NAHB Plays Major Role in Saving Job Corps Program; NFIP Extended Through Sept. 30 | Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho | Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Idaho | Treasure Valley
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NAHB Plays Major Role in Saving Job Corps Program; NFIP Extended Through Sept. 30

After Congress threatened to entirely eliminate the Job Corps program, lawmakers — thanks largely to the efforts of NAHB — have approved Job Corps funding for $1.76 billion, which maintains its fiscal 2023 funding level.

Also of note, the appropriations bill averts a lapse in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and ensures that authorization for the NFIP is extended through Sept. 30, 2024. The legislation also prevents the Consumer Product Safety Commission from banning gas stoves.

NAHB has worked long and hard to secure proper Jobs Corps funding and this legislation represents a major win for our industry. Last summer, House appropriators proposed to abolish the Department of Labor’s Job Corps program as part of a 30% reduction to the agency’s fiscal year 2024 budget.

From that point on, NAHB’s advocacy team and grassroots mobilized to not only save this critical program that is a vital source of skilled labor for the residential construction sector, but to also keep it fully funded.

In a letter to House Republican and Democratic appropriations leaders, NAHB stressed that “for nearly 50 years, Job Corps has been the nation’s most successful career preparation program for our most disadvantaged youth. Job Corps offers real-life, hands-on training to help young people acquire three vital pieces of the employment puzzle: trades training, basic academics and employability skills.”

In partnership with NAHB, the Home Building Institute (HBI) is a national leader for career training and job placement in the building industry. For more than 45 years, HBI has been a trusted and valued national training program contracted by the Department of Labor when outsourcing their Job Corps construction training contracts.

But due to tight budgetary constraints, many House lawmakers remained opposed to funding the Job Corps program. From last July through this week, NAHB lobbyists and members from across the nation have been meeting with lawmakers, inviting them to HBI training sites and working with others in the industry to hammer home the importance of Job Corps to the housing community.

A severe shortage of labor in the construction industry is worsening the housing affordability crisis through higher home building costs and construction delays. In any given month, there is a shortage of between 325,000 and 400,000 construction workers, and home builders will need to add 2.2 million new workers over the next three years just to keep up with demand.

Through the determined efforts of NAHB, House lawmakers ultimately agreed with Senate appropriators to maintain Jobs Corps funding at its $1.76 billion level through the end of fiscal year 2024, which runs through Sept. 30, 2024.

At the same time as it approved the Labor HHS spending bill, Congress also enacted five other remaining spending bills — Defense, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS, Legislative Branch, and State and Foreign Operations.

After moving earlier this month to approve fiscal year 2024 spending bills for several other government agencies, including Agriculture-FDA, Commerce-Justice and Science, Energy and Water Development, HUD, Interior, and Military Construction-VA, this means that Congress has passed all its spending bills for fiscal year 2024.

Looking forward, NAHB will be urging Congress to maintain its support for Job Corps and encourage funding that reflects the program’s needs for fiscal year 2025

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