105 Peavey Rd, Ste 116
Chaska, MN 646-0646
Objection to the Overall Workforce Restructuring Scheme:
We oppose the reauthorization of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) because it represents a "radical" and "revolutionary" departure away from America's successful free-market economic system. Instead it embraces and helps establish a government-planned and managed economy. In order to understand how this could be, one must realize that the WIA is simply one piece of a larger federal reform agenda broken apart and passed piece-meal under the Clinton Administration. The 1998 WIA, along with the 1994 Goals 2000 Educate America Act, and the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, built the framework for this federal system.
These three laws effectively merged education and businesses under a government-appointed bureaucracy, which will oversee a "seamless system" of human resource development to meet the government-perceived needs of the future economy. These planners will determine future workforce need and approve specific "career-clusters" that regional schools may offer to students. Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the term "career cluster" was replaced with the term "smaller-learning communities."
In Minneapolis, ALL students are required to apply for a specific career cluster by 9th grade. Eventually, however, the Workforce Investment System is meant to include everyone in this scheme - whether one is a young student, unemployed, or an "incumbent" worker seeking a job change.
Building the Federal Workforce Investment Puzzle:
On November 11, 1992, Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton explaining how best to implement the design they had worked on together, now that Bill Clinton was president. (See Congressional Record, Sept. 25, 1998) In that letter, Tucker explained how that design would manage and control all people throughout their lives: "We think the great opportunity you have is to remold the entire American system for human resources development... What is essential is that we create a seamless web...that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone."
His plan was to align and coordinate ALL EDUCATION, WORKFORCE PREPARATION, and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT into a single, comprehensive, "seamless system" under a government-appointed planning board that would encompass every child, worker, school, and business.
On September 12, 2002, the Committee on Education and the Workforce heard testimony in favor of reauthorizing (and strengthening) the Workforce Investment Act, which confirmed that WIA represents the culmination of Marc Tucker and Hillary Clinton's radical restructuring plan to ensnare ALL people:
Mr. Tim Barnicle, Co-Director of the Workforce Development Program at the NCEE, and a former official with the US Department of Labor during the development of the Workforce Investment Act, testified in favor of reauthorizing WIA for the purpose of completing the "comprehensive workforce investment system for the United States." He explained that WIA would require an "EVER INCREASING investment" to meet its ultimate goal to "leave no child, no worker, no contributing member of our society behind."
Echoing the Tucker/Clinton plan for a "seamless system" was Mr. Bruce Stenslie, Director of the Ventura County, California Workforce Investment Board, who explained that the goal of WIA is to "integrate workforce, education and economic development strategies."
Managing the "K-80 Knowledge-Supply Chain."
Robert Jones, the Undersecretary of Labor during the Carter years, helped create the Secretaries Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills - where the preliminary work for WIA was begun. Jones is now the president of the National Alliance of Business and will be Minnesota's keynote speaker in the upcoming Workforce Development Seminar put on by the state this October 10th. Jones explains that WIA is about "Managing the K-80 Knowledge Supply Chain" in a newsletter:
"To stay competitive, US companies are making a science of pulling together the right supplies at the right time in the right place. What would happen if companies could apply this process, known as supply chain management, to people?"
Jones goes on to explain that schools are to become the "suppliers" and businesses the "customers" under this new "seamless system." The Workforce Investment Act echoes this idea explaining: "The state's Education system...must be more closely attuned to the needs of the employer community...including more...just-in-time training."
Keep in mind; the system is designed for all learners - "K-80," not just those who "choose" to enter two-year technical college. The proponents of the system call this concept "Life-Long Learning," because eventually EVERYONE will be part of the system.
"New Economic Governance"
Jones' term "Knowledge supply chain" is not really a good name, however. Marc Tucker, of the NCEE, more accurately called the system "A LABOR-Market System for the 21st Century." He explained, in his book by that title, that the labor needs of a new economy would require a "New Governance Structure" to manage it. He wrote, "The labor-market system [will be] overseen by a state-level council charged with policy development, strategic planning, coordination, oversight and evaluation." He also explained "States should...serve students in School-to-Career Programs through One-Stop Career Centers."
In order to accomplish theTucker/Clinton vision, WIA mandates the establishment of a nation-wide network of workforce boards made up of "government-appointed representatives" of business, education, labor, and others, who's duty is to match human resources to "customers" through local "one-stop" centers. By law, the boards must be at least 51% business representatives, stacking the deck in favor of the ultimate "customer." Unfortunately for freedom's sake, none of these groups get to elect their own representation. All are appointed by the state and held accountable to those who appoint them.
In Minnesota, an appointed oversight board called, the "Workforce and Economic Development Transition Team", is conducting the final assembly of our federal system.
According to their final report, released January 23, 2002: "The structural reforms include a new role for state government" which is to, "coordinate policy and planning between workforce development, education and training, and economic development." This "comprehensive strategy," according to the Transition Team, includes the creation of the "Minnesota Economic Leadership Team (MELT), as the statewide policy board for economic and workforce development."
MELT will be given supra-authority to choose business winners and losers and direct the state's total economic development goals and system. They will also carry out the increasing requirements spelled out under WIA. According to the Transition Team report, MELT's specific duties include:
This is completely contrary to our "free market" system that has served America so well!
The Federal WIA also mandates the creation of the one-stop career center, through which "learners" will be matched with targeted industries.
According to the Minnesota Governor's Workforce Development Council's Workforce Center Strategic Plan, "...the funding supporting Minnesota's Workforce Centers comes with much regulation and prescription from the federal government." Despite that regulation, on April 5, 1994, the US Secretary of Labor named the South Minneapolis Career Center, "The National Model for the Workforce Investment Act." WIA now mandates replication of these one-stop centers throughout ALL 50 states.
The goal of Minnesota's national model "one-stop" is to "establish a comprehensive K-life education and employment transition system which prepares all Minneapolis learners to assume their rightful place at the center of the economic and social fabric of the community."
Government bureaucrats, not individuals will determine "th[e] rightful place" of each person. According to the "Governor's Workforce Development Plan", the goal of WIA is to, "Increase the alignment of public schools with the marketplace, including the needs of critical occupations and industries." One-stop career centers act as job brokers matching students with specific government-approved jobs for which children have applied, beginning in 9th grade.
According to St. Paul's Education "Blueprint," "Based on federal and state research on where job growth is anticipated, St. Paul secondary schools will consider six career clusters as a focus of their small learning environments." Students are given a narrow choice depending on where government researchers have determined the need will be.
To help steer children in the right direction, the plan calls for "Aligning tuition levels to correspond with demand for training in priority industries and occupations." The plan even calls for "capping enrollment in programs for which there is a low demand for employees relative to supply."
Under the old (free-market) system, students were free to choose a major, and eventually a career, based on personal interest alone. Now, if government bureaucrats have determined that there are already enough "human resources" in a particular area of interest, that career or major would not be available. Where does the information come from to determine demand in "priority industries"? The Governor's Workforce Development Plan answers: "State government must constantly monitor occupation and industry trends and remain flexible to respond to them." Apparently, free-market forces are no longer good enough for the "new economy," only government can save the economy!
A Track-Record of Failure:
For example, according to a Minnesota Department of Economic Security report, five industries have been targeted as "high growth." One of them was determined to be "taconite production," a mining product necessary for the production of steel. As a result, the state school system produced brochures to lure children into the field of Taconite Production. The flyers produced with taxpayer dollars proclaim: "GO PLACES in TACONITE" and promises paychecks of $65,000 per year.
Unfortunately, during the same year that brochure was produced, 30,000 Iron-Range workers were laid off due to the decline of the taconite industry. (Each of those unemployed workers would LOVE to be earning $65,000 a year!)
The point is, if government planners cannot accurately predict market trends in the same year, why would we trust them to accurately predict the future four or ten years down the road and tailor shape our children's training accordingly? The government is training our children to be unemployed! Unfortunately, the system is designed to respond to LOCAL INDUSTRY NEED, not the needs of children. Since the Iron Range is assigned taconite production, schools in the area will slot children into that career regardless of true need!
Another example illustrates the inefficiency of regional bureaucratic planning. Recently, we met a man who had been laid off after a 35-year career in computer programming. He decided to visit his "one-stop career workforce center." He explained that programming was his life's work and all he really needed was a few classes to update his computer skills. Unfortunately the one-stop center in his home district was not approved for any more computer programmers, but they did need more hotel workers. They approved a training schedule for him to learn hotel maintenance. Meanwhile, the workforce center for the county just north of his district had a top-priority listing to find and train computer programmers. Both centers knew of this man, but because he lived in a different region, the bureaucracy wouldn't allow the obvious solution of training him in the field where he was highly qualified. He ran into a red-tape nightmare and ended up staying on the welfare roles.
Government bureaucracies are terribly inefficient compared to free-market forces!
All 50 States Implementing the Same Plan:
The Federal Departments of Education and Labor co-developed the templates that States were required to follow in order to gain approval for their Workforce Development Plans. All 50 states have adopted the federal guidelines and are in various stages of building the same system. Minnesota's plan may be compared with that of any other state, and one will find a nearly identical workforce development plan.
For example, like Minnesota, the Texas Workforce Development Plan divided the state into regions and developed career clusters to meet labor needs of the local businesses. According to their report, "The Dallas metropolitan area with its telecom corridor demands different skill sets in the workforce than those needed in the shipbuilding industry in Corpus Christi or oil production in the Permian Basin."
The report continues: "This will require continued innovation led by those who understand best the challenges of business - those who represent that community on local workforce boards. It will also require the system to...increase the involvement of the economic development and education communities."
Yes; the proponents of this system honestly believe GOVERNMENT alone knows the future and is best suited to shape human resource development under its narrow vision. As Mr. Stenslie, Director of the Ventura County California Workforce Investment Board said in testimony: government, under WIA, will "BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE." (Emphasis added).
The free market system that has made the United States the freest and most prosperous in the history of the world will be destroyed if WIA is reauthorized.
Summary of Reasons to Oppose Reauthorization of WIA:
1) The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is one of three federal bills that combine to create an aligned and unified "Labor Supply Chain," in effect, re-inventing government, education, and the economy in all 50 states.
2) WIA interferes with local free-market forces by controlling workforce and economic development through government-appointed planning boards. Furthermore, it usurps and damages the private job-matching industry.
3) WIA waters down existing programs for the truly needy, disabled, and unemployed by spending limited funds for ANY and ALL citizens.
4) WIA has a proven track record of failure in its pilot states. More funding WILL NOT SOLVE the fundamental problems inherent within a government-planned economy!
5) WIA usurps states' (and the peoples') right to self-determination guaranteed by the constitution and the 10th amendment.
Michael J. Chapman and the Maple River Education Coalition
The Maple River Education Coalition is a grass-roots volunteer network of parents, educators, business leaders, and students based in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is committed to educating the public about the unprecedented transformation of the US workforce, the US economy, and American education toward a centrally planned and controlled federal system. The organization has grown to 30,000 strong across the state of Minnesota.
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