The state would lose about $30 million in nonstimulus federal dollars channeled through the Workforce Investment Act, some of which supports Nevadaworks and Workforce Connections, two job training facilitators located in northern and southern Nevada, respectively.
Nevada JobConnect career centers in Sparks, Reno and across the state would be affected as well, though federal cuts would likely be offset, in part, by state funds. Nevadaworks and Workforce Connections, meanwhile, receive all their funding from the federal level.
There is disagreement, however, about the true peril of the House continuing-resolution bill, which would fund the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year, ending Sept. 30.
Job training providers in the state operate under a different budget cycle, with their program year running from July 1 to June 30. Because of this lag time, they would have to do without new funding during that 2011-12 timeframe if the House bill were to pass in the Senate.
“The impact would be pretty dramatic” on Nevadaworks, to the tune of about $9 million in lost funding, CEO Tom Fitzgerald said.
About $3.1 million in unobligated reserves could carry over to support adult and dislocated worker programs for the coming program year, but services for youth would have no additional funding, Fitzgerald said.
Two prospects could further complicate matters.
First, it places the 17 service providers supported by Nevadaworks in limbo as they wait to see whether their operating budgets will be renewed.
A lack of new funding also could place Nevadaworks itself at risk. A severe depreciation in its own operating budget could result in layoffs, or worse, a shuttering of its doors, Fitzgerald said.
Republicans, who passed the House bill on a party-line vote, have challenged the veracity of reports that indicate funding streams for the state’s job training programs could dry up.
“Despite what some press releases might say, funds for work training programs are still available and those funds are not impacted by the continuing resolution,” said Stewart Bybee, communications director for Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., in a statement.
Democrats, on the other hand, are using the findings of several nonprofit policy organizations to bolster their opposition to the House bill.
“… We should not be pulling the rug out from under Nevada’s job seekers just when our economy is beginning to recover,” said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a statement.
A compromise bill is likely, lest a government shutdown ensue when a temporary federal spending measure expires March 18.
But it won’t be easy given the current gap that exists between the Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate. The House bill proposes about $60 billion in spending cuts while a Senate package calls for about $50 billion less.
Fitzgerald said in the end, he expects to see cuts wind up “somewhere between the worst- and best-case scenario.”