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									Workforce Information Council
Conference Call
January 9, 2008

*** Draft: will become final during March 2008 WIC meeting

Welcome and Roll Call
Participating: Chet Chinsky (for James Moore), Tony Dais, Keith Ewald, John Filemyr,
Tom Gallagher, Jack Galvin, Pat Getz, Deep Gupta, Mark Hughes, Naomi Harada, Jay
Mousa, Tom Nardone, Bill Niblack, Becky Rust, Graham Slater, Dixie Sommers, Roger
Therrien, Gary Crossley.
Absent: Gay Gilbert, James Moore, Janet Sten,

New WIC members -- James, Jay, Mark, Tom – were welcomed.

Transition to New State Co-Chair
Graham, the new state co-chair, thanked Roger for his years of leadership with the group.

Discussion of BLS Budget Reductions
(This conversation was confidential at the time of the WIC conference call, but details
have now been made public.)

Jack gave an overview of the BLS budget situation. The omnibus budget bill reduced the
BLS 2008 budget below the 2007 levels and below the levels already approved by
committees in Congress. BLS sought to make reductions that could be temporary in
nature, depending on future budget decisions.

Jack shared the Bureau’s plan to cover the entire shortfall.

Even though the FY08 cooperative agreements were based on the FY08 Request level,
the obligational authority given to states has thus far been based on the FY07 levels. Put
another way, we have to find workload reductions totaling $2.5 million, but the actual
loss in funding, from what the states have been receiving in obligational authority, will be
less.

In FY07, total state allocations were $80.8 million; total trust funds were $77.1 million.
In FY08, total state allocations were $81 million; total trust funds were $78.3 million.
Now the FY 2008 allocations will come down $2.543 million; total trust funds were also
down $2.543 million.
CES Reductions
Pat’s assignment was to find a $1.5 million reduction in state allocations. (Pat
also had to cut $2.8 million in BLS salaries and expenses.)

BLS came up with two options for the State workload and trust fund cut:
    1. Eliminate employment and hours and earnings from the smallest 121
       MSAs – any MSA with less than 65,000 employment.
    2. Eliminate hours and earnings from all MSA and employment from the
       smallest 65 MSAs – any with less than 50,000 employment.
BLS used cost information from the 2006 CES Budget Reduction workgroup to
estimate these reductions.

Regarding the WIC State Representatives’ suggestions from 1/8/08:
    Delaying development of ACES is not a viable option for BLS, because
      only small amounts of funding are dedicated to ACES development and
      those amounts are not part of the trust fund-sourced state allocations.
    BLS staff had not had opportunity to review the state’s suggestion of
      eliminating all hours and earnings, statewide as well as MSA, before
      cutting employment series, but BLS will consider this.

As part of the BLS internal budget reduction, they will no longer support the
collection of the quota sample units that some states kept outside of the CES
probability sample. There are about 10,000 of these sample unit members actively
reporting, spread among 26 states.

In all of the above cases, BLS would make the changes as quickly as possible.
BLS would announce the ending of these series in their next news releases. They
would allow states to still produce any of the data series they choose, using
ACES, but BLS would not supply the inputs they currently provide – no small
domain models, no birth-death factors, etc. If states wanted to continue collecting
the quota units, they could do that.

Regarding the elimination of BED, BLS noted that almost no state allocations are
used for BED. BLS has made the determination to take $2.543 million from the
states, partly because that’s the most direct link with the trust fund and partly
because BLS is already handling even larger cuts within the Bureau. The Bureau
always gives all of the trust fund to the states, so when those funds were cut, the
reductions were passed on to the states.

OES Reductions
       Dixie’s task was to reduce expenses by a little over a million and a half, including
       a million out of the state allocations. The only way to do that was to reduce
       sample size in the May 2008 panel.
       BLS does not yet have the answers on how they will implement the reduction of
       40,000 sample units. A possible option is to eliminate the possibility of four
       balance-of-state areas.
       One of BLS’ goals is to distribute the reductions as equitably as possible across
       states.
       BLS has reviewed the states’ comments from January 8, 2008.
       Tom Gallagher reflected on information from an OES-NCS survey from last year,
       which supported the State Representatives’ belief that preserving the “balance of
       state” regions is a top priority.

       BLS has not really discussed the November 2008 panel at this time. Early
       thinking is to plan for November to be back at the normal level, but have a
       contingency plan just in case.

       No ETA funds go into BLS OES funding.

       BLS’ Next Steps
          1. BLS is waiting for OMB approval of their budget reduction impact
             statement.
          2. Once OMB approves, these discussions are no longer confidential.
          3. BLS needs to make final decisions on the CES and OES cuts, and
             communicate back to WIC, and communicate through the Regions to all
             States.
          4. Once the implementation decisions are made, allocations will be re-
             computed and distributed

ETA Budget
ETA is on a program year basis, so the omnibus spending bill will not impact them until
July 1. There is an across-the-board 1.8% rescission for WIA programs. State workforce
information groups that get funding from WIA programs may be impacted.
Workforce information is a small part of the overall workforce budget. Last year’s
funding for the line item that includes workforce information was $63.9 million. The
omnibus bill level for this funding is $52 million. There will be competition for these
dollars between core products workforce information ($31.8 million last year) and other
ETA discretionary activities (the O*Net site, Career Voyages, Projections Managing
Partnership, Analyst Resource Center, etc.). Funding planning allotments will be
published in March. ETA will work to keep the workforce information grant at the
highest level possible.
Funding for the Projections Managing Partnership was approved at a $600,000 level for
management of the system and $300,000 for training.

BLS 2009 Cooperative Agreement Changes
WIC members discussed the State Reps’ review of BLS’ proposed CA changes.
    Re. administrative requirement G.3, a new paragraph was added because of an
       audit finding against one state. BLS feels they have to add this language in
       response to the audit and to protect states from future violations. However, Tom
       Gallagher noted that if BLS is requiring the states to provide additional
       paperwork, they need to provide clear guidance on this and quantify the added
       burden.
ACTION: BLS will discuss this with their administrative staff.
    Re. administrative requirement M.5, the states are concerned about BLS’ ability
       to unilaterally modify the fund allocations to the states.
ACTION: BLS agreed to put the example back into the statement and they will
review the CFR referenced by Tom Gallagher.
    Re. administrative requirement U, BLS authorizes states to use CA funds for
       postage of publications, but they are not providing specific dollars to do so. BLS
       will identify funds for survey-related postage costs in each of the programs and
       will fund those directly, but they will not provide specific funds for publication
       distribution.
    Re. OES, the addition of monthly data transmittals was requested by the Office of
       Field Operations. BLS believes this would be minor from a workload standpoint
       and useful from a management evaluation perspective. The OES Policy Council
       has been discussing this, and Dixie would like the results of their conference call,
       before making a final decision.
    Re. CES, the “top-down estimation” requirement has been dropped; more detail
       on sum-of-states estimates will be in an S-memo; the Policy Council’s
       recommendations also resulted in changes. Becky noted that Ken Roberston was
       very responsive to the states’ proposals.
    Re. QCEW, the requirement for agent codes has been dropped; agreements for
       blanket sharing can be checked or not, with no variance; BLS will probably
       eliminate the reference to LED sharing with Census.

After the October 2007 WIC meeting, Jack and John discussed the BLS funding period
with BLS budget officers. They learned that BLS has to close its books within 45 days of
the end of the fiscal year. Overall, BLS returns miniscule amounts of salaries and
expenses funding, but a somewhat larger amount of trust funds, back to the U.S.
Treasury. BLS Budget Officers will discuss this further with the WIC during the March
meeting.

QCEW Data Sharing Team
This group will recommend procedures and policies for the QCEW program, so that
Census and federal tax information can be incorporated for statistical purposes, but not
used for non-statistical purposes.
Jack proposed that the group will meet for a day and a half, appended to the WIC meeting
during the week of March 17. Most likely, this group would meet Monday afternoon and
all day Tuesday; WIC State Representatives would meet on Wednesday; and the full
WIC would meet all day Thursday and Friday morning.

Communication from ETA
Graham has had recent positive communications with Gay Gilbert, and has a phone call
scheduled with her on Friday.

ETA Workforce Investment Transformational Forums
There have been two workforce investment transformational forums. In those, ETA
organized small teams that discussed items of shared interest. John Dorrer and Becky
Rust participated in these groups. Groups were able to work on their “home plans”, with
assistance from these experts.

ETA Federal Registry LMI Notice
Tony affirmed the main purpose behind the federal registry notice: in order for ETA to
collect information from states, they have to get OMB authority every three years. That’s
what the federal registry document was for. A draft TEGL, similar to last year’s, is
attached to the federal registry notice. There’s no intention to make significant direction
changes from what was done last year.

2008 WIC Meetings and Locations
Jack proposed that the March WIC meeting be moved to Washington DC.

								
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