Legislative Alert April 2, 2012
Washington, DC: The U.S. Department of Labor (USDoL) recently issued an Advisory Guidance to States (text here: http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/attach/TEGL/tegl_20_11_acc.pdf) associated with implementation of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (passed on February 22nd, 2012). Under that Act, “individual and group career counseling services” are specifically mentioned as an optional service States can provide to those receiving unemployment compensation. While the statute does not require States to provide these services, the mention of career counseling in the law suggests that Congress attaches importance to career counseling and is beginning to recognize its value in addressing the nation’s unemployment and economic concerns.
In mid-March, NCDA sent a letter to the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration regarding the requirement to implement the provision. The letter advocated for increased understanding of and support for career counseling as it relates to the States’ operation of unemployment benefits.
In keeping with NCDA’s interests, the guidance issued by the Department of Labor specifically states:
Although the statute does not require them, the Department encourages states to provide enhanced services to these long-term unemployed individuals to the extent possible, either using REA/RES funds or referring individuals to existing services available through the One-Stop Career Center. These may include:
Stay tuned for more news on these important issues and NCDA’s actions on these issues. For more information on Advocacy Associates or the NCDA Government Relations Committee, please read "Advocacy Associates to Provide Government Relations Consulting to NCDA" in the Career Convergence web magazine.