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Hultgren Supports Bicameral Agreement to Modernize Jobs Training Services

Washington, DC - U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today supported passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803), a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to reform federal

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today supported passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803), a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to reform federal workforce development services and help workers acquire the skills and education they need to succeed in today’s economy.
“It is unacceptable when far more Americans–our veterans, our youth, our middle-skill workers, our long-term unemployed–have simply left the workforce than found new jobs. We must ensure our workforce development services are up-to-date while protecting the taxpayer from wasteful spending. I am pleased the House and Senate have come together to pass these much-needed reforms to help get Americans the knowledge, skills and education they need to participate in the 21st Century economy,” said Rep. Hultgren. “More than 40 jobs bills still remain stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate–bills that could help get my constituents in Illinois back to work. I hope this bicameral agreement will encourage the Senate to work with the House to help Americans struggling in a tough economy.”
H.R. 803 is a bipartisan, bicameral agreement based on the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, a bill Rep. Hultgren supported and the House passed in March 2013. These bills embody key principles that are necessary to ensure a modern, efficient, and effective workforce development system, including:
* Empowering local workforce investment boards like the McHenry County Workforce Network Board and the Kane County and River Valley Workforce Investment Board (Kane, DeKalb, Kendall) to tailor their services to our region’s needs. It requires those boards, in consultation with their chief elected officials, to designate or certify One-Stop Career Center operators through competitive processes. It also requires a majority of workforce investment board members to be business owners.
* Providing Illinois and states more flexibility by maintaining the 15 percent funding reservation at the state level.
* Streamlining a confusing maze of programs and burdensome federal mandates, for instance repealing nine federal requirements governing the membership of local workforce investment boards so they can more easily reflect the needs of areas like the 14th District.
* Enabling better community college–business connectivity by permitting local areas to contract directly with community colleges like McHenry County College or Waubonsee Community College to provide specialized group training programs for employers who need to hire several skilled workers.
* Targeting youth unemployment by requiring 75 percent of youth funding to support out-of-work youth, of which 20 percent is prioritized for work-based activities.
* Promoting skills training for in-demand jobs by combining “core services” and “intensive services” into a new category of “career services,” allowing individuals to more quickly receive the services that best meet their needs.
* Delivering strong accountability over the use of taxpayer dollars by repealing 15 workforce development programs, the first time in more than a decade Congress has repealed ineffective programs. It also reduces funding to states that perform poorly and fail to meet performance metrics.
For more information on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the SKILLS Act, please visit:
Groups in support of H.R. 803 include, among others, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Associated General Contractors of America, the National Retail Federation, the National Restaurant Association, the American Association of Community Colleges, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
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