Comprehensive Employment and Training Act

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This article is about Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). For Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), see Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA, Pub.L. 93–203) was a United States federal law enacted by the Congress, and signed into law by President Richard Nixon December 28, 1973[1] to train workers and provide them with jobs in the public service. The bill was introduced as S. 1559, the Job Training and Community Services Act,[2] by Senator Gaylord Nelson (Democrat of Wisconsin) and co-sponsored by Senator Jacob Javits (Republican of New York).

The program offered work to those with low incomes and the long term unemployed as well as summer jobs to low income high school students. Full-time jobs were provided for a period of 12 to 24 months in public agencies or private not for profit organizations. The intent was to impart a marketable skill that would allow participants to move to an unsubsidized job. It was an extension of the Works Progress Administration program from the 1930s.

Inspired by the WPA's employment of artists in the service to the community in the '30's, the San Francisco Arts Commission initiated the CETA/Neighborhood Arts Program in the 1970's , which employed painters, muralists, musicians, performing artists, poets and gardeners to work in schools, community centers, prisons and wherever their skills and services were of value to the community. The idea for CETA/Neighborhood Arts Program came from John Kreidler, then working with the Arts Commission as an intern, with the Arts Commission's Neighborhood Arts Program under the direction of Stephen Goldstine.[3] The program was so successful in San Francisco that it became a model for similar programs, nationally.

The Act was intended to decentralize control of federally controlled job training programs, giving more power to the individual state governments. Nine years later, it was replaced by the Job Training Partnership Act.