On July 31, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor
and Pensions (HELP) voted 18-3 to advance legislation (S. 1356) that would
reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The committee’s bipartisan
approval of the measure is a significant step towards reauthorization of WIA,
which has been expired since 2003. The
measure contains crucial adjustments to the original WIA legislation that
reflect the ever-changing global economy, input from business, education, and
labor groups, and more than a decade of experience with existing programs. Specifically,
the bill contains the following NACo-supported provisions:
- Would maintain locally-driven workforce development systems and
the local elected officials’ role in administration of WIA
- Would empower local workforce agencies to tailor their WIA
programs to the specific needs of their communities
- Would maintain the business majority on workforce boards while
reducing the overall size of state and local boards
- Would closely align workforce systems with regional economic
development and labor market conditions
- Would apply one set of common performance metrics to each
workforce program supported by WIA
- Would improve the funding structure for local one-stop centers by
allowing local training service providers eligibility for state allocated
- Would maintain youth programs eligibility so that in-school and
out-of-school youth may participate
NACo sent a
support letter to the Senate HELP Committee on the bipartisan passage of S.
1356. The letter reflected support of a Workforce Investment Act that
promotes innovation and flexibility at the local level, is responsive to local
emerging economic realities and business needs and ensures that U.S. workers
and businesses have the skills and training needed to compete in the global
economy. To view this letter, click here.
meanwhile, passed their WIA reauthorization measure (H.R. 803) in
March. NACo sent a joint letter with the National League of Cities, U.S.
Conference of Mayors and National Association of Workforce Boards expressing concerns
about provisions in H.R. 803 that undermine the important role of local
stakeholders in the administration of workforce development activities and
reduce access to education and training for our nation’s most vulnerable
workers. To view this letter, click here.
step for each chamber’s WIA reauthorization bill is floor consideration, but it
remains unclear when legislators in the House and Senate will begin such floor
debates. Congress begins a five-week recess next week.
Daria Daniel firstname.lastname@example.org