IT Training and the Economic Stimulus

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal government has set aside more money for training, but that money isn’t specifically targeted for IT training, according to Trista Roehl, manager of public policy with CompTIA .

“We’re excited and disappointed about some of the training dollars in the bill,” she said. “We’re thrilled to see that money, but there [are] no specifics as far as how that money can be used, which means IT training organizations are competing with the same people that are training people to go into hairdressing or truck driving. We see that as a problem [because] those are not the industries that are going to pull our economy out of the current state, and IT actually has the potential to do so.”
 
Mike Wendy, director of public affairs with CompTIA, agreed.

“It’s encouraging that [the government] didn’t contract training, but they haven’t changed the underlying dynamic in the way the federal and state systems train people,” he explained. “A lot of the focus [is] on the old [technology], the old manufacturing sector. The dollars might be larger, [but] the magic words [aren’t] there.”

In the act, the government carved out $3.25 billion for the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the premier federal jobs training program, and $1.3 billion for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).

However, WIA was not reauthorized in the stimulus bill. Its authorization expired in 2003 and a reauthorization would allow the government to modernize the act.

“For the…


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