As we noted, two bills were introduced into the House on December 8 related to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Representative Joe Heck (R-NV) introduced the Local Job Opportunities and Business Success (Local JOBS) Act and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced the Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act (H.R. 3610).
These two bills, along with an earlier version of WIA reauthorization introduced earlier this year by the former Chairman of the Committee, Buck McKeon (R-CA), called the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2011, will be bases from which the House of Representatives majority works to reauthorize WIA this coming year.
More information on the bill can be found here.
Some reaction to the bill introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) includes:
“During these times of economic uncertainty, our nation’s workforce programs are essential to helping out-of-work Americans find jobs. Rather than turning our back on the millions of Americans seeking new skills and education, we should work together to design a modern public workforce system that both meets today’s challenges and tomorrow’s economic demands.”–Representative George Miller (D-CA)
“I am deeply disappointed by the legislation introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx today. As a member of this committee, I welcome the opportunity to work in a bipartisan manner to improve and strengthen our nation’s public workforce training and adult education system. Millions of American workers are struggling in this economy and need our help to acquire the education and workplace skills necessary to access good, family-sustaining jobs and get back on track.”–Representative Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX)
“It is unfortunate, though not surprising, that the Republican leadership of the House Education and the Workforce Committee introduced legislation so narrowly focused on the consolidation of workforce programs. I believe the Workforce Investment Act must be modernized and strengthened in ways that better align services, increase access to training, support innovation, enable workers to obtain the skills they need to compete for jobs, and ensure employers have the workforce they need to grow and thrive. Ranking Member Miller, Congressman Hinojosa and I will soon introduce WIA reauthorization legislation that reflects these principles and presents a far better and more thoughtful approach than the Republican bill introduced today.” – Representative John Tierney (D-MA)