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NACo > Legislation & Policy > Washington Watch > Posts > ​Action Needed: House and Senate Reach Compromise on Workforce Reauthorization Bill; Preserves Local Authority and Funding
May 30
​Action Needed: House and Senate Reach Compromise on Workforce Reauthorization Bill; Preserves Local Authority and Funding

Urge your House and Senate Members to vote for passage

 

On May 21, House and Senate leaders reached an agreement on new Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization legislation called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), (H.R. 803) (as amended).  This bill represents a bipartisan, bicameral compromise between the SKILLS Act, (H.R. 803) passed by the House in March 2013 and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356) passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in July 2013. In the face of repeated efforts to reduce the local role, the compromise workforce bill preserves local governance authority, adds flexibility and maintains funding. The Senate plans to adopt the legislation by unanimous consent as early as next week and then the House would also consider it in June.


NACo's Analysis of H.R. 803 (as amended)


To help county officials assess the potential impacts of H.R. 803 (as amended) on their communities and local workforce boards, NACo has prepared an analysis of the key provisions of the measure. which can be found here


Action Needed


Please urge your Representatives and Senators to support H.R. 803 as amended

To view a WIOA sample letter for you to modify, click hereTo see the NACo WIOA support letter, click here. To read the NACo Policy Brief on WIA reauthorization, click here.

 

If your county and/or local workforce board sends a support letter, please send a copy to NACo Associate Legislative Director, Daria Daniel at ddaniel@naco.org

 

Why Workforce Reauthorization Legislation Matters to Counties

 

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is long overdue for reauthorization, as it expired in 2003.  A strong workforce system will increase investments and resources for quality training and help to ensure that localities and states can continue to meet the needs of jobseekers and employers. The workforce compromise bill would provide the needed funding and framework for a modernized workforce development system by maintaining a local role in the system with added flexibility. It recognizes that local elected officials and boards play a critical role in workforce development and the overall economic health of our local communities.

 

Maintains Local Role in Workforce Development with Added Flexibility

An essential component of WIA’s success is maintaining local governance.  The compromise bill would protect local authority in workforce investment boards and workforce investment areas, which has been a key priority for NACo.  It also would provide greater local board flexibility to address their workforce challenges, such as allowing them to use up to 20 percent of adult workforce funding for incumbent worker and on the job training for in-demand occupations.  This welcomed flexibility will allow local boards to tailor plans and services to meet the needs of their jobseekers and employers.

 

Reduces Size of Local Workforce Boards

The new measure would reduce the number of required members (from 51 to 19) for the local workforce boards and still maintain a business-led majority to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of local boards and will reinforce focus to meet the needs of jobseekers and businesses.  NACo welcomes this change because some local boards were so large that it was difficult to participate and to maintain good relationships with businesses.

 

Simplifies Performance Accountability Measures

The legislation would standardize performance accountability with the creation of six core indicators for adults to determine workforce program success.  NACo supported simplification from the current varied and complex measures.

 

For more information on this issue, contact Daria Daniel at 202.942.4269 or ddaniel@naco.org

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