Cohen Introduces Jobs for Urban Sustainability and Training in America Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) today introduced the Jobs for Urban Sustainability and Training (JUST) in America Act of 2011, legislation that would create jobs and provide training to Americans struggling to find work by eliminating tax breaks to major oil companies and using those funds for public works and jobs training programs for unemployed workers.
“These are tough economic times and people need help,” said Congressman Cohen. “Congress must focus like a laser beam on the economy and creating jobs, especially in communities where the unemployment rate is especially high. My bill would help create jobs by eliminating overly generous tax breaks for Big Oil and use those funds for public works and jobs training programs for the unemployed.”
The JUST in America Act would allocate $10 billion in grants to cities with unemployment rates above the national average rate for 18 consecutive months to provide jobs training, public works, and economic development programs. The funding will be administered by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce from funds made available through the elimination of tax breaks to major oil companies.
The Secretary of Labor would use $5 billion of these funds to fulfill the first goal of the legislation -- jobs training and obtaining new skills. The bill would carry out the adult and dislocated worker employment and training activities under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. These services, which were designed to provide quality employment and training services, include:
• Core Services: includes outreach, job search and placement assistance, and labor market information available to all job seekers;
• Intensive Services: includes more comprehensive assessments, development of individual employment plans and counseling and career planning; and
• Training Services: customers are linked to job opportunities in their communities, including occupational training in basic skills.
The Secretary of Commerce would use the remaining $5 billion of the allocated funds to make additional grants available to cities with high unemployment under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965. Grants administered under this program support the construction of essential public infrastructure and facilities necessary to generate or retain private sector jobs and investments, attract private sector capital, and promote regional competitiveness.