WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 4, 2013 -
On Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will mark up the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act (H.R. 803). The markup will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Despite a significant investment of taxpayer dollars, the workforce development system is failing to provide workers and employers the support they need to compete in today’s economy. More than 50 separate employment and training programs are administered by nine different federal agencies. Almost all of these programs are duplicative or overlapping, and together cost approximately $18 billion annually. Federal mandates and government inefficiencies undermine the ability of state and local leaders to meet the changing demands of their communities. Furthermore, onerous rules prevent individuals from immediately accessing the training they need for in-demand jobs.
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce continues to make job training reform a leading priority. In recent years, the committee has held multiple hearings and examined the testimonies of dozens of witnesses that addressed the challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s workforce development system. As a result of the committee’s extensive oversight, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced the SKILLS Act. The SKILLS Act reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to create a more effective and accountable workforce development system.
The SKILLS Act includes positive and commonsense reforms that will revamp the current workforce development system by:
- Eliminating and streamlining 35 duplicative and ineffective employment and training programs.
- Replacing the current maze of programs with a flexible Workforce Investment Fund to serve as a single source of support for employers and job seekers.
- Strengthening the role of employers in workforce training decisions by repealing 19 federal mandates governing workforce investment board representation.
- Establishing common performance measures for state and local leaders and requiring an independent evaluation of programs at least once every five years to improve accountability.
- Requiring local workforce investment leaders to outline the strategies they will implement to serve at-risk youth, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and other workers with unique barriers to employment.
To learn more about this markup, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/markups.
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