Some U.S. business leaders told a Senate subcommittee yesterday that they want budgetary and policy-making authority in the operation of any future government-sponsored job training programs.
The absence of such authority ensures weak private-sector involvement in the troubled Comprehensive Employment and Training Act program, which expires next September, the business leaders said.
If Congress and the Reagan administration are serious about increasing business participation in future training projects, they should create a new organizational structure "that, by law, gives business broad authority to make policy and budgetary decisions," said Richard F. Shubert, a vice chairman of Bethlehem Steel Corp. who was speaking in his capacity as a board member of the Washington-based National Alliance of Business.
Shubert was one of five representatives of leading national business organizations making that argument before the Senate subcommittee on employment and productivity yesterday. The others included Al Driesbach, vice president of E. J. Brooks Co. of Newark, N.J., representing the National Association of Manufacturers; Lloyd N. Hand, senior vice president of TRW Inc., representing the Business Roundtable; James Campbell, president of Mississippi School Supply Co. and a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Franklin A. Lindsay, chairman of the research and policy committee of the Committee for Economic Development.
All had come to support President Reagan's bill calling for a stronger business presence in proposed federally funded training programs that would be administered by state and local governments. But they said business would need more than an advisory role to be effective.
"Active private-sector participation should be facilitated by creating" local private industry councils that have "the authority to decide how funds will be spent, the local administering agency, the mix of training activities, and contracting organizations" that provide materials and services for training programs, Hand said.
At the moment, "Both America's public and private-sector employment and training policies, programs and institutions are inadequately prepared to support the renewal of the economy," Hand said. "