The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) is a bill that would consolidate job training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) into a single funding stream. It also would amend the Wagner-Peyser Act, reauthorize adult-education programs, and reauthorize programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The various job programs would be authorized for six years with a requirement that they record and report on how many people get new jobs through their participation in the programs.
The bill was originally introduced into the United States House of Representatives as the “Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act” or “SKILLS Act”.This happened during the 113th United States Congress.
Overhaul of America’s Job Training Programs Headed to President’s Desk Following Strong Bipartisan Support from Congress
Jul 09 2014 murray.senate.gov
Current Federal Workforce Development Laws, Written in 1998, Have Been Overdue for Reauthorization for More Than Ten Years; Leaders from Senate and House Announced Bipartisan, Bicameral Agreement in May
Legislation to update the Workforce Investment Act, overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, is headed to the President’s desk following overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. The Senate and House authors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) applauded the passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation’s workforce development system. The legislation was approved today by a vote of 415 to 6 by the House of Representatives; it was approved by the Senate last month by a vote of 95-3 and will be signed into law by President Obama.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, provides supports to people with disabilities to enter and remain in competitive, integrated job settings, and fosters the modern workforce that evolving American businesses rely on to compete. In addition to winning strong bipartisan support in both chambers, the bill is supported by a broad array of labor, business, workforce development leaders, and disability advocates, as well as governors and mayors from around the country.
“After receiving overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Senate, today’s vote in the House goes to show that both chambers of Congress are still capable of breaking through the gridlock and investing in American workers and the economy,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I’ve seen firsthand that federal workforce programs can change lives, boost our economy, and get people back to work, but we can’t expect to adequately train Americans for jobs at Boeing or Microsoft with programs designed in the 1990s. Today, we can definitively say that both chambers of Congress agree, and I’m thrilled that this long overdue legislation is now headed for the President’s desk to become law.”
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
June 25, 2014
Senate Amendments to H.R. 803 – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
Sponsors: (Sen. Murray, D-WA, Sen. Isakson, R-GA, Sen. Harkin, D-IA, Sen. Alexander, R-TN and 17 cosponsors)
The Administration supports passage of Senate Amendments to H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. This bipartisan legislation would strengthen our workforce system and provide workers and job seekers with access to employment, education, training, and support services that will help them secure good jobs and advance their careers.
While this legislation does not address certain reforms that the Administration has pursued, such as the Workforce Innovation Fund, it represents an important bipartisan compromise that will help individuals, including people with disabilities, acquire the skills they need to succeed in the workforce and employers find the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Ensuring that employment, education, and training programs are “job-driven”—designed to take business and workforce needs into account—is a critical aspect of helping workers enter the middle class and prosper. This bill would hold programs accountable for getting people into good jobs and providing education and training that is aligned with the skills employers need.
The Administration applauds the spirit of bipartisanship that led to this compromise and looks forward to its swift passage.
Statement by US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez on passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today issued the following statement regarding Congressional approval of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act:
“Congress has taken a strong, decisive bipartisan step forward with the passage by both the Senate and the House of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. I applaud the members from both sides of the aisle who led the way to forge this compromise.
“Democrats and Republicans have come together on a bill that is good for workers, employers and the economy as a whole. It will help more people succeed in 21st century jobs and punch their ticket to the middle class. And it will help businesses hire the world-class, highly-skilled workforce required to compete successfully in the global economy.
“WIOA improves the workforce system, aligning it with regional economies and strengthening the network of about 2,500 American Job Centers, to deliver more comprehensive services to workers, job seekers and employers. The bill will build closer ties among key workforce partners — business leaders, workforce boards, labor unions, community colleges and non-profits and state and local officials — as we strive for a more job-driven approach to training and skills development. President Obama’s ongoing review of federal training programs, led by Vice President Biden, will further ensure that we are doing everything possible to prepare ready-to-work-Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. WIOA also improves performance accountability, so consumers can get information about programs that work and taxpayers can have confidence that they are getting the best services for their money.
“Better-trained workers; more profitable businesses; stronger, smarter investments in our people and our economy — Congress has demonstrated that these are principles that transcend partisanship. I am excited to see President Obama sign this bill and to continue working with him and Congress on our shared goal of strengthening the nation’s workforce.
President Obama’s Agenda
- US Economy
- Creating American Jobs
- Reform & Fiscal Responsibility
- Security for the Middle Class
- Supporting Business in America
July 22, 2014
President Obama signs the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014