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We continue to “converse” with Congress!

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Wed Nov 18 2009

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As most of you know, at ASTD's International Conference held this past June in Washington, DC, a group of us went up to Capitol Hill and participated in our "Congressional Conversations" event.

Well, we are going back to the Hill to continue our conversations! Since Congress has been knee deep in the health care debate, it has been difficult to focus staff on other issues. But, now that the House has passed their version of the bill, members of the House and their staff can focus on other issues.

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We are meeting over the next few weeks with members of the House Education and Labor Committee, and the Sub-Committee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness. We are planning on meeting with chairmen and ranking member of both the full committee and sub-committee. Our hope is to offer ASTD as a resource and partner in upcoming training legislation, in particular the Workforce Investment Act reauthorization. We want to build a working partnership with Congress in this process. In future blog posts, I will update our progress as we continue to "converse" with Congress!

I also was able to attend the policy reception at the Chapter Leaders Conference a few weeks ago in Alexandria, VA. ASTD invited the Executive Director of the US Chambers Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), Karen Elzey to speak on the Chamber activities on Capitol Hill which included status of current training legislation. Along with other themes, she strongly encouraged chapter leaders to get engaged in the policy efforts both at the federal and at the state level. Though we expected a small gathering, over 60 chapter leaders attended! It appears that public policy is a hot topic with chapter leaders, as a sunrise session the next morning on public policy also attracted a very large response!

As many of you who read this blog know, we have highlighted training grants and other training appropriations through the Recovery Act. The Department of Labor is working on many of those applications; and once they have been awarded, we will have information here. Please stay tuned. In some state, funds are making their way to down to local governments. Here is a recent article from the LA Times about Recovery Act funds used in the city for workforce training:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-worker-traning11-2009nov11,0,7732258.story 

You should contact your state workforce office to see how they are using their Recovery Act training funds to see if your firm can take advantage of any grants or other training opportunities.

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