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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

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Foxx, McKeon, and Heck Welcome Markup of Key Legislation to Help Put Americans Back to Work

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will on Thursday consider legislation introduced by Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), and Joe Heck (R-NV) that will help unemployed Americans gain the skills and education necessary to fill in-demand jobs.

Today, more than 47 job training programs are scattered across the federal government, a bureaucratic mess that fails to adequately serve workers and wastes taxpayer dollars. Even President Obama has acknowledged the problems within the nation’s workforce development system, calling on Congress during his State of the Union address to “cut through the maze of confusing [job] training programs.”

“Despite 3.7 million job openings nationwide, nearly 13 million Americans remain unemployed,” said committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN). “There is widespread agreement the current system is broken. It’s time to stop talking about reform and take action – and that’s exactly what Republican leaders are doing with the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012. I applaud Representatives Foxx, McKeon, and Heck for their tireless work on this proposal, and look forward to moving the legislation through committee in the coming days.”

The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297) will strengthen the nation’s failing workforce development system, eliminate dozens of ineffective programs, better integrate job training services with the needs of local employers, and enhance accountability for effective use of taxpayer dollars.

“Current federal workforce education programs are hopelessly redundant and expensive, offering up unnecessary confusion and bureaucracy,” stated Rep. Foxx. “Americans are fed up with these endless layers of complexity in the federal government. This legislation streamlines the byzantine workforce development system while making the programs more responsive and accountable to taxpayers."

 Rep. McKeon added, “Getting America working again requires real solutions, and my colleagues and I are committed to legislating commonsense, conservative solutions to our nation’s job crisis. This bill strengthens job training opportunities for workers and job seekers and builds on reforms to improve programs and services to put Americans back to work, all while maintaining our commitment to responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”

“Last week’s disappointing jobs report is further proof that our economy is far from recovered and we must do more to put people back to work,” Rep. Heck said. “The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 puts workforce investment and job training decisions in the hands of local employers and training organizations who understand the employment conditions in their local communities. This type of local input will prepare people for jobs that actually exist and help get America working again.” 

To learn more about the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012, click here. To read more about Thursday’s markup, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/markups.

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