Federal lawmakers announce a bipartisan deal to improve Workforce Development System

Leaders from the House and Senate introduced the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that represents a compromise between the SKILLS Act (H.R. 803) and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356) which both passed out of their respective chambers or committees in 2013.

The press release can be found here.

Leaders from both sides and parties (including NC’s Representative Virginia Foxx) are urging their colleagues and all parties to support this legislation.

The key areas for changes to the Workforce Development System include:

  • Eliminates 15 programs; 14 within WIA and one higher education program.
  • Applies one set of accountability metrics to every federal workforce program under the bill.
  • Requires states to produce one strategic plan describing how they will provide training, employment services, adult education and vocational rehabilitation through a coordinated, comprehensive system.
  • Reduces the number of required members on state and local workforce boards.
  • Strengthens alignment between local workforce areas and labor markets and economic development regions.
  • Strengthens evaluation and data reporting requirements.
  • Specifies authorized appropriation levels for each of the fiscal years 2015-2020.
  • Adds a minimum and maximum funding level to the dislocated worker formula beginning in fiscal year 2016 to reduce volatility.

A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here.