Last week, the House and Senate reached an agreement on new Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization legislation called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
This bill represents a bipartisan, bicameral compromise between the SKILLS Act, H.R 803, passed by the House of Representatives 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.
The compromise bill provides the needed framework for a modernized workforce development system, while maintaining local governance authority with added flexibility.
The compromise bill:
The Senate is attempting to “hotline” passage of the bill by unanimous consent via a Manager’s Amendment to H.R. 803. This will likely occur after the Senate returns from its Memorial Day recess June 2. If successful, the legislation will then be considered by the House and, if passed, signed into law by the president.
- protects local authority with regard to workforce investment boards and workforce investment areas
- reduces the number of required members (to 19 from 51) for the local workforce boards and maintains a business-led majority
- allows for more flexibility for local boards by allowing up to 20 percent of funds to be used for incumbent-worker and on-the-job training for in-demand occupations
- strengthens alignment between local workforce areas and labor markets and economic development regions
- standardizes performance accountability with creation of six core indicators for adults and youths to determine workforce program success and
- maintains providing services to youths in and out of school.
WIA reauthorization legislation is long overdue; it expired in 2003.
The House and Senate workforce staff would like support letters on the WIOA legislation compromise. If your county or local workforce board sends a support letter, please send a copy to Daria Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.