Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced the Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act, which would establish a fund through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act dedicated to providing wrap-around support services and stipends for individuals in workforce training programs and two-year education programs. This funding would help expand access to these training programs by ensuring that participating individuals can cover everyday living costs.
“Education and workforce training programs are critical to advancing economic opportunity across the country, but many individuals face significant barriers to starting or completing these programs beyond just tuition. The Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act will provide a dedicated stream of funding to cover costs such as housing, child care, and transportation – reducing financial barriers that would prevent individuals from pursuing or completing these programs,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “This legislation will directly invest in American workers - helping to ensure that more people have access to high-quality jobs, grow our workforce pipeline, and build a stronger economy.”
The Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act would establish a new competitive grant program under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) dedicated exclusively to providing support services to individuals receiving education and workforce training. State and local workforce development boards would be able to apply for grants from the Department of Labor and would be required to demonstrate how they will partner with services providers or other organizations to provide specific support services.
These WIOA programs cover a range of training and education services such as occupational skills training and education; pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, other on-the-job training; skills upgrading and retraining; and adult education and literacy activities, such as English language or basic math classes.
The scope of support services that could be provided under this grant is broad, designed to ensure that local boards can establish partnerships and provide support services to best meet the needs of the local area. This includes assistance with transportation, child care or dependent care, and housing; linkages to community services; referrals to health care services; assistance with uniforms or other appropriate work attire and related tools, such as eyeglasses and protective gear; and legal aid services.
The Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act is endorsed by several organizations including: YouthCare, Renton Technical College, South Seattle College, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), and ANEW.
A fact sheet about the bill can be found here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
See below for statements of support for the Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act.
“In our work with young people experiencing homelessness, we see the critical importance of addressing workforce development holistically. This means not only providing training and education, but also ensuring that our clients have access to the other essential services that they need to stabilize, learn, and grow. We are grateful to Representative Smith for recognizing that resources like childcare, health care, housing, and transportation are a critical component of meeting our shared goal of living wage careers for all Washingtonians.” - Audra Laymon, Senior Director of Engagement & Workforce Services, YouthCare
YouthCare works to end youth homelessness and to ensure that young people are valued for who they are and empowered to achieve their potential.
“This is crucial legislation to serve our workforce and support the economic and civic drivers in our communities.  Not only will these funds assist in defraying challenges of housing, transportation, and childcare, but will also connect students to health care, legal aid, and other community services. Students benefiting from these services are much more likely to complete the training for which they are well qualified and passionate.” - Kevin McCarthy, President, Renton Technical College
Renton Technical College is a nationally recognized college committed to helping their diverse student population succeed. Their 66 percent completion rate is the highest in the state among community and technical colleges – and among the highest in the country. And 82 percent of RTC graduates are employed nine months after graduation.
“Education and training outcomes increase exponentially when students also have access to wrap around support services that help provide a stable foundation to focus on learning. These support services are exactly the critical needs for many of our students along their career pathway to living-wage jobs.” - Veronica Davis, Executive Dean of Professional Technical and Workforce Education, South Seattle College
Established in 1969 and located on an 87-acre hilltop campus in West Seattle, South Seattle College offers panoramic views of the city skyline and surrounding mountains. This unique setting serves as a portal of opportunity for students with diverse needs to meet their educational and career goals. 
“Our national workforce system is intended to help working people advance in their careers and achieve economic stability. Unfortunately, many job seekers with low-incomes, especially Black and Latinx workers, immigrants, opportunity youth and individuals impacted by the criminal legal system are unable to access the supports they need to succeed,” said Olivia Golden, Executive Director of The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “The ‘Empowering Individuals to Succeed Through Education and Workforce Training Act’ will help workers who face multiple structural barriers to employment get access to the supportive services they need to complete workforce training and education programs that can lead to higher paying jobs. We applaud Representative Smith for again introducing this important legislation.”
CLASP is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit advancing policy solutions to improve the lives of people with low incomes. CLASP develops practical yet visionary strategies for reducing poverty, promoting economic opportunity, and addressing institutional and racial barriers faced by people of color.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after President Joe Biden signed the government spending package. The $1.5 trillion package includes all 12 Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 appropriations bills to fund the federal government. Importantly, the bill also includes funding to support Ukraine in their fight against Russia.
“Today, President Biden signed the government spending package into law, which will deliver billions of dollars to communities across the United States to strengthen social services and help address challenges facing American families – such as health care, housing, child care, education, and job training.
“This legislation contains historic funding levels for programs to combat climate change. The bill supports our vision of a clean energy future by enacting record investments in renewable energy programs, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy within the Department of Energy, which does important work to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and deploy clean energy across the country. The bill also drastically increases funding for environmental justice initiatives at the Environmental Protection Agency, helping to realize a more equitable future.
“The bill also provides billions of dollars in funding to bolster our public health infrastructure and confront urgent health crises, including maternal and child health, mental health, substance use treatment, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I am especially pleased to see significant increases in funding for Urban Indian Health Programs and Tribal Epidemiology Centers, which I championed throughout the appropriations process. This increased funding benefits organizations like the Seattle Indian Health Board in Washington’s Ninth District.  
“To support Ukraine in their fight against Russia, the bill includes $13.6 billion for military and humanitarian assistance. As Vladimir Putin continues his unprovoked and unlawful war, this funding will help Ukrainians defend their country and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis. This funding makes good on President Biden’s promise to hold Putin accountable for Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine and support the Ukrainian people.
“Such a sweeping package required hundreds of hours of negotiations, and I am incredibly proud of the bipartisan work that has been done to reach an agreement on this package, which will provide critical funding to support our partners at home and abroad. I am thrilled to see our government come together to bring federal dollars back to our communities, to deliver real results, for the people.”
The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Defense funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Financial Services and General Government funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Homeland Security funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Legislative Branch funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies funding bill fact sheet is here.
The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding bill fact sheet is here.
The Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies funding bill fact sheet is here.
A fact sheet of the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act is here.
Information about the community projects Congressman Smith secured in the package is here.

Passage of Government Spending Package Sends Dollars Back Home

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the government spending package by a vote of 260 to 171. The package includes over $9 million in funding for ten community projects across Washington’s Ninth District that Rep. Smith secured through the appropriations process for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.
“Today, after many months of negotiations, I am incredibly proud to announce that the House passed the omnibus spending package, which includes over $9 million for the ten community projects I requested. These projects will help tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing communities across the Ninth District, making real progress to address housing and homelessness, health care and social services, child care, education and workforce training, and small businesses and entrepreneurship. On housing alone, the projects have the potential to create over 650 new units of affordable rental housing, temporary emergency housing, and affordable homes for ownership.
“I firmly believe the federal government must do more to spur investment in and get federal dollars to underserved communities and I am proud to use my community project funding requests for this purpose. I thank the project sponsors and partners for their tireless leadership to improve the lives of people in the Ninth District.”
Rep. Adam Smith secured $9,039,000 for ten community projects across Washington’s Ninth District. The community projects focus on our most vulnerable and underserved communities, including people experiencing homelessness, immigrants and refugees, seniors, low-income communities, and communities of color.
See below for a comprehensive list of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Community Projects secured by Rep. Adam Smith through the appropriations process.
$600,000 for the African Diaspora Cultural Anchor Village (ADCAV), African Community Housing & Development in Tukwila
The African Diaspora Cultural Anchor Village (ADCAV) will be a mixed-use development to support the African immigrant and refugee community in South King County and the Puget Sound region. The ADCAV will include a learning center for youth and young adults, workforce development center, senior and community gathering space, and outdoor areas with urban gardens and a playground. The second phase of this work will result in desperately needed affordable homeownership units for families and a small business incubator with ground floor retail.
$1,591,000 for the AiPACE Adult Day Center and Clinic, Aging in PACE Washington (AiPACE) in Beacon Hill
The AiPACE Adult Day Center and Clinic will provide holistic and culturally- and linguistically-relevant services to low-income, nursing-home-eligible Asian and Pacific Islander elders through the evidence-based, nationally recognized Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). This is the first such program in Washington State designed specifically for API elders, helping them to age in place – in communities already familiar to them – and maintain health and well-being.
$673,000 for the Entrepreneurship Incubation Hub: Teaching & Commercial Kitchen for Refugee & Immigrant Community, World Relief Seattle in Kent
The funding secured through the appropriations process will help World Relief develop a teaching and commercial kitchen that will be a multi-impact community space serving Washington State’s King County refugee and immigrant population. This space will be used as an entrepreneurship and small business incubation hub to launch and promote local businesses, particularly food-based businesses, and train refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs through an Entrepreneurship Academy hosted in the space. The project will promote entrepreneurship and successful small business ownership within historically underserved communities; advance community based economic empowerment through promoting food related businesses and income-generating initiatives; and simultaneously increase food security and sovereignty for refugee and immigrant communities.
$1,000,000 for the Youth Achievement Center, Africatown Community Land Trust in Columbia City
The Youth Achievement Center (YAC) is being developed by a community-based coalition focused on addressing the various systemic obstacles that Black and Brown youth in South Seattle and King County face. It will provide permanent and emergency housing for youth, community services and programming for youth, and space for commercial businesses.

$1,000,000 for the Wadajir Residences & Souq, Forterra NW in Tukwila
The Wadajir Residences & Souq is a mixed-use attainable housing and commercial development project that will provide affordable cooperative ownership opportunities in Tukwila. With rising rents and the closure or sale of international markets in Tukwila and SeaTac, the BIPOC immigrant and East-African communities in South King County are facing displacement. The funding secured through the appropriations process will help combat this by enabling 100 units of affordable housing and 60 micro retail units for small businesses. The new businesses will generate quality, family-wage jobs and economic growth for the region and increase economic mobility.
$1,000,000 for the MLK Mixed Use Affordable Housing and Early Learning Center, Low Income Housing Institute in Rainier Valley
The MLK Mixed Use Affordable Housing and Early Learning Center (MLK Mixed Use) will provide 152 apartment units for low-income and homeless families and individuals and an early learning center and play area operated by the Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA). The funding secured through the appropriations process will allow for the development of much needed affordable housing for low-income and homeless families and individuals in a neighborhood that is experiencing massive displacement and gentrification.
$1,050,000 for the Maritime High School (MHS), Highline Public Schools in South King County
The Highline School District, the Port of Seattle, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition DRCC, and the Northwest Maritime Center have collaborated to design and launch a stand-alone Maritime High School (MHS) in South King County. The vision for MHS is to provide a world-class education, within a historically impacted community, that advances the next generation of leaders, innovators, and professionals across maritime related fields. The funding secured through the appropriations process will help MHS to establish inclusive programs, policies, and practices to ensure that maritime career opportunities are accessible to all students, focusing on the school’s capacity to recruit, prepare, and empower students who are under-represented in maritime and ocean science careers.
$1,000,000 for the Keiro Site, Africatown Community Land Trust in the Central District
The Keiro Site is a mixed-use project that will provide opportunities for affordable rental housing, economic development, and community space in the Central District of Seattle; a historically Black neighborhood that is experiencing intense gentrification and displacement pressures. The Keiro Site is expected to create approximately 300 units of affordable rental housing to combat growing displacement and will have dedicated space for culturally relevant early childhood education, a critical need in the Central District, and will provide economic opportunities for Black-owned businesses.
$775,000 for Health One Expansion, City of Seattle
Health One is oriented toward service to vulnerable and under-represented communities and individuals who struggle to access health and social services. The funding secured through the appropriations process will add capacity to Seattle’s award-winning Health One program to respond to referrals and nonviolent emergency 911 calls with behavioral health professionals and crisis care management teams. The new funding will help create another response team, which will allow Health One to reach an additional 1,000 individuals through referrals each year. The current Health One program, and similar diversion programs for non-violent 911 calls, have demonstrated success in providing more appropriate behavioral and mental health support than traditional 911 response, reducing unnecessary interactions between police and community members, and helping ensure emergency response programs are meeting the needs of the community. 
$350,000 for the Family First Community Center – Health Clinic, HealthPoint in Renton
HealthPoint will bring quality health clinic and wellness programs to the new Family First Community Center (FFCC) in Renton. The full-service primary care clinic will include medical, behavioral health, and dental care. The new clinic will eliminate many of the transportation and financial barriers to accessing health care currently experienced by low-income families in the Cascade and Benson Hill community.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the Biden-Harris administration announced a ban on all U.S. imports of Russian oil.
“Banning Russian oil imports to the United States will put unprecedented pressure on Vladimir Putin and the Russian economy as a painful consequence for Russia’s unprovoked and unlawful war against Ukraine. As I have said before, the United States, our allies, and our partners should do everything we can to hold Putin accountable and support the Ukrainian people while making sure this already deadly conflict does not escalate or expand beyond Ukraine’s borders. Today’s decision by the Biden-Harris administration will create enormous challenges for Putin. The U.S. government can and should take steps to mitigate the potential effects of this decision on U.S. consumers — but Putin and his cronies will struggle to protect the Russian economy from this blow.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) released the following statements after the introduction of the Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act of 2022, which would give grazing permit holders the flexibility to voluntarily waive their grazing permits on Federal lands for equitable compensation and to promote conservation of public lands.
“As ranchers across the country face increasing costs and land management challenges, this legislation would provide them with the flexibility to do what is best for their land and families. Federal grazing permit holders often face barriers or have limited flexibility to give up their grazing permits, even when it is the best option for their own situation,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “A voluntary federal grazing permit retirement program is a commonsense step to support flexibility for ranchers and promote smart land-use practices. The Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration’s ‘America the Beautiful’ initiative to conserve and restore our lands, waters, and wildlife through incentives and rewards for voluntary conservation efforts by ranchers.”
“Voluntarily retiring grazing permits to advance conservation goals on public lands shouldn’t be difficult or costly. I’m glad to join Congressman Smith in this legislation to advance conservation and promote smart land-use by giving ranchers the flexibility they need to overcome barriers to voluntary permit retirement,” said Rep. Jared Huffman. On top of the benefits to permit holders, this will ease grazing pressure on public lands and help natural ecosystems recover and thrive. It’s a win-win-win for taxpayers, ranchers, and the environment.”
The Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act provides grazing permit holders the option to voluntarily waive their permits to graze on Federal lands in exchange for market value compensation paid by private parties. The federal land management agency would then be directed to retire the associated grazing allotment from further grazing activity.
In some cases, federal grazing permittees may want to give up their grazing permits simply because it’s the best choice for their business model or their life circumstances. However, due to the structure of the grazing program and the investments made in their permits, this may be financially untenable without some form of compensation. The Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act facilitates agreements between third parties and grazing permittees that increase flexibility for the permit holders while ensuring that the conservation gains from removing livestock are permanent.
Livestock grazing on federal public lands can lead to conflicts with other multiple uses including impacts to wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Current law and regulations either do not allow for the retirement of grazing permits or make the process unnecessarily difficult and uncertain. The voluntary retirement of grazing permits is the most cost-effective and equitable way to address this issue.
The Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act is purely voluntary – giving grazing permit holders on Federal lands the opportunity to relinquish their permits if they choose. Retiring these permits will ease grazing pressure on public lands to the benefit of wildlife, the surrounding ecosystem, and other multiple use activities on public lands.
The Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act is endorsed by several leading environmental, conservation, and wildlife organizations including Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society Legislative Fund, American Bird Conservancy, Wilderness Watch, Humane Society of the United States, Western Watersheds Project, Predator Defense, Horses for Life, and Oregon Natural Desert Association.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
See below for statements of support for the Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act.
Sierra Club
“Grazing of private livestock on public lands sometimes creates conditions and conflicts that can only be resolved by removal of the livestock. Existing policies make livestock removal extremely difficult. The Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act (VGPRA) creates a proven, effective, free market-based mechanism to resolve problems when conservation goals and livestock production dynamics clash on our public lands. It is a win-win solution when willing ranchers and private conservation dollars come together to allow permanent grazing retirement. Salmon, sage grouse, wolves, recreationists, ranchers, taxpayers and many more will benefit from the passage of this simple bill that allows for a permanent, common-sense solution to some of the thorniest challenges of our times. The Sierra Club enthusiastically supports Representative Smith's forward-looking approach to public lands management.”
Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental organization in the United States that amplifies the power of their millions of members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.
Natural Resources Defense Council
“This legislation will increase the flexibility our federal land managers have to efficiently and effectively manage the hundreds of millions of acres under their purview at a time when these lands are increasingly experiencing the harmful effects of climate change. Critically, it will allow land managers, ranchers, public land users, and other stakeholders to pursue smarter land use strategies that can also drive much-needed conservation gains.”
Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends, combining the power of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 700 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe.
Monica Goldberg, Vice President of Landscape Conservation, Defenders of Wildlife
“Voluntary grazing permit retirement has repeatedly proven to be successful at resolving management on public lands. The Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act is a win-win-win for interested grazing permittees, conservation, and our public lands.”
Defenders of Wildlife is a non-profit conservation organization based in the United States which works to protect all native animals and plants throughout North America in their natural communities.
Western Watersheds Project

“The reintroduction of this legislation is coming at a critical time for Western public lands.  As we continue to experience the worst drought conditions in over 1200 years, tools like voluntary grazing permit retirement are essential for protecting public lands, wildlife and native plants both now and into the future.  We applaud Reps. Smith and Huffman for their efforts to advance this common sense solution to one of the greatest problems facing our public lands today.”
Western Watersheds Project is a non-profit environmental conservation group that works to influence and improve public lands management throughout the western United States in order to protect native species and conserve and restore the habitats they depend on.
Wilderness Watch

"The Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act can go a long way in resolving the inherent conflict between livestock grazing and Wildernesses preservation.  It deserves the support of all public officials and citizens who believe in protecting truly wild, natural ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people and wildlife."
Wilderness Watch is America’s leading organization dedicated to defending and keeping wild the nation’s 111-million-acre National Wilderness Preservation System.
George Wuerthner, Scientific Advisory Board, Predator Defense

“The voluntary grazing permit retirement legislation is an equitable measure that will reduce conflicts between predators and livestock producers on public lands.”
Predator Defense is a national nonprofit advocacy organization working to protect native predators and to end America's war on wildlife.
Oregon Natural Desert Association
"Voluntary grazing permit retirement has proven to be an effective mechanism for resolving management conflicts in Oregon, to the benefit of both grazing permittees and public lands. Oregon Natural Desert Association would welcome establishment of a program to provide this option throughout Oregon's high desert."
Oregon Natural Desert Association is the only conservation organization dedicated exclusively to preserving Oregon's high desert.