WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act by a vote of 415 to 6. U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) voted in favor of this bipartisan, bicameral agreement that will update and modernize federally-supported workforce development programs. After the vote, Cicilline issued the following statement:
“To compete in the global economy Rhode Island and our nation need a trained and highly skilled workforce. Federal workforce development programs provide critical services that help nearly 20 million Americans gain the skills they need to compete in the job marketplace. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will make much needed upgrades to America’s existing workforce development system and help put Americans back to work. I am proud to support this legislation to build stronger pathways to well-paying job opportunities for Rhode Islanders to get our economy back on the right track.”
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which passed the Senate earlier this year, now awaits the President’s signature before becoming law. Specifically the bill would modernize federal job training programs by creating:
A streamlined workforce development system by:
* Eliminating 15 existing programs.
* Applying a single set of outcome metrics to every federal workforce program under the Act.
* Creating smaller, nimbler, and more strategic state and local workforce development boards.
* Integrating intake, case management and reporting systems while strengthening evaluations.
* Eliminating the “sequence of services” and allowing local areas to better meet the unique needs of individuals.
Greater value by:
* Maintaining the 15 percent funding reservation at the state level to allow states the flexibility to address specific needs.
* Empowering local boards to tailor services to their region’s employment and workforce needs.
* Supporting access to real-world education and workforce development opportunities through: o On-the-job, incumbent worker, and customized training;
o Pay-for-performance contracts; and
o Sector and pathway strategies.
Better coordination by:
* Aligning workforce development programs with economic development and education initiatives.
* Enabling businesses to identify in-demand skills and connect workers with the opportunities to build those skills.
* Supporting strategic planning and streamlining current governance and administration by requiring core workforce programs to develop a single, comprehensive state plan to break down silos, reduce administrative costs, and streamline reporting requirements.
* Ensuring individuals with disabilities have the skills necessary to be successful in businesses that provide competitive, integrated employment.
Improved outreach to disconnected youth by:
* Focusing youth program services on out-of-school youth, high school dropout recovery efforts, and attainment of recognized postsecondary credentials.
* Providing youth with disabilities the services and support they need to be successful in competitive, integrated employment.
Read this original document at: http://cicilline.house.gov/press-release/congress-approves-workforce-development-bill