The proposed congressional legislation revamping the employment and training system will result in budget cuts, program consolidation, and block grants for the states. These changes are potentially harmful to community-based organizations (CBOs) because (J ) they eliminate categorical funding that traditionally has required contracting with organizations which specialize in servicing the disadvantaged, and (2) they introduce stricter performance standards that may be unattainable for many small-scale operations. However, the adoption of best practices in serving non-English-speaking and poor populations, increasing connections to emerging government intermediaries in labor markets, and establishing greater linkages to postsecondary educational institutions may offer CBOs the opportunity to strengthen their position within the employment and training system. Community-based organizations have a great advantage over other organizations because they have the expertise that is necessary for the emerging training system to succeed, namely their experience in serving disadvantaged populations.



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