The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. The ETA states that its mission is to “contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.” The ETA seeks to administer its programs in such a way as to promote economic independence within the U.S. labor force by enhancing employment opportunities and business prosperity.
To achieve its goals, the ETA administers several different programs to assist workers in all stages of career development, including starting a new job, planning a career for the long term, researching job opportunities, losing a job, and the acquisition of new skills through training and education. One of the programs that the ETA administers is the President’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, which fosters partnerships with business, industry, and providers of education and training to provide American workers with the necessary resources to develop skills required for jobs in high growth industries. In 2004, the Bush administration announced another program administered by the ETA, the Community College Initiative, which provides funding to work force training programs in community colleges. The initial funding for the program was to be $250 million.
The ETA places equal emphasis on assisting employers. The ETA provides resources to assist employers in finding and training workers, complying with federal labor and immigration laws, and dealing with downsizing a workforce. The ETA’s Partnership for Jobs is designed to provide large, national-scale employers with access to a publicly funded workforce system made up of a network of One-Stop Career Centers and Workforce Investment Boards. One-Stop Career Centers are state and local programs that provide a wide array of employment and workplace-related resources to both employees and employers. Workforce Investment Boards, which were established by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, serve as private sector employment and workforce policy advisors to state and local officials, with the ultimate aim of creating a more highly skilled workforce.
Although the overall mission of the ETA is to increase employment opportunities and general economic prosperity, the ETA also provides resources to employees who lose their jobs and employers that need to eliminate jobs. The ETA runs a Rapid Response program to coordinate services and provide aid to workers and companies affected by layoffs as quickly as possible. The ETA provides information about unemployment compensation and additional services to employers experiencing layoffs and plant closures that are attributable to increased imports or outsourcing of labor to other countries. Individuals so affected may be eligible to receive trade adjustment assistance, including tax credits to pay for continued health coverage, reimbursement of expenses for seeking a job outside a worker’s normal area when employment is not available locally, relocation allowances, and training.
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