Jul 23 2014
President Signed Bipartisan Bill Into Law
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today applauded the President’s approval of the “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” (WIOA), a bill that improves and strengthens workforce training programs to help Americans prepare for better-paying, higher-skilled jobs.
“American workers need to be supplied with more effective means to find job training and support,” Wicker said. “Removing bureaucratic hurdles for job seekers is one step toward a lasting economic recovery. This law will help thousands of Mississippians get the backing they need when looking for employment.”
The law was first enacted in 1998 and has needed reauthorization since 2003. It is the primary federal law authorizing job training and workforce development programs. These programs received approximately $9.5 billion in funding in FY2014 to deliver education and training services through approximately 3,000 One-Stop centers and 550 local workforce boards nationwide.
WIOA, H.R. 803, passed the Senate by a vote of 95-3 in June.
Highlights of the bill include:
• Eliminating 15 programs identified as ineffective or duplicative;
• Supporting state and local decision-making by eliminating some 21 federal mandates on state and local workforce board composition;
• Reinstating flexibility for governors to reserve up to 15 percent of formula funds for innovative state and local job training initiatives;
• Improving program accountability by reducing federal funding for poor-performing state and local boards that fail to meet the accountability metrics;
• Requiring all workforce programs to undergo evaluations every four years conducted by an independent third-party entity; and
• Eliminating the cumbersome “sequence of services” that mandates all individuals get the same services in the same order and allows individuals to select the job training and services that best meet their needs for employment in an occupation that leads to economic self-sufficiency.