education services to those Americans who are out of work or who want to upgrade their skills. This system should maintain the central role of the state Employment Service to oversee the system and ensure that quality services are provided to the unemployed at the local level; and


That AFSCME urge Congress to renew its commitment to employment and training programs and provide adequate funding for these programs, including the Employment Service; and


That AFSCME continue to oppose and defeat any attempt to privatize the operation of our nation's employment and training system, including the Employment Service. It is only through a locally based and publicly operated system that we can ensure that the needs of all those unemployed seeking services are met.


Howard N. Jorgenson, President
Helen Sampson, Secretary
AFSCME Council 28
Olympia, WA