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Moving in the Right Direction

Republicans Leading the Way on Responsible Job Training Reform

This week, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce examined the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297), important job training reform legislation introduced by Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Buck McKeon (R-CA), and Joe Heck (R-NV). As Chairman John Kline (R-MN) noted, the bill will create a “more dynamic, effective, and accountable workforce development system.”

In the videos below, committee Republicans identify a number of challenges facing the current network of job training programs and discuss with workforce investment leaders how H.R. 4297 will provide better support for workers and employers.

Streamlining job training assistance


“[H.R. 4297] consolidates 27 federally funded job training programs into a single workforce investment fund. We think that is in line with what we heard the president say and the thinking that many of us have had on this committee that we’ve allowed these programs to proliferate and become unwieldy.”
– Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN)

Implementing strong performance standards


"One of the problems with the existing situation is that it overregulates process and that there is very little emphasis on accountability and performance. And that’s certainly a major concern of ours and one reason why we’re doing what we’re doing."
– Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

Engaging employers in the workforce investment system


“We recently held a job fair. We had over 50 employers that had hundreds of open jobs. I walked around the job fair and I was talking to them about why they had these job openings when we have the highest unemployment rate in the nation. They said because when people come in to apply they can’t find the person who is ready to go to work.”
– Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)

Improving the system on behalf of workers and employers


“I know that the people that I really listen to are the people down in the trenches every day that do this job every day. Are we making this easier? Will this bill make this easier for you to do your job, provide the services that you have out there?”– Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)

Addressing the burden facing workforce investment leaders


“Ms. Noble, you have urged the workforce investment system to ‘manage results, not process.’ Could you describe for us what the state must currently measure in terms of reporting requirements, how much time this takes on average and why you believe it currently underemphasizes the performance aspect?” – Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)

Trusting state and local leaders to support all workers


“We often hear in Washington that if there is no dedicated federal funding, program or funding steam to aid specific populations with employment and training services, then this will permit states and locals to skirt their responsibilities in helping those individuals find and retain employment.” – Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)

Today, President Obama delivered a speech highlighting the many conflicting job training “initiatives” he has unveiled in recent months. While the president talks about the need for reform, Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans are taking steps to fix a broken workforce training system.

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