The American Jobs Act: Impact for the District of Columbia

[Cross-posted from D.C. LEARNs]

This is slightly off-topic for us, but I thought visitors to this site might be interested in the just-released fact sheet on the impact of the President’s jobs proposal, if enacted, in the District of Columbia, according to the White House. (Full list of state-by-state fact sheets here.) Scroll to the end of this post for what little I know so far about the impact for adult education and literacy.

Here is a bullet summary of the benefits to D.C. of the American Jobs Act (AJA), according the White House:

  • 20,000 businesses in the District of Columbia will receive the payroll tax cut (which is 3.1% on the first $5 million in wages).
  • The District could receive at least $387,300,000 for highway and transit modernization projects that could support a minimum of approximately 5,000 local jobs.
  • The District would receive $45,100,000 in funds to support up to 500 educator and first responder jobs.
  • The District would receive $84,700,000 in funding to support as many as 1,100 school infrastructure that will modernization jobs.
  • The District could receive about $20,000,000 to revitalize and refurbish local communities, in addition to funds that would be available through a competitive application. They expect this to increase construction jobs.
  • The District could receive $2,500,000 of facilities modernization funds next fiscal year for “its community colleges.” (Note: we just have one.)
  • They think their UI reform plan could put 16,000 long-term unemployed workers in District of Columbia back to work.
  • They estimate that the extension of UI benefits would prevent 5,500 people looking for work in the District from losing their benefits in the first 6 weeks after the plan is enacted.
  • They think the Pathways Back to Work program could place 400 District adults and 1,400 District youths in jobs.
  • They estimate that the expansion of the payroll tax cut passed last December would mean that the typical household in the District of Columbia, with a median income of around $53,000, will receive a tax cut of around $1,640.

A couple of other notes:

  • The White House has also prepared fact sheets on the potential impact of the president’s proposal for various demographic groups, such the impact on women. At a White House briefing yesterday on the AJA for advocates, several participants suggested that the White House prepare a fact sheet on the impact on nonprofits, and Jon Carson, the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, seemed to agree that this was a good idea. So stay tuned for that.
  • Finally, the adult literacy piece: One of the major education provisions in the bill is “Support for Local Efforts to Implement Promising Work-Based Strategies and to Provide Training Opportunities.” This initiative, according to the White House, “would support efforts that have good records of placing low-income adults and youths in jobs quickly. Local officials, in partnership with local workforce boards, business, community colleges, and other partners, will be able to apply for funding to support promising strategies designed to lead to employment in the short-term.” In the list of examples that follow, several of them certainly implicate adult education and conceivably could involve some basic skills instruction as a component (things like sector-based training, industry credential programs, and career pathways), but only one of the examples mentions adult basic education directly: “Free evening and weekend basic computer training classes, adult basic education and integrated basic education and training models for low-skilled adults, hosted at community colleges or at other workforce-partner sites to prepare individuals for jobs.” This language raises questions for me, such as  how these funds would be distributed ,and to what kinds of agencies. Hopefully this will become clearer in the days ahead.

UPDATE: After I finished as writing this, I discovered a more detailed preliminary assessment on what the AJA might mean for D.C. by Kathryn Baer, posted on her Poverty and Policy blog.