According to the president's 2018 budget priorities, the administration is requesting $9.6 billion for the Department of Labor, a $2.5 billion (21 percent) decrease from the 2017 annualized CR (Continued Resolution) level.
Some of our community partners will be impacted by these cuts. While West Michigan Works! will not weigh in on the appropriateness of the funding levels, we pose the following questions:
The cuts also raise questions related to our own programs and services:
Over the last four years, Michigan Works! agencies in West Michigan (and many throughout the state) have worked strategically and thoughtfully to reduce costs by eliminating contracted services, and the system as a whole has consolidated administrative agencies (from 24 to 16). All while retaining a high level of service to our employers and job seekers. There is no room for additional cuts without risking the quality and availability of services.
Call to action
If you have received services from Michigan Works! and have benefited from the high level of professionalism and quality of service, we are asking you to write to your congressional leaders. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a few in Washington, D.C. and they reminded me that our country's system of checks and balances allows for members of the House and Senate to counter the president's priorities with the priorities of the their constituents.