FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 25, 2014
Information Contact: Mitch Coffman (208) 258-2280 ext. 214
IFF president lauds decision to reform the Workforce Development Fund
The president of the Boise-based Idaho Freedom Foundation, Wayne Hoffman, praised a decision by the governor and the director of the Idaho Department of Labor to institute some revisions and new guidelines for the Workforce Development Fund.
“After three years of hoping this issue would be addressed, I'm delighted to see that Kenneth Edmunds, labor department director, and Gov. Butch Otter finally address the problems with the Workforce Development Training Fund. I believe the Otter administration is sincere when it says it wants to improve the performance of the fund and do a better job managing the program,” said Hoffman.
While the reforms are welcomed by Hoffman and the organization, the overall idea of government intervening in the market does not sit well.
“The administration continues to rely on centralized government planning in order to fix what's ailing Idaho's economy. It would be nice if the state government would recognize that only allowing the free market to operate unfettered by Boise bureaucrats will get Idaho's economy moving again. The Legislature should consider repeal of this program in 2015,” said Hoffman.
Reforms to the workforce development training fund, intended to lure and/or maintain jobs in Idaho through job training grants, include altering how much a company can be reimbursed for training employees.
The labor department will now use a 100-point matrix to determine job training grants. A company, for example, could receive as much as $4,500 per employee if it offers academic credentials and pay higher wages in jobs requiring skills that can easily be transferred to another company. The minimum a company would receive is $2,000 per employee.
Nearly three years ago IFF noted that the Department of Labor had never conducted an analysis of the fund, which prompted the agency to finally study the fund’s effectiveness. The conclusion was underwhelming with the department finding that it was just 40 percent effective.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) is a non-partisan educational research institute and government watchdog dedicated to improving the lives of Idahoans by promoting private free market solutions, holding public servants accountable, exposing government waste and corruption, and promoting policies that advance Idaho’s independence.