Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced HR 1000, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act. This comprehensive federal job creation and training bill creates a national public service jobs program, and recommits the U.S. to seeking a national goal of full employment, where everyone has the right to useful work at living wages.
HR 1000 puts serious dollars on the table to help Americans get back to work. The bill establishes a “National Full Employment Trust Fund,” funded by a small Financial Transactions Tax on Wall Street financial speculation. The financial transactions tax will include a 1/4 of 1 percent (0.25%) tax on stock transactions; and similar small taxes on futures, options, and swaps transactions. These modest assessments on Wall Street operations would generate $100-150 billion per year — enough money to create 2.5 to 3.9 million jobs throughout the US in the first two years of the program.
HR 1000 would create millions of new local jobs through partnerships between the Department of Labor and state and local governments, non-profit community organizations, and small businesses. New jobs would be created in the fields of construction, infrastructure repair, energy and conservation, education, health care, human services and neighborhood renovation.
In the first year, the National Full Employment Trust Fund would fund projects to:
- rehabilitate abandoned and vacant properties in foreclosure-impacted neighborhoods;
- expand Head Start and day care programs;
- paint and repair schools; and
- expand emergency food programs to reduce hunger and promote family stability.
In the second year and beyond, state and local governments would be able to apply for a wide variety of locally-designed job creation projects, based on community input and local needs.
The program will be open to individuals who are either 1) unemployed for at least 26 weeks; or 2) unemployed for at least 30 days, and low-income. Positions will be for up to 40 hours per week, for at least 12 months. They will pay comparable or prevailing wages for similar work performed in the private or public sectors, and include employee benefits such as health coverage and vacation. The bill’s provisions respect existing collective bargaining agreements, and protect worker rights to join labor unions.
Two-thirds of the National Full Employment Trust Fund proceeds would be directed to fund direct job creation, as outlined above. One-third of the funding would be used to invest in job training and development programs through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), including innovative job training programs such as one-stop career centers, YouthBuild and Job Corps, among others.
HR 1000 would put Americans back to work right away generating infrastructure and services that Americans want and need. The bill will provide a lifeline to economically depressed neighborhoods and regions, who have been all but abandoned by corporations and the private sector. It will also help bring down the federal deficit. For every 1 million unemployed people who go back to work, the federal deficit decreases by $54 billion.
To get more information, and endorse HR 1000, please visit: www.PutAmericaToWork.net
Or call Chuck Bell, Vice Chair, National Jobs for All Coalition at (914) 830-0639.
You can help!!
- Contact Members of Congress and encourage them to cosponsor HR 1000 Visit www.PutAmericaToWork.net for more information about the bill and related federal legislation.
- Pass a Local Resolution in your city or country government or local Labor Council in support a national jobs program. Visit www.PutAmericaToWork.net to download sample resolutions.
- Organize a picket or demonstration during June 2013 — National Jobs Action Month. For example, you can organize a “First Friday” or “First Saturday” vigil or demonstration in your community to protest the high unemployment rate, and demand a national jobs program. (The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics releases new unemployment statistics on the First Friday of every month, so you can piggyback on local coverage of the unemployment crisis.) Develop a local coalition/network in support of a national jobs program. Contact Logan Martinez of NJFAC for more information. Loganmartinez2u[at]yahoo.com or (937) 260-2591.
- Organize a Local Community Forum or “Citizens’ Hearings about the Unemployment Crisis.” Invite unemployed and underemployed workers to speak about their experiences. Invite nonprofit advocacy groups and social service organizations, and local and national experts to talk about the human costs of unemployment, and the need for a national jobs program.