The seismic bureaucratic shift from the controversial old Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) to the new, trimmer Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) is under way.
"We have rewritten every single regulation affecting employment training, or will have by the end of spring," said Albert Angrisani, assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. He added that the new apparatus will be in place by Sept. 30--"on time, and it's going to work."
Angrisani and other department officials have been traveling around the country meeting with state and local officials and others who will have to take over the burden of managing the job training program from the federal government.
The $3.8 billion JTPA program, like CETA, is aimed primarily at disadvantaged young people, but also includes funds for dislocated workers. Unlike CETA, it provides no wages to those in training. It is expected to train more than a million people a year.
To no one's surprise, there are grumblings and confusion. Certain groups complain that the states have excluded them from the program's planning councils, according to a report from the liberal Center for National Policy Review. Others say that some states are lagging behind in setting up the programs for dislocated workers, even though grants totaling $110 million are available.
Also, changes in the allocation formula, combined with overall cuts in President Reagan's budget for the program, mean that some high unemployment states, such as Michigan and Illinois, face drops in funding while some states such as Alaska, Mississippi, the Dakotas and Wyoming gain, according to the center. The new program allows for some redistribution of funds among the states, but requires that they each get at least 90 percent of the share of funds (not the dollar amounts) that they got under CETA, according to department officials. One said that money comparisons of a state's CETA funding level with its JTPA level are "strained at best."
Angrisani calls such issues "secondary or tertiary." Much more important, he said, are efforts to revamp state educational programs to attack critical skills shortages, and the need to get "quality staff" on the local private industry councils that play a key role in the new program.
HARRIS BANK REVISITED . . . Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan has ordered a new hearing in a major discrimination case involving the Harris Trust and Savings Bank of Chicago. Over two years ago, Administrative Law Judge Rhea M. Burrow recommended that the bank pay $12.1 million in back salaries to 1,800 minority and women employes. Last week Donovan concluded that the bank had not been given a fair chance to present its case. A new hearing date has not been set.
MOB SERIES . . . Martin Short, a producer with Thames Television Ltd. of England, has sent Donovan a telegram seeking an interview to "examine the way in which prominent public figures such as yourself may be damaged by the unsubstantiated allegations of people who are at best accomplices of organized crime and at worst probably mobsters themselves."
Donovan has agreed to do the interview around June 21.