Merger of DOL & DOE Proposed
TRUMP’S NEWLY PROPOSED DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE
In line with its agenda of a more efficient and streamlined process to get Americans and in particular, young Americans, into the workforce and trade jobs, on June 21, 2018, the Trump administration proposed a plan to combine the U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Education (DOE). This proposed plan is one piece of a broader reorganization of federal agency that has been a priority for the President since taking office. Trump’s proposed plan would name the merged agencies the Department of Education and the Workforce, with the aim of streamlining federal oversight of the school to work pipeline by consolidating it under one roof.
According to Trump’s administration, the merged agency would eliminate the inefficient duplication of efforts in many areas between the two agencies. Logistically, there will be a fair amount of shifting, including moving the Bureau of Labor Statistics to the Department of Commerce and dividing the merged agency into four sub-agencies that would oversee K-12 education; help workers build skills in college and job training programs; enforce federal work and education standards; and develop, research and evaluate policy.
CONGRESS’S DOUBT LIKELY TO SLOW ANY MERGER OF DEPARTMENTS
While Trump’s administration supports this move as a fix to government inefficiency, there are many in opposition to the move, including members of congress. Arguments against the merger note that several key Department of Labor offices, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Wage and Hour Division and the Employee Benefits Security Administration, do not relate to anything in the Education Department. While the fate of such offices if a merger does occur, it is unclear the fact that congress is split on the issue suggests that any changes to either department will not occur anytime soon. It is likely such a decision will be vetted, argued and re-argued by congress a number of times before any change actually takes place. So, if you are worrying about how this merger may affect your business, stop; you likely have years to think and plan for it!
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