U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), questioned Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh about the department’s FY2022 budget.
In his opening remarks, Blunt underscored the challenges small businesses are facing due to federal unemployment insurance policies and outlined areas where the committee and administration can work together to help more Americans get the job they need to get ahead.
Blunt later questioned Secretary Walsh about expanding workforce training opportunities, especially for younger workers. Blunt started funding for the Apprenticeship Program in the FY2016 Labor/HHS appropriations bill. The program was funded at $185 million in FY2021.
Blunt also started two new initiatives at the Departments of Labor and Education aimed at improving pathways to good careers beginning in high school. The initiatives – created in the FY2020 Labor/HHS funding bill – help address the “lost decade,” which is the timeframe after high school when some young adults have “jobs,” but not “careers.” Blunt secured $10 million for each of the initiatives in the funding bill signed into law in December 2020.
In a second round of questioning, Blunt pressed Secretary Walsh on the importance of lowering barriers to military spouse employment. Blunt also discussed the impact that regional commissions, like the Delta Regional Authority, have in strengthening employment and economic development in areas where they’re needed most.