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Part I: Despite False Rhetoric, Job Training Reforms Beneficial to Workers, Employers, and Taxpayers

Today the House Education and the Workforce Committee is set to consider comprehensive reforms to the nation’s workforce development system. The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 advances commonsense changes to federal job training assistance by eliminating dozens of ineffective and redundant programs, strengthening the role of employers, promoting new tools that will help close the skills gap, and delivering real accountability over the use of taxpayer dollars.

Opponents of reform are turning to the usual false rhetoric to justify a “no” vote on legislation that will help put Americans back to work. The following facts will help set the record straight. 

MYTH: The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 will create a one-size-fits-all workforce development system. 

FACT: The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 streamlines dozens of redundant and ineffective programs and creates a flexible Workforce Investment Fund that will help workers more easily access the skills and education they need to fill in-demand jobs. 

FACT: H.R. 4297 rolls back onerous federal rules and mandates that have stifled state and local innovation, empowering workforce investment leaders to create a wealth of dynamic programs that will more effectively respond to the unique challenges facing local workers and employers. 

MYTH: The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 diverts resources away from the nation’s most vulnerable workers. 

FACT: The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 ensures resources are available to help all workers – regardless of race, disability, or circumstance – learn valuable skills for employment. 

FACT: H.R. 4297 requires state and local workforce investment leaders to develop targeted plans to serve special populations, such as dislocated workers, low-income individuals, Native Americans, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. 

FACT: The legislation sets aside a dedicated portion of funds to create a statewide program specifically targeted to assist individuals facing unique barriers to employment. This dedicated support – reserved at the state level – will continue a long tradition of ensuring the most vulnerable workers have access to the support they need. 

MYTH: The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 rolls back the federal investment in workforce development and employment support. 

FACT: The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 eliminates bureaucratic waste and inefficiencies in federal job training assistance so taxpayer resources help support unemployed workers – not a bloated bureaucracy. Better use of taxpayer dollars will help ensure workers are served more efficiently. 

FACT: Particularly in times of persistently high unemployment and record debt, we need a strong workforce training system in place that promotes the best interests of workers and taxpayers.  As such, H.R. 4297 does not cut any funding for job training. In fact, the legislation maintains the funding support provided during the current fiscal year through the next five years. 

MYTH: The policies in the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 will hurt workers. 

FACT: H.R. 4297 embodies reforms that even President Obama has asked Congress to adopt. During his 2012 State of the Union address, the president urged lawmakers to “cut through the maze of confusing [job] training programs” and create “one program” for workers to find the help they need. 

FACT: At a time when nearly 13 million Americans are searching for work and the national debt is approaching $16 trillion, removing bureaucratic inefficiencies in federal job training programs is commonsense reform that will help more Americans gain the skills they need to get back to work. 

To learn more about the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012, click here.