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Resolutions & Amendments

39th International Convention - Boston, MA (2010)

Strengthening the Wagner-Peyser System

Resolution No. 32
39th International Convention
Boston Covention & Exhibition Center
June 28 - July 2, 2010
Boston, MA


The American labor market has become extremely dynamic with individuals changing jobs frequently and moving from one career to another over their lifetimes; and

Skill requirements are higher today, even for so-called “blue-collar” jobs, and both currently employed and unemployed workers require systematic guidance in order to identify the skills, training, education, and credentials necessary to navigate a turbulent labor environment; and

Most workers who come in contact with the workforce system reach it through the unemployment insurance (UI) system, but rarely talk with a career counselor despite a mandate in the Wagner-Peyser Act that it provide reemployment services to UI claimants; and

Enhancing the career counseling functions in state employment service agencies and strengthening state job listings and employer outreach can lead to savings and efficiencies for the states, federal government and employers by promoting more rapid return to work by UI claimants and by helping workers select appropriate training or education programs; and

The public Employment Service system is a universally available statewide system which can establish consistent skill standards for counseling and other staff and ensure fair and equal treatment for all job seekers without regard to political affiliation, income, ability, race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability; and

Strengthening state employment service agencies activities would strengthen the effectiveness of the entire federally supported workforce system and enable Workforce Investment Act programs to refocus on training services for workers.

That AFSCME urges Congress and the administration as part of the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act to support innovation funding designed to strengthen and upgrade the career counseling capacity of state employment service agencies and to expand their employer outreach and job listings on state job banks.
Eddie L. Parks, President and Delegate
Kathy Stewart, Secretary-Treasurer and Delegate