Skills Board Chief Lauds Clinton Job Proposal

As part of his "program a day" preview of his fiscal 2000 budget to be unveiled Feb. 1, President Clinton announced that he will propose more than $800 million in new and increased spending for retraining of dislocated workers, creating adult literacy programs, and increasing job opportunities for disadvantaged youth. The higher spending also would set up a toll-free telephone number to connect displaced workers to unemployment and retraining resources. In addition, Clinton indicated that he will ask Congress to expand last year's Workforce Investment Act that consolidates federal training programs. Clinton's initiatives drew praise from, former Corning Inc. Chairman and CEO James R. Houghton, who now chairs the National Skill Standards Board. "President Clinton has acknowledged that the skills gap in the American economy is a real problem, and he has made it a priority to address this issue," said Houghton. He particularly applauded Clinton's call for an expansion of the Workforce Investment Act, which Houghton said will create a viable delivery system" for the nationwide advanced-skill certification program the board is setting up.

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